Faron Young

Faron Young's Greatest Hits [1965]

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There are many greatest hits packages by this artist. In this case, the material is drawn from his Mercury output exclusively, and the most famous song is the immortal "Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young." This tasty bit of rockabilly raving tends to show up on all of the Young hits collection -- even if the labels involved had to steal it. Here, no such treachery is involved, but most of the other titles are not ones that have retained a great deal of hit status. Young was trying everything during his contract with this label, with some of the material better suited to the fragile ego he projects so sweetly. One thing there is aplenty is the slick "countrypolitan" sound of background voices and instrumental back-up cleansed of much interpretive noodling, which generally makes for dull listening. Other touches in the arrangements are almost perverse, such as the strange percussion clinking in "I Miss You Already and You're Not Even Gone," a song that seems to suggest inaccuracies in the philosophy of "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away." "You'll Drive Me Back Into Her Arms Again" and "Nothing Left to Lose" boast the marvelously catchy Ray Price Western swing boogie beat, the latter tune also springing to life via some anonymous steel guitar chirping. "Old Courthouse" is a good narrative of smalltown America, while "Nightmare" is Faron Young for fans of perverse, demented country & western, who will drool over the track. Kind of a go-go honky tonk beat goes on in the background, while Young sings lines such as "I dreamt I saw you in a foreign car/A-neckin' with a movie star" in a voice that almost sounds like it has been sped up slightly. Several of the songs reveal what must have been an attempt to imitate Marty Robbins, and they are not the most successful moments on the disc. Careful selection when building up one's Faron Young collection could result in finding the top moments in this collection located elsewhere, perhaps alongside better company.

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