Johnny Horton

The Legendary Johnny Horton [Harmony]

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Columbia's Harmony line of budget collections hardly inspired much harmony, especially in consumers who took the albums home and wound up wondering why the entire second side was finished by the time they were done washing their hands in the bathroom. The low rating indicates a dissatisfaction in the cheapskate serving of tracks here; as for the music itself, "North to Alaska" is familiar enough, a terrific studio production that is on the level of a big Hollywood blockbuster compared to most formula country & western weepers. From there, it is just eight other Horton tracks seemingly grabbed at random from the available discography. "Counterfeit Love" or "Miss Marcy" hardly represent this artist at his best, so why include them on such a short collection which promises examples of The Legendary Johnny Horton. "Words" is interesting, one of the rare efforts of Horton as a solo songwriter. The final track is a pleaser, a moving version of Hank Williams' "I Just Don't Like This Kind of Livin'," which shows that although Horton made his big money with gimmicky story-songs, he was at heart a honky-tonker and could deliver this kind of material beautifully.

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