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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail

Buck Owens

1965

I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail
Album Summary

I've Got a Tiger by the Tail is an album by Buck Owens and his Buckaroos, released in 1965. It reached Number one on the Billboard Country charts and Number 43 on the Pop Albums charts.It was re-released on CD in 1995 by Sundazed Records with two bonus tracks, both live performances recorded in Bakersfield, CA at the Civic Auditorium in October 1963. The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.83

Votes

10203
Genres
Country

Reviews

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Fri Jan 01 2021
2

The importance of this album can't be overstated. Owens and Don Rich (along with Merle, but never mind that) pioneered the honky-tonk sound that influenced generations of country musicians, and nearly every song on this album has been covered many times over. One of the major issues with this album is that in almost every case, the covers are better than the originals. It speaks well of the songwriting that so many people wanted to sing these songs, but I can't help but think that an album with the best version of each song would be exponentially better. The other issue is that the audio production is downright awful. Much of the singing is distorted and occasionally gets drowned in the mix. The panning is all over the place, to the point of being distracting. I know they were still getting used to mixing boards in the 50s, but I don't think we should be grading this on a curve. Best track: Streets of Laredo

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Thu May 20 2021
1

I felt like I had a tiger by the tail as I pressed play on the first song. While Buck Owens was able to sing out 32 minutes hanging onto that big cat, I wasn't so brave. Not a fan and shouldn't be on this list.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
1

A lot of this sounded like a parody of a country album. Not for me I'm afraid

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

I have always wanted to get into country music and boy was that a treat

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Mon Jan 24 2022
5

Buck Owens was a pioneer of the Bakersfield Sound and this album is a phenomenal example of it. Buck Owens is extremely expressive and melancholic which makes his music very effective. This album is essential for anyone who wants to understand the history of popular music.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
1

I thought perhaps this was a joke...April Fools? How is anyone in this day & age finding this album enjoyable? Perhaps a redneck chicken pickin Trump supporter in the good ole U.S Of Aye...but nowhere else. I’ll give it 1 Star just for the giggle factor.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

some things haven't aged well (wham bam thank you ma'am) but this album is a classic, buck and the band show a lot of range

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Wed Feb 17 2021
4

Very simple, though the music is deceptively complex. Just a solid album that flies by at a clip 4/5

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

"Put a quarter in the jukebox and let the sad times roll on!" While country music hasn't found it's way onto my playlists much for a few decades, I do believe I can tell good country music from bad. And Buck Owens is good (shame about Hee-Haw). As an added bonus for me, The Streets of Laredo is an eclectic outlier and I didn't realize until this listening, the connection with the Irish ballad popularized by Eric Bogle and The Pogues!

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

Absolutely 100% the kind of country music that I LOVE. That steel guitar is awesome. Buck having fun with his lyrics. Just excellent stuff. I feel like I've been too hyperbolic lately, and I can't see myself listening to this every day, so I'm going with 4 stars. In my heart right now it's a 5, but cooler heads must prevail.

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Tue Mar 23 2021
5

Its fun! Yea i like this Bakersfield sound. Good one two punch on this album. Yea this was a great honky tonk album

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Buck Owens had his share of country hits prior to the release of I've Got a Tiger by the Tail and the hit single that spawned it. But "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" was Owens' national breakthrough, featuring everything right about his Bakersfield honky tonk sound sweated down to a 2:12 single that proved to be an irresistible piece of crossover magic to non-country fans without diluting his basic sound one iota. This 14-track LP brings together the original Capitol tracks from that album (which also included the hit "Cryin' Time," later to be a crossover hit of its own when recorded by Ray Charles), along with two extra tracks. These are live versions recorded in Bakersfield at the Civic Auditorium in October 1963 of "This Ol' Heart" and "Act Naturally," taken from the Capitol anthology album Country Music Hootenanny. The sound of Don Rich is all over this album, with his signature biting Telecaster guitar style, plus his vocalizing on "Wham Bam" (which features Owens on lead guitar) and a feature with Buck on a duet of Chuck Berry's "Memphis." Bass player Doyle Holly handles the vocal chores on "Streets of Laredo," while Don Rich's fiddle work is highlighted on the instrumental "A Maiden's Prayer." But ultimately it's Owens' show, with tracks like "Trouble and Me," "We're Gonna Let the Good Times Roll," "If You Fall Out of Love with Me," "The Band Keeps Playin' On," and the ballad "Let the Sad Times Roll On" being classic examples of Owens' Bakersfield honky tonk sound at the height of its freight-train rumbling powers.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

