40 #1 Hits

40 #1 Hits

by Merle Haggard


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With a title like 40 #1 Hits, it's easy to assume that the collection will contain nothing but number one hits, whether it's from the Billboard charts or Cash Box, and it's also easy to assume that it would contain all of an artist's number one hits. In the case of Merle Haggard's double-disc 2004 collection, neither is true. Using just the Billboard charts as a guide -- which is an assumption, since the liner notes do not specify which charts are used, but Billboard is the standard-bearer -- singles like "I'm Always on a Mountain When I Fall" and "If We're Not Back in Love by Monday" did not top the charts, and singles like "What Have You Got Planned Tonight Diana" that did reach number one are absent. Still, these are exceptions to the number one rule, three of only a handful on this collection. Besides, quibbling about whether tracks reached number one or not doesn't matter to the average audience, who will view 40 #1 Hits as an excellent cross section of Hag's biggest and best material, and the only compilation outside of the classic Down Every Road box set to draw from his three main record labels: Capitol, MCA, and Epic. Not all the great songs are here, but nearly every song here is great, from 1967's "Branded Man" to 1988's "Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star." Razor & Tie's The Lonesome Fugitive remains the best compilation of Haggard at his peak and Down Every Road the most comprehensive set, but this occupies a middle ground between the two, offering a thorough overview of Merle's long career as a country hitmaker, and it's a terrific listen to boot.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/23/2004
Label: Capitol
UPC: 0724359562728
catalogNumber: 95627
Rank: 8996

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Merle Haggard   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Lefty Frizzell   Composer
Merle Haggard   Composer
Willie Nelson   Composer
Dolly Parton   Composer
Eddie Cochran   Composer
Casey Anderson   Composer
Tommy Collins   Composer
Cindy Walker   Composer
Milton Brown   Composer
Roy Edward Burris   Composer
Hank Cochran   Composer
Tommy "Snuff" Garrett   Composer
Chuck Howard   Composer
Bonnie Owens   Composer
Freddy Powers   Composer
Sonny Throckmorton   Composer
Townes Van Zandt   Composer
Leona Williams   Composer
Liz Anderson   Composer
Cliff Crofford   Composer
Whitey Shafer   Composer
Sheril Rodgers   Composer
Nancy Henderson   Liner Notes
Stephen Dorff   Composer
Kelli Haggard   Composer
Joanna Carter   Art Direction
Dean Holloway   Composer
Glenn Martin   Composer

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40 #1 Hits 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
I have a few observations. Haggard is at his best with prison, recession, family,and working man songs. His love songs and most of his duets don't grab me. I also note that the starker the arrangements, the better the song. The exception to this is Pancho and Lefty, which mainly belonged to Willie Nelson. That's why I would give Disc 1 a higher grade than Disc 2, which has fuller instrumentation and more novelty numbers and duets. One evidence of Haggard's stature is that during the late 60s and early 70s he was both revered by the Nixon right wing for Okie and Fightin' Side of Me and covered by the Grateful Dead.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had to buy this for Bar Room Buddies! I am so glad I did - this is a really great cd!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago