Various Artists

Outlaws Super Hits

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Outlaws -- Super Hits is a budget-line collection that does an adequate job with summing up the attitude, if not the actual sound, of late-'70s outlaw country. Part of the problem is that the album concentrates solely on artists who recorded for Columbia and its affiliated labels. Therefore, a few major outlaw artists -- including Billy Joe Shaver and Tompall Glaser -- aren't included at all, while others, like Waylon Jennings, have misrepresentative tracks. Furthermore, several artists who have only a tangential relationship with outlaw -- such as Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard, who were more responsible for inspiring the movement than actually being part of it -- are given numerous tracks. Still, Outlaws -- Super Hits is enjoyable for what its is -- a brief, cheap ten-track sampler with a few good songs. Certain songs are stone-cold outlaw classics -- such as Willie Nelson's "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," David Allan Coe's "Long Haired Redneck," and Haggard & Nelson's duet, "Pancho and Lefty" -- while others are just classics (Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It," Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and "Folsom Prison Blues"). And that just means that although Outlaws -- Super Hits isn't a definitive outlaw compilation, it's still an enjoyable listen.

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