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The Essential Waylon Jennings [Limited Edition 3.0]

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
There have been plenty of Waylon Jennings compilations released over the years, most of them good but few capturing the full scope of his career. RCA/Legacy's 2007 double-disc set The Essential Waylon Jennings -- not to be confused with the single-disc comp of about a decade earlier -- comes the closest, just edging out the previous two-CD standard-bearer, RCA Country Legends (which itself replaced the excellent two-CD Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line), as the best concise overview on the market. This begins a bit earlier than RCA Country Legends, starting with "Big Mamou" and "That's the Chance I'll Have to Take," and wraps up a bit earlier, not digging as deep into the '80s recordings, which is no great loss. Essential runs two songs longer than Legends, but it has two big omissions in Billy Joe Shaver's "Black Rose" and Toy Caldwell's "Can't You See," but overall this 2007 set has is a stronger set from beginning to end, containing almost all the big hits -- from "Stop the World (And Let Me Off)" through "Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line" and "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean" to "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way," "Wurlitzer Prize (I Don't Want to Get Over You)" and "Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys" -- and containing no fat, making this an excellent overview and introduction to Waylon's prime. [RCA Nashville/Legacy's Limited Edition 3.0 appeared in 2008 and included a bonus CD -- in addition to the original, two-CD set.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi