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The Soul & The Edge: The Best of Johnny Paycheck
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
In 1970, after a string of not-quite hits and hard luck, Johnny Paycheck was singing for drinks in L.A. when Countrypolitan maestro Billy Sherrill gave him a second shot at a career. Paycheck's Epic debut with the produc... more »
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In 1970, after a string of not-quite hits and hard luck, Johnny Paycheck was singing for drinks in L.A. when Countrypolitan maestro Billy Sherrill gave him a second shot at a career. Paycheck's Epic debut with the producer, "She's All I Got," became a country smash and initiated a decade-long stint at the label that included the most commercially successful and some of the most emotionally complex work of his career (his much admired earlier sides--collected on the out-of-his-head The Real Mr. Heartache--notwithstanding). The Soul & the Edge draws from this fertile tenure, and though it omits a large number of charting hits from this period, much of what's here is prime Paycheck--"Slide off Your Satin Sheets," for example, and his signature "Take This Job and Shove It"--with many of these tracks otherwise unavailable on disc. Not to be missed are a conflicted pair of recitations, the notoriously rough and rowdy "Colorado Cool-Aid" (about a drunken knife fight) and the reverent "The Outlaw's Prayer." Best of all is the wrenching "I've Seen Better Days," where Paycheck comes to in someone's front yard, roused by Sherrill's wrenching, string-and-steel dynamics and squinting into the light of another miserable day. --David Cantwell
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Member CD Reviews
Kandy C. (kandykisses39) from PROCTORVILLE, OH
Reviewed on 7/9/2012...
awesome just awesome
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Solid overview of Paycheck's Epic years
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 05/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's a shame that Paycheck is mostly remembered for his temper, jail-stints, and the hell-raising 1977 hit, "Take This Job and Shove It." A shame, because there's a lot more to Paycheck, including two separate halves of a successful recording career that yielded a wealth of hard-lived honky-tonk and comeback mainstream country hits.Paycheck found his earliest success as a hard-core honky-tonker on the Little Darlin' label (anthologized on the Country Music Foundation's "The Real Mr. Heartbreak" CD). After splitting with the label's co-founder, and drinking away two years in California, Paycheck mounted a stunning comeback on Epic, spurred throughout the '70s by producer Billy Sherrill. It's these later sides, including hits like "She's All I Got" and "Someone to Give My Love To" that are anthologized here.Paycheck's career with Epic had two distinct phases. His comeback sides smoothed out the sharp edges of his honky-tonk sound, with studio players providing the backing, and Sherrill's string arrangements layered on top. By mid-decade, however, Paycheck had latched on to the burgeoning outlaw movement, releasing albums such as "11 Months and 29 Days" (the title referring to the length of one of his suspended jail sentences), and charting with grittier hits like "I'm the Only Hell (My Mama Ever Raised)" and "Slide Off of Your Satin Sheets." By the decade's close, Paycheck's personal problems began to interfere with his career, and in '81 he was dropped by Epic. He last charted on Mercury with 1986's "Old Violin," included here.For such a regular hit-maker, Paycheck's Epic work has only been thinly anthologized on CD. This collection's twenty-three tracks (clocking in at over 75 minutes) are generous and well picked. They provide a good picture of Paycheck's career with Epic, balancing his best-known hits with album tracks and a pair of live takes. But the track list is far from complete, missing hits like "Something About You I Love," "Mr. Lovemaker," "For a Minute There," "Friend, Lover, Wife," and "Maybellene." The non-chronological track ordering and lack of chart info are also disappointing.Still, despite the omissions, these crisply remastered tapes, coupled with newly penned liner notes from Jonny Whiteside (in addition to words from George Jones and Marty Martel) round out a fine introduction to Paycheck's Epic years, and certainly the best that's currently available on CD."
This is what country music is truly meant to be
Larry W. Brutsche | Hamilton, Ohio United States | 11/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is country music at its finest. This isn't what is coming out of Nashville today. On this disc every man's emotion is laid bare from happiness, despair, humor to pathos. And, best of all, is the "Old Violin". You can't call yourself a collector of country music until this cd is in your collection. How proud you will be to display this gem!"