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The first seven tracks were recorded for Mercury and cover the period 1955 to 1961, beginning with Why baby why and ending with Tender years. The standout from this period is Window up above, a very sad song about lost love. George's Mercury years are covered in greater depth in the 48-track double CD Cup of loneliness.
The next three tracks - She thinks I still care, We must have been out of our minds (with Melba Montgomery) and The race is on - are from his period with United Artists (1962 to 1965). Although these are the three most famous tracks, there should have been more than that. This period is covered in greater depth in the 40-track Razor and tie compilation She Thinks I Still Care: The George Jones Collection.
The next five tracks are from his Musicor period (1965 to 1970), including Walk through this world with me and Good year for the roses. There were other great songs from this period, but there is no definitive compilation covering this period.
The remainder of this compilation is devoted to his long spell with Epic which covers most of the seventies and eighties, including duets with Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, Ray Charles and four songs with Tammy Wynette. Of his own songs from this period, the most famous is He stopped loving her today, a very sad song about a man who remained loyal to a woman who had left him - until he died.
This is a stunning collection of George's music. It's not possible to get all his big hits into two CD's, but this is the best place to begin a George Jones collection.
Sinatra, no less, called George Jones the `second-best singer in America` (not sure
if he meant the best was himself or his friend Tony Bennett) and he`s been hailed, with justification, the greatest living country singer - some say the best ever.
Why? Well, he has not only an emotional depth only dreamed of by many singers, a rich baritone that can sing the dark-brown low notes as well as swooping high notes, and a way of inhabiting a song like few others. He`ll linger for a moment on a note, bend it, then pounce on a word - all this as instinctual as breathing.
But what Frank must also have heard & appreciated is a Sinatra-esque care with phrasing - a way of `telling` a song. Actually, GJ sounds like nobody else - except all the country singers who`ve been influenced by him & can`t help trying to emulate the original.
Another reason for buying this unequalled hit-list of 3-minute wonders is He Stopped Loving Her Today, which must be one of the two or three finest ever country songs. Other reasons: A Good Year for the Roses; If Drinkin` Don`t Kill Me (Her Memory Will); I Always Get Lucky With You...and a tremendous duet with Ray Charles on the tongue-in-cheek We Didn`t See a Thing. And many more, including duets with late wife Tammy Wynette, and Yesterday`s Wine, a duet with another wizened country legend, Merle Haggard.
This is, in the end, great singing. George - against all medical odds - is still with us (at the time of writing) at the age of 78. Who`d have thought it when so many of his friends and colleagues have fallen? Remind yourself of a master with this unmissable collection.Read more ›
George Jones had a truly great voice, and wrote some of the best songs of the genre.
He Stopped Loving Her Today, for instance, or The Door. In the former, the subject has stopped loving his runaway ex-wife only today, because today is the day he died - the song is narrated from a funeral!
This is a long way from alt-country, and it may be a leap too far for those who have come to country from the rock end of the spectrum, but this album contains some of the greatest country songs, sung by one of the greatest country voices.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heard a programme about Country music and thought I'd stock up on the best old Country singers. Not disappointedPublished on 15 Dec. 2013 by D. A. G. Charles