on 3 January 2002
An exellent compilation of the Outlaws' first five albums. These were the band's best albums in any case. Never quite able to equal their first superb eponymous debut album, the Outlaws still showed that they were unequalled for quality Country Rock in their heyday.
If you do like this material, I also recommend The Allman Brothers compilations and also get Molly Hatchet's Greatest Hits.
There`s something about Southern rock bands. A lack of frills, a certain integrity, the grit and dirt of the Deep South... and a lot to do with the fact that so much popular music began or developed in the south, whether jazz, blues or country, all of which in different ways infuse the music of the Allmans, Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, even ZZ Top to some extent - and these guys, who formed in Tampa, Florida in 1972, went through a few line-up changes in the following years, but managed to keep their trademark three-guitar, multi-vocal sound through thick and thin.
What`s so winning about The Outlaws - and how I wish I`d seen them live, I bet they were stunning - is they sound so likeable, with a glowing, gleaming sound, like a kind of Allmans meets Eagles, if you will! Great harmonies, urgent, exact guitar work, good songs - some more memorable than others, but all enjoyable.
This 70-minute compilation from their first four LPs, plus a live version of Ghost Riders in the Sky of all things, is the business. It also boasts a very tasteful booklet, which includes notes by two of the original Outlaws, Hughie Thomasson and Henry Paul, both of whom wrote, sang and played guitar with the band for the few years they were at their peak.
As I say, I`d like to have heard the band live, as I bet they rocked the place.
What you get here is a highly professional outfit, who sing like a dream, play like they were born doing it, with songs that show off their strengths.
If you`ve got a thang for Southern rock, you should love this.
Fine rock `n` roll, no frills!