An excellent example of the early Bakersfield sound. Toe-tapping greatness.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
4

Hadn’t heard this since I was a little kid in Texas. Cute and historically noteworthy, but not my go to

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Thu May 20 2021
4

I got so hyped to see an old country album on here, more please! I'm not sure I've heard Buck Owens (or his Buckaroos) before, but the title track is a certified banger. Lots of other great tunes on here too. I love the vocal performance on "Streets of Laredo," it sounds like a completely different person. This is basically an emo album. I'm realizing that most classic country singers latch on to heartbreak and cry about it as loudly and melodramatically as possible. I dig it. Great job, Buck. Born in Sherman too, what a world! Favorite tracks: I've Got a Tiger by the Tail, Streets of Laredo, Let the Sad Times Roll On, Cryin' Time. Album art: Just your typical portrait cover from the '60s, nothing unique aside from the bedazzled white leather jacket. Also that stencil font makes me laugh. 4/5

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Sat Jun 05 2021
4

Niezbyt czesty gosc na liscie, bo hamerykanie country i to jakie, jeden z najsolidniejszych materialow jaki slyszalem, ale tez nie slyszalem za duzo, a to dlatego ze prawie zawsze sa problemy z jakoscia takiej muzyki, jesli chodzi o strone techniczna, nagrywane w latach 60, przez artystow ktorzy w karierze wypuszczali XX albumow + XX singli, wiec nagrywane bylo to zazwyczaj na szybkosci, co nie zawsze idzie z jakoscia, a tak tutaj dzwiek jest tak czysty, zadnych trzaskow jakby nagrywany juz w erze digitala, wiec bardzo pozytywne zaskoczenie juz od sameo poczatku, ale na tym nie koncza sie dobrocie ktore sa zawwarte na tym 32 minutowym materiale, 14 trakow, wiec bardzo typowe countrowe 2 minutowe traki, ale jakie to jest country, dokladnie takie i jakim mysle o dzikim zachodzie, koniokradach, pladrowaniu wiosek i kowbojskim stuffie, a co tworzy ten unikalny efekt, podczas odsluchu dowiedzialem sie, ze jest to wykorzystanie beatu, nie wymyslnego jak w churchowych spiewach opartego na chorkowaniu, ale prosty beat lamany na 2-4 najczesniej, na pedale gitarkowym czy nawet naczyms swanym pedal steel guitar, co na polacki daje odmiane gitary hawajskiej, wlasnie ten beat buduje atmosfere po ktorej plynie pan Owens ze swoimi urzekajacymi wokalami, na najwiekszych kowbojskich szlagierach i kilku wlasnych kompozycjach, dwa traki sa spiewane przez innych czlonkow bandy, tutaj performens Doyla Hollyego zrobil na mnie najwieksze wrazenie na traku streets of laredo, ktory takze jest trakiem must have na plejke, dodatkowo tytulowy tygrysiak za ogon wlatuje

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Wed May 18 2022
4

I could listen to this album over and over again. A couple songs I’d skip, but almost every one is fantastic. On the other hand, my wife absolutely hated it and made me turn it off in the car.

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Fri Jan 14 2022
3

If you applied nudge theory to a music shop and I was the target audience, you'd put cornball country wearing a semi-respectable suit at eye-level right before the checkout. In other words, I liked it. Not one of the 1,001 best albums ever, but an important artist from the non-album era, so worth including. And for that reason, I'm rating it high.

