Razor & Tie's 1996 collection Honky Tonk Amnesia: The Hard Country Sound of Moe Bandy is a superb summary of Bandy's peak as a hitmaker in the '70s and '80s, containing no less than 20 tracks, all of them major hits. Since his run at the top of the charts was lengthy, encompassing a number of big duets with both Janie Fricke and Joe Stampley, not everything is here. The biggest absences are these duets, with solo singles like "Here I Am Drunk Again" and "Cowboys Ain't Supposed to Cry" also being MIA, but these are minor grievances, particularly since the Stampley duets are available on other collections. What is here is the cream of the crop, the best songs from a series of generally satisfying albums that did tend to be a little uneven as his star got bigger. While his first two albums -- I Just Started Hatin' Cheatin' Songs Today and It Was Always So Easy (To Find an Unhappy Woman), both available as a two-fer from WestSide Records -- are excellent albums in their own right, this is valuable in how it rounds up the rest of the best, including such great barroom anthems as "Hank Williams, You Wrote My Life," "Soft Lights and Hard Country Music," "It's a Cheating Situation," and "Barstool Mountain," along with a bunch of other pure country sides that are nearly their equal. During a time when country either tended toward pop or the unruly band of outlaws, Bandy kept country pure, and the best of it has stood the test of time, standing as fine hardcore country. Those first two albums are indeed classics, but there's no better proof of his enduring talents than Honky Tonk Amnesia, a flawless overview of Bandy at his best.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Janie Fricke
feat: Judy Bailey
feat: Becky Hobbs