Merle Haggard

Capitol Collectors Series

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Like any Capitol Collectors Series, Merle Haggard's compilation contains an odd mix of classic and lesser-known hits, with a couple of obscurities thrown in for good measure. Though many of his very best songs -- "Swinging Doors," "The Bottle Let Me Down," "Sing Me Back Home," "Hungry Eyes," "Okie from Muskogee" -- are featured, classics like "Mama Tried," "Sing A Sad Song," "Branded Man," "Carolyn," "If We Make It Through December," and "Kentucky Gambler" aren't included. Which means that Capitol Collectors Series is a good sampler of Haggard's classic work and, therefore a good introduction to his sound, even if it isn't a definitive retrospective. At the time of its release, some of the gaps Capitol Collectors Series left were filled by More of the Best. Both discs have since been supersceded by the comprehensive double-disc The Lonesome Fugitive.

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