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Fri Aug 06 2021
2

Eugh I'm sorry but its all so samey. Affirming my confusing relationship with country. I just don't know how much I like it really, and that seems to be an unpopular opinion

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Wed Sep 22 2021
2

Harmless toe-tappin' fun. If there was a prize for 'earliest mention of the album title within the album', this would win.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
1

Oh no, oh no. Just no* *Selected tracks coming to a Quentin Tarantino film soon Let's not talk about this again, thankfully a mere 32 minutes of my life I won't get back.

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Fri Feb 04 2022
1

This album physically transported me back to when I was 13 and wore crocs to the Country To Country music festival at the O2 with my aunt and grandparents. Country Bear Jamboree energy but instead I wanted to punch them all.

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Mon Oct 19 2020
5

(5 stars) yasss country! and look at that album cover every song, im like, ok this one's my favorite aaaa it just keeps getting better and better!

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Fri Jan 29 2021
5

I don't even like country, but that was a very enjoyable album.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

I knew Buck Owens from Hee Haw and the Grand Ol' Opry, but have never sat and listened to one of his albums. I'm glad I have remedied that deficiency. This is great classic country performed by great musicians with great country themes. Lots of heartbreak, but nary a hint of gun violence or misogyny that seems to have become more common in later years. I have always loved the song "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail." It sounds as good as ever. "Trouble and Me" seemed familiar too - it's a great song! I liked the juxtaposition on side A of "Let the Sad Times Roll On" and side B "We're Gonna Let the Good Times Roll." Visiting all the emotional stops on this train! "Wham Bam" is a great song about staying single. Very clever chorus and a lot of fun! Other highlights I enjoyed included the deep bass vocal in "The Streets of Laredo." "A Maiden's Prayer" had great fiddling. And they did justice to "Memphis." The two extra live tracks were fine additions to the original album. "This Ol' Heart" and "Act Naturally" are great songs performed so well! I would have loved to have seen Buck perform live. Really fun listening to this - some good old fashioned country from a master who shows us how it's done!

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

This good, old-timey country music was a good old time! I loved his original songs (title track), the classics "Streets of Laredo" and his take on Chuck Berry. I love the classic steel guitar sound. This was well worth pulling off a dusty shelf!

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Sun Nov 28 2021
5

The Bakersfield Sound at its finest. Buck brings so much energy and spirit to country-western music that you can't help but smile and want to dance with your best girl when he belts out his choruses.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
5

Very well executed country music. Nice little stories in many of these songs and masterful guitar accompaniment. The playing was never too much or too little.

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Thu Dec 29 2022
5

I love Buck Owens! Enjoyed thus with my daughter!

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Wed Feb 22 2023
5

Owens is one of the most influential country musician & I have him to thank for inspiring some of my favorite artists (Dwight Yoakam, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones to name a few). This album has classic 60s country tunes along with the beginnings of rock n roll. Act Naturally has been a favorite for years & throughly enjoyed this album. I'm adding it to my country music rotation.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
5

Endlessly and effortlessly entertaining from the second it starts to the second it ends. Amazing joyful live version of Act Naturally at the end.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
5

Buck Owens is a horrible racist. Do not listen to his twisted tales and disgusting view of society. Despicable little man.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

This album almost makes me okay with the existence of Bakersfield.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
5

