Merle Haggard

More of the Best

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Rhino's More of the Best was designed to compliment the hits compilation Capitol Collectors Series that was released concurrently, and the single-disc collection certainly does cover many of the songs that failed to make Capitol's cut. Not only does it have hits like "Sing a Sad Song," "Branded Man," "Mama Tried," "Someday We'll Look Back," and "If We Make It Through December," it also has a couple of terrific Capitol-era album tracks ("Silver Wings," "White Line Fever") and MCA hits like "If We're Not Back in Love by Monday," "Ramblin' Fever," "Red Bandana," "I Think I'll Just Stay Here and Drink," and "Rainbow Stew." The MCA hits make More of the Best valuable not only as a supplement to Capitol Collectors Series, but as a portrait of his late-'70s work. Of course, the four-disc box set Down Every Road has superseded Capitol Collectors Series and More of the Best in terms of comprehensiveness, but the pair of discs is useful for beginners looking for a broad overview of Hag's career, not just the Capitol hits covered by the double-disc The Lonesome Fugitive.

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