Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
King Of The Road: The Genius Of Roger Miller
Genres: Country, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
A great box set that could've been even greater
Mark Janovec | Hudson, WI United States | 10/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Using the word genius to describe Roger Miller somehow seems to fall short. One listen through this box set will perfectly illustrate that. Even the casual Roger Miller fan will find this box set worth every penny.The main problem with the current in-print catalog of Roger's songs is that the majority (okay, nearly ALL) of the releases are "best-ofs" and "greatest hits" than only offer 10-15 tracks...or 20, at best. Considering the brevity of most of Roger's songs (most are around the 2-minute mark), you're looking at CDs that clock in at 20-40 minutes. While the music is undoubtably great, these discs are underselling Roger's other works. Shockingly, none of Roger's original Smash albums are available in their entirety anymore. They may be some of the last great country albums not to be reissued in the CD age.This box set does a great job of compiling all of the key points of Roger's career, from the mid 50s country sessions to the early 60s RCA sessions, to the famous Smash years, and beyond. Most of the essential tracks are here, and as such, it's the only in-print release that even comes close to being comprehensive. The Bear Family "King of the Road" single CD is a nice companion that collects the full RCA sessions (his most underrated work, in my opinion). Other than that, there is little on CD that hasn't been covered by this box.My only beef is that this box doesn't quite take up the room available on the 3 CDs. More great songs from Roger's career could've been squeezed on here. Maybe I'm nitpicking, but when a song like "Every Which-a-Way" is missing, you aren't getting a definitive package. Still, this box is the best thing out there and it comes highly recommended.If I had my way, there would be a two CD set that collected the first four Smash albums: Dang Me, Return of Roger Miller, Third Time Around, and Words and Music...all remastered and presented in their entire glory. While the key tracks (i.e. the hits) from these albums are on the box set already, several more gems lay within these albums. Surely there is market out there for these originals album to see the light of day once again...One final note...the box set here contains 4-5 tracks from Roger's 1970 album "A Trip in the Country" where Roger recorded his own versions of the songs he wrote for George Jones, Faron Young, and others in the late 50s and early 60s. This is truly the hidden gem within Roger's discography. Why this entire album isn't available is a mystery. Search for the original vinyl or enjoy the slice available on this box set. It shows just how important of a songwriter Roger was before the public had even heard of him."
The only way to get some rare Roger Miller recordings
Mark Janovec | 11/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While most reviewers focus on Miller's talents as a humorist, this collection is careful to portray him primarily as a song writer, and rarely refers to his "novelty" tendencies. The first two disks contain some treasures familiar to any Miller fan, and bring a smile of pure joy to my face whenever I listen to them. I found the third disk to be a disappointment - Miller was not at his best performing other people's music, and the third disk contains few of his original compositions. However, for anyone who wants Miller recordings beyond the 5 or 6 standards that appear on every "greatest hits" collection, this in-depth collection is the way to go."
This may change your life
Mark Janovec | 04/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I would guess that this man's work would have limited appeal. It's crazy and it's country and not a lot of people like either one, but especially when you put the two together. But there was a fire in this man that you can feel, I hope, burning hot and bright for at least 2 1/2 hours of this 3 hour set. And his fire burnt hotter and brighter than just about any other that I've come across. As a country songwriter, maybe only Hank is his equal. As a performer, he might be in a class of his own. There is as much wit and irreverence in the performance of songs like "My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died" as there are in the lyrics. Then you hear him turn around and deliver something with remarkable poignance like "A World So Full of Love," and he pulls this off with heart-stopping grace and fluidity. Then he does "Lou's Got The Flu" and you get both the irreverent and the poignant in the same song, and you find yourself picking your jaw off the floor for the hundredth time, only this time you can't seem to get it back in place the right way again. This may not happen for you. But if you have a) a sense of humor, and b) a tender heart, it probably will. I'm not even sure if you have to like country music or not, but that helps too, even though an appreciation for "depressive jazz" might be just as helpful. After being introduced to Roger over the last year, appreciating new music is even more difficult than it was before. There is so little else out there in the world of creative works that captures this wide spectrum of human emotion and thought."