Full of the Bakersfield sound

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Thu Nov 02 2023
5

My love for Buck Owens is an example of the full circle I’ve had with Country. Hee Haw was a Saturday evening staple in my house when I was a kid and I hated it. At the time it just seemed lame but I think maybe my subconscious knew that playing the South as full of Bumpkins was offensive. We’ve tackled the peculiar nature of Southern Pride elsewhere, but that’s certainly what I don’t like about the show and it’s legacy now. What I did enjoy as a kid were the musical guests. Basically anyone who was anyone in Country music did a performance on Hee Haw. It was hosted by Buck Owens and Roy Clark who would tell bad one liners dressed in overalls and straw hats. I didn’t realize as a kid that these guys were titans of Country Music. As I got older, I started to despise country because of Hee Haw, the conservative politics of the genre as a whole, and because I was ashamed of my heritage. Mind you, this was before I understood the systematic way racism was downplayed and further institutionalized in school. In college, the punk kids all respected Cash and the other outlaws and I started to reevaluate the genre as a whole. But even then it was another decade before I let my affinity for Country music (and R&B) be something I was comfortable enough to openly display and talk about. I’ve really come to know the Bakersfield sound in the last decade and have become obsessed with Owens, Haggard, and especially the songwriting of Harlan Howard. A lot of this comes from a tribute album by Vince Gill: www.allmusic.com Vince Gill, Paul Franklin - Bakersfield Album Reviews, Songs & More | AllMusic Discover Bakersfield by Vince Gill, Paul Franklin released in 2013. Find album reviews, track lists, credits, awards and more at AllMusic. www.allmusic.com www.allmusic.com Those old deep seated biases against Owens and the politics of Haggard late in his life kept me away from the music far too long. Fortunately my admiration for Gill as a guitarist (he’s a bit vanilla as a singer) changed that. What’s really interesting is when it came time to really start exploring Owens is just how much of this album I knew. Many of the songs like the title song and Streets of Laredo were burned into my brain from that younger age (and probably countless covers) and those earliest memories of actually enjoying the music before I allowed outside influences (including my Dad who displayed an open dislike of the “old timey” music, specifically Hank Williams and Bob Wills, that his dad had liked - which is a topic for another day as Bluegrass … through its first exposure to me in high school… would play its own role in me accepting my love of country music). This album has as much to do with the sub genre becoming popular as any other. Years before Outlaw became a crossover thing, Owens and the gang from California added rock to the country sound. This is its own cyclical thing in that both the Beatles and the Stones would play Bakersfield music which in turn influenced their sound and we know how influential both those acts were. It’s a great record and if you think you hate country music, you should maybe check that bias at the door before listening.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

I am now the guy Credence warned you about. A fantastic set of older country tunes.

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Mon Jan 08 2024
5

Always wanted to try listening to country but didn't know where to start. This was a great introduction. Short and heartfelt songs could be covered by punk bands

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Fri Jan 12 2024
5

Buck Owens - I've got a Tiger by the Tail Classic country music. Buck Owens is so good at what he does and his Buckaroos only make him better. The Bakersfield sound is alive and well on this album. It reminds me of my dad as this is the kind of country he'd listen to and sing along to. And on the song The Streets of Laredo, one of the Buckaroos come in with his deep bass vocals and it reminds me of my dad singing in church. Such a great memory. 5/5

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Thu Jan 25 2024
5

This was the #1 country album in 1965. A lot of rockers were paying attention and we had the birth of country rock. (Even if rock kind of started in country.)

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Sun Jan 28 2024
5

Buck Owen’s is one of my favorites, love that Bakersfield sound!

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

Love, love, 💕 Buck Owens! Love old country!

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Fri Feb 02 2024
5

Brilliant playing, solid songcraft. Having grown up with Hee Haw on television, I knew he was skilled but this album demonstrated the Bakersfield Sound eloquently.

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Sun Feb 18 2024
5

This has been one of my favorites for a long time. Always love me some Buck Owens!

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Thu Feb 22 2024
5

country clasikisimo de este de beber moonshine que te deja ciego de un tarro. Muy bien y muy buen tonge roll por parte del artista

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Fri Mar 01 2024
5

Premium country music. It's such a fun listen.

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Wed Apr 03 2024
5

Very fun album! I enjoyed a lot of the songs.

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Sun Apr 07 2024
5

“First comes matrimony then comes alimony” some of the best country pickin in the world!

