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Hank Thompson

The Quintessential Hank Thompson 1948-1979 – 2009 (Raven)

Reviewed by Greg Yost

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CDs by Hank Thompson

Hank Thompson is a true legend of country music, and his vast legacy is examined with this single-disc career retrospective that expertly summarizes the three-decade period that marked the heyday of Thompson's career both in terms of popularity and creativity. Compiled and distributed by the noted reissue specialists at Australia's Raven Records, this 30-track set covers Thompson's best work for a variety of labels including Capitol Records Nashville, Dot Records and MCA Records.

This multi-label approach for a single-disc set makes this collection fairly unique, but the real strength of this anthology is found in the songs themselves. 24 of the 30 tracks on this collection reached the Top 10 on the country music charts and 3 of the songs, Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Wake Up Irene and the classic The Wild Side Of Life, all reached the number 1 spot. Regardless of chart position, the songs on this set represent the best of what Thompson had to offer as an artist.

When it comes to traditional country and honky tonk music, it is safe to say that a majority of the classic songs deal with love, loss and drinking and that is certainly the case with "The Quintessential Hank Thompson 1948-1979." Songs like Humpty Dumpty Heart, The Blackboard Of My Heart, I've Run Out Of Tomorrows, A Six Pack To Go and Smoky The Bar all stand out on a disc full of hits.