Faron Young

Live Fast, Love Hard: Original Capitol Recordings,1952-1962

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AllMusic Review by

Given that the Country Music Foundation assembled this collection rather than Capitol Records, it's a far more representative example of Faron Young's understated honky tonk genius than anything else compiled on a single disc. For hardcore fans and collectors, there are the Bear Family sets. These 24 tracks represent all of the major moments in Young's career, from his early, raw, hard-driving barroom singles ("Tattle Tale Tears," "If That's the Fashion," and "I Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night") to the evolution of his singing style to a singing example of the pure countrybilly hedonist (the title track) to a pseudo-country crooner who still delivered in the pure Hank Williams style (unlike, say, Jim Reeves) in the late '50s ("I Miss You Already") to a near rockabilly ("That's The Way I Feel") to his late-period full-throated yet reedy baritone ("Hello Walls" and a live "Three Days" that rocks as hard as Elvis did in the '50s). In addition, the listener can also judge the quality of the material Young had to work with. Not a prolific songwriter, he utilized the likes of Tommy Collins (in the early '50s), Marvin Rainwater, Roger Miller, and Willie Nelson in addition to partnering with Bill Anderson, George Jones, and Roy Drusky for most of his own material -- though Young did write "Tattle Tale Tears" and "Goin' Steady" by himself. This material also provides a snapshot of a different Nashville, the one that Hank Williams left and was quickly being fazed from existence. These recordings, even the latest of them, are raw, lean, tough; they swing hard, out of the Jimmie Rodgers blues tradition into honky tonk. By the '60s, only Merle Haggard and Hank Thompson were still doing this. The package is deluxe for a single disc, with killer, not often seen photographs and a fine historical and biographical essay by the CMF's Daniel Cooper. [There are two solid collections of Young's work; this one, which has all the essentials, and the double-disc Collector's Choice edition, whioch goes further and deeper and contains literally every hit e he ever scored for Capitol. Depending on how big a Young fan you are, you may have a difficult choice becasuse both are excellent.]

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:24
2 2:39
3 2:44
4 2:27
5 2:37
6 2:21
7 2:19
8 2:29
9 2:46
10 2:16
11 2:30
12 2:26
13 2:04
14 2:02
15 2:42
16 2:05
17 2:28
18 1:55
19 1:51
20 2:33
21 2:19
22 2:03
23 2:23
24 2:24
blue highlight denotes track pick