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Published On: Tue, Nov 26th, 2013

Merle Haggard: The Complete ‘60s Capitol Singles

merleMerle Haggard
The Complete ’60s Capitol Singles
(Omnivore Recordings)

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The nasty heartbreaker is coming for ya on the shunky jangle opener, “I’m Gonna Break Every Heart I Can.” All part of this new Merle Haggard: The Complete ‘60s Capitol Singles, it’s a softer Merle (sounding not like himself) on “Falling For You,” while things get down country with the story-song “Shade Tree Fix-It-Man,”

“Swinging Doors,” the big title track hit from Haggard’s 1966 hit album, has some more great electric guitar (legends James Burton and Glen Campbell backed Haggard for most of these tunes) and a wonderful lyric with some kicking back vocal from Bonnie Owens. “The Girl Turned Ripe” is just a naughty, perfect stomper. The beautiful “The Fugitive” (Haggard’s first #1) is here, as is the piano ballad, “Loneliness Is Eating Me Alive.”

There are A-sides here as well as such B-sides as “Falling For You” and the torch song (with a great pedal steel and dual guitar lead) “This Town’s Not Big Enough,” which get a good airing here.

Of course “Okie From Muskogee” is included, which is arguably the song for which Haggard is best known. It’s still a really fantastic jingoistic country pop tune.

If you don’t know Haggard at all, or need to bolster your country collection, or just love good tunes sung by a legend, Merle Haggard: The Complete ‘60s Capitol Singles is a record you should go get your hands on.

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Merle Haggard: The Complete ‘60s Capitol Singles