Omnivore first dug into the Buck Owens catalog through a pair of neo-rarities collections called Buck 'Em!, both presenting an alternate history of Buck via alternate takes, live performances, and other deep cuts. With The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957-1966, the label takes another approach, rounding up all of the original mono mixes of the A- and B-sides of the singles Buck Owens & His Buckaroos released during their prime of 1957-1966. Much of this material has popped up on other collections -- in 2006, Rhino released a lean 21-track collection of Owens' number one hits, while Bear Family boxed up all of Buck's Capitol recordings -- but this is the first time Buck & His Buckaroos have been anthologized through a chronological parade of their singles, which is how most of their fans heard them at their popular peak. As these 56 tracks roll on over the course of two discs, what's striking is how quickly Buck Owens & His Buckaroos gain momentum. Owens' songwriting gets stronger, the band grows muscle, and -- best of all -- the lean, bright, trebly mixes seem impeccably modern: Buck designed these records to cut through the compression of AM radio and, all these years later, the singles still have an electric snap that's exhilarating.
The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine