The nasty heartbreaker is coming for ya on the shunky jangle opener, â€œIâ€™m Gonna Break Every Heart I Can.” All part of this newÂ Merle Haggard: The Complete â€˜60s Capitol Singles, itâ€™s a softer Merle (sounding not like himself) on â€œFalling For You,â€ while things get down country with the story-song â€œShade Tree Fix-It-Man,”
â€œSwinging Doors,â€ the big title track hit from Haggardâ€™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. â€œThe Girl Turned Ripeâ€ is just a naughty, perfect stomper. The beautiful â€œThe Fugitiveâ€ (Haggardâ€™s first #1) is here, as is the piano ballad, â€œLoneliness Is Eating Me Alive.”
There are A-sides here as well as such B-sides as â€œFalling For Youâ€ and the torch song (with a great pedal steel and dual guitar lead) â€œThis Townâ€™s Not Big Enough,â€ which get a good airing here.
Of course â€œOkie From Muskogeeâ€ 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 donâ€™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 â€˜60s Capitol Singles is a record you should go get your hands on.