Charley Pride

There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me/Burgers and Fries/When I Stop Leaving (I'll Be Gone)

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This 2013 two-fer combines the 1980 Hank Williams tribute There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me and the 1978 LP Burgers & Fries/When I Stop Leaving (I'll Be Gone). These were his last two Top 10 Country Albums, with Hank peaking at number one and Burgers & Fries reaching seven, which is what makes them a good pairing even if they don't quite follow each other chronologically. Of the two, There's a Little Bit of Hank in Me is slicker, a very Nashville record where there's not a note out of place, but the nice thing about the album is how the record is slick without being a crossover pop item; underneath the gloss, it's still a hardcore country album, and Pride seizes the opportunity, relishing each of these classic songs. Burgers & Fries, in contrast, has a lush, soft production that encapsulates the hazy middle ground between country and pop at the end of the '70s. There are electric pianos, strings, and endless vocal harmonies, all adding up to a sweet, gossamer surface that suits the ballads and pop tunes that comprise this eminently likeable LP. Apart from the two hit songs in the album's title, there are no knock-outs here, but it's all strong stuff, and Pride wears the fashions of the time quite appealingly.

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