In an effort to have his own master recordings of his favorite and most popular songs, Merle Haggard re-recorded 19 tracks for release on John Prine's Oh Boy Records label. These revisited songs include "Mama Tried," "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive," and "The Fightin' Side of Me." Along with other performers who have tried to regain access to their compositions by re-recording them (it seems everyone from John Prine to Prince have lost the original rights to their songs at some point), Merle Haggard's contemporary touches on these old favorites may provide new insights, but the new versions rarely surpass the originals. The liner notes written by Prine himself prove that he is a dedicated fan of Haggard's music, but even avid fanaticism doesn't make these re-recordings better than the originals.
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AllMusic Review by Zac Johnson