Hank Thompson

The Wild Side of Life

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Hank Thompson was a bona fide legend. His long career defied the odds, beginning as it did near the end of the Western Swing revolution in country music, and continuing well into the 1970s, where he shifted his focus a bit to become one of the great honky tonk songwriters. This 20-cut compilation on Richmond is a fine sampling of early Thompson favorites and forgotten classics that goes back to the '40s. While "Six Pack to Go" isn't here, plenty of essentials are, including "Honky Tonk Girl," the title track, "Hangover Heart," his own "When You're Lovin', You're Livin," "Rub-A-Dub-Dub," his burning hillbilly boogie reading of "John Henry," and many others. There isn't anything here that's truly rare, but in the CD era, most of this stuff is rather hard to find. This is a very solid compilation with great sound.

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