This double-CD is made up of three original albums, plus some tracks that were recorded but never released, most of which were Buddy Holly covers. Some of these eventually appeared in a medley on another Waylon album, I’ve always been crazy.
The first album, This time, shows a strong Willie Nelson influence. Willie wrote four of the songs (Pick up the tempo, Heaven or hell, It’s not supposed to be that way and Walkin’), while he has also recorded at least two of the others (Slow moving outlaw and If you could touch her at all). The title track provided Waylon with his first number one country hit.
The second album, Rambling man, contains some interesting songs, especially Midnight rider (a cover of a Gregg Allman songs) and Amanda (first recorded by Don Williams), a song that eventually became a country number one when it was released as a single several years later in 1979. In 1974, I’m a rambling man was Waylon’s second country number one, while Rainy day women (written by Waylon himself) just missed out, peaking at number two. Other notable songs such as Oklahoma sunshine, Cloudy days, It’ll be her and The hunger make this one of Waylon’s finest albums ever.
The third album, Dreaming my dreams, is another high-quality album. You might even prefer it to Rambling man, but in any case, there’s not much to choose between them for quality. Although the title track was a top ten country hit, the album’s most famous songs are the two odes to past legends – Are you sure Hank done it this way (a country number one) and Bob Wills is still the king. Also worthy of mention are I recall a gypsy woman (originally a British top 20 pop hit for Don Williams, but not released as a single in America), The door is always open (a country number one for Dave and Sugar) and Let’s turn back the years (an obscure Hank Williams song).
So, this collection brings together three of Waylon’s finest albums and several previously unreleased tracks. If you are unfamiliar with Waylon’s music, you might be better to buy RCA country legends, a double-CD containing all his big hits, but for those wanting to buy his original albums, it doesn’t get any better than this.