Hank Thompson

25th Anniversary Album

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In the late '60s, Hank Thompson started recording for Dot Records after a long and successful run at Capitol. It was at Capitol where he scored many of his biggest hits, such as "Wild Side of Life," "Whoa! Sailor," and "Humpty Dumpty Heart." These and many other of his chart-toppers from the '40s and '50s can be heard on Capitol's Vintage collection. Dot's 25th Anniversary Album contains the same songs, but in re-recorded versions from the late '60s and early '70s. These new renditions are decent, but are mired in cloyingly sweet harmony vocals, roller-rink guitar solos, and stilted rhythm tracks; this sound is a far cry from the hard-swinging and somewhat rough-hewn backing his longstanding band, the Brazos Valley Boys, provided him with during the '50s. There are some of Thompson's original Dot hits here, like "On the Tap, in the Can, or in the Bottle," but they are more novel than memorable. 25th Anniversary Album is fun to listen to, but if you want a solid collection of Thompson's prime recordings, get the Capitol collection and leave this one for completists and curio seekers.

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