Dwight Yoakam

Platinum Collection

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The British division of Rhino issues this 19-cut best-of Dwight Yoakam on their Platinum Collection. It's strangely put together, relying mostly on covers from album tracks during Yoakam's long tenure with Warner between 1986 and 2003. This is problematic, however, because Yoakam is a fine songwriter -- as evidenced by ""Guitars, Cadillacs,"" ""These Arms,"" and ""I Sang Dixie,"" all of which are here. It's completely understandable that covers like ""Ring of Fire,"" ""Honky Tonk Man,"" his live read of ""Heartaches by the Number,"" ""Streets of Bakersfield"" (with Buck Owens) and the Clash's ""Train in Vain"" are here; what's head-scratchingly puzzling is Yoakam's not-particularly-good or distinctive version of Danny O'Keefe's ""Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues,"" the inclusion of ""Playboy"" and ""North to Alaska."" It seems there is a real bias on the part of the series compilers -- this set was done by Gary Wallington who wrote dodgy (at best) liners for the volume -- for Yoakam's readings of traditional country songs. What's weird is he's written plenty of them. Stick with the domestic best-ofs, you'll be better served.

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