Patsy Cline

The Best of Patsy Cline: Walkin' After Midnight

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THE BEST OF PATSY CLINE is drawn, with the exception of one track, from the first half of her career, the so-called Four Star period, named for the company she was under contract with at the time. All of her recordings were produced by Owen Bradley in Nashville, but from 1960 onwards, Cline was less restricted in terms of her choice of material and she and Bradley took a consciously crossover approach, recording more standards and pop tunes and emphasizing the strings and the Jordanaires' backup vocals.

Within a more strictly country context, Bradley took just as many chances with the Four Star material but the sessions have a lot more edge. Steel guitars chime and whine ("Hidin' Out," "Walkin' After Midnight") fiddles dig in, and several tracks are based around twangy, reverbed electric guitars knocking out rockabilly and R&B riffs ("There He Goes," "Hungry For Love"). Even on the poppier material and the occasional gospel number, there's an immediacy to these recordings, the sound of a handful of hot musicians working with an inspiring singer on a stack of great material.

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