Merle Haggard

The Music of Merle Haggard: The Epic Years

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When Merle Haggard signed with Epic Records in 1981 he was a bona fide country star, if not quite an icon yet (that would happen in the 1990s when his influence was everywhere with country’s new stars -- although he would no longer see much chart success in country’s contemporary incarnation). The key thing for Haggard with Epic was that he was given permission to produce his own records, which led to leaner and more stripped-down tracks, and the 1980s found him at a creative peak, even if the hits were starting to slow down. This three-disc set surveys his Epic years and includes classics like Haggard's duet with George Jones on “Yesterday’s Wine” from 1982 and a duet with Willie Nelson on Townes Van Zant's “Pancho and Lefty” from 1985. This collection is a great way to hear how Haggard himself preferred to present his songs.

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