Merle Haggard's first album Strangers was an impressive debut. Apart from the classic singles "(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers," "Sam Hill," "Sing A Sad Song," and "I'm Gonna Break Every Heart I Can," there's a number of fine album cuts, including "I'd Trade All of My Tomorrows," "If I Had Left It Up To You," and "You Don't Even Try." Granted, there is some filler on Strangers, but that was the case for nearly every country album recorded in the '60s. What counts is the good stuff and the best songs on the record richly illustrate Haggard's talent and his potential.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine