Patsy Cline

From Church to Courtroom

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The exceedingly brief liner notes won't tell you so, but most of the material on this 24-track compilation comes from Patsy Cline's 1955-1960 sessions, when she was recording for Four Star. It's generally agreed that Cline didn't reach her full potential until she ended her association with that company, and this era is virtually always compared unfavorably with the tracks she recorded in the early '60s in the years before her death. While those assertions hold true, there's still plenty of value to be found in the oft-reissued Four Star sessions. This particular package certainly doesn't rank high in the fanciness sweepstakes, but it does at least offer a lot of bulk for a single-disc anthology. Her 1957 hit "Walking After Midnight" will probably be the only song familiar to casual fans, but the material is largely respectable late-'50s country-pop with hints of gospel and rock & roll, even if it lacks the peaks of her most renowned later songs, and Cline's vocals sound a little restrained in comparison to her early-'60s work. On this particular compilation -- bear in mind that there were plenty of other Four Star tracks that were not included -- some of the highlights include the honky tonkin' "Crazy Dreams" and "Hungry for Love," as well as "Fingerprints" and "I Can See an Angel," which edge toward the poppier upbeat ballad production that would be honed on her later recordings. The purer country stuff, especially the shameless weepers and more religious-flavored tunes, tend to be the least successful.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:15
2 2:16
3 2:29
4 2:45
5 3:01
6 2:30
7 2:27
8 2:47
9 2:15
10
2:22
11 2:31
12
2:25
13 2:07
14 2:25
15 2:42
16 2:32
17 2:51
18 2:26
19 2:33
20 2:28
21 2:24
22 2:51
23 2:36
24 2:15
blue highlight denotes track pick