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Thu May 20 2021
4

Great album. Listened to a lot of Roger Miller growing up, and Buck is definitely a contemporary of Roger.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
4

Now that’s what I call Country, Vol 1. This is a really good album, I’m not much of a country guy, but this had some really good hits that get stuck in your head. Wham Bam, favorite

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Fri Feb 19 2021
4

Good ol folksy sound. It was fun

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Tue Mar 23 2021
4

cool country album. reminds me of something pap would like

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Mon Jun 21 2021
4

J.aimme le cou try et j’au de la misere a dinner une mauvaise bote. C’est aussi bon que les bon albums de country que j’ai 3coute. 4*

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Sun Feb 28 2021
4

I have a soft spot for vintage country music, and Buck Owens plaintive harmonies and his guitar player's (Don Rich) twangy telecaster do it for me.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
4

I’m a big fan of this. My toes was tapping a whole lot.

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Wed Apr 21 2021
4

Das erste von angeblich sehr vielen country Alben, ist okay, ich hasse country nicht, ist ganz nett

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Thu Sep 02 2021
4

I wanted to hate this as I don't like country music as a rule. However, this was pretty enjoyable to have in the background as I was working. Found myself nodding along even on the first listen. Corny lyrics from the 60's, strumming guitar, toe tapping g'damn country music. Sigh. 3.8/5.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
4

well, i was predisposed to liking this purely because buck shows up in that creedence song. pretty sure i'd heard SOMEthing by him before, but i couldn't tell you what. it was largely what i would've expected...EXCEPT i had absolutely no idea that my favorite johnny rivers song was his (memphis), or that the beatles covered act naturally - i thought that was theirs from the start. so that was a super cool discovery.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

Enjoy old country a lot and think the historic importance of this album helps elevate it to a 4 for me.

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Fri Oct 15 2021
4

I love how economical all the songs are. I was surprised at how many of these I recognize.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

A great little album. He's happy or he's sad and he's not afraid to sing about it.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Been into country music lately and I really enjoyed this. I like the more stripped down arrangements. Really well balanced. If this is a prime example of the Bakersfield sound, I'll take more where that came from.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Really satisfying sound, I am a sucker for country western when it's done well.

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Mon Nov 15 2021
4

I liked this its a very upbeat and cheerful album

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

I liked listening to this. Even the songs that are sad made me happy. I doubt that I'll listen again but I enjoyed being here for a while.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

I liked this. It was simple and nice. I don't really know Country, but I would like to call his Classic Country.

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Wed Mar 02 2022
4

country não me pega mas esse tem qualidade

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Mon Apr 25 2022
4

So good, so deserving of broader awareness and appreciation and so damn fun. Tight playing and witty lyrics. “Let the Sad Times” and “Wham Bam” are faves. Thanks to Dwight Yoakam for keeping the torch alive.

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Wed Apr 27 2022
4

My Dad loves this guy. Classic hometown jesus country.

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Thu May 05 2022
4

I'm pretty disappointed. Lots of heartache, but not one dawg! No trucks! I had to laugh at some of the lyrical content, but found it highly enjoyable.

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Sun May 22 2022
4

Country music is the music genre that provides the most evidence towards Sturgeon's law. For those who don't know, the Sturgeon in question was the science-fiction author Theodore Sturgeon, who once wrote a novella called Killdozer!, where the antagonist is a sentient, killer bulldozer. The (possibly apocryphal) tale goes that Sturgeon was conducting a Q&A at a science-fiction convention, and one participant asked him if science-fiction was really a legitimate field of literature, stating truthfully that 90% of science fiction was, well, crap. Sturgeon immediately shot back, "Ninety percent of everything is crap!" This is now known as Sturgeon's law. I dn't think it's too much of a revelation to anyone that a jumbo proportion of music released under the country banner is crap. This has affected even the most beloved and esteemed of country artists: you don't measure Johnny Cash's discography by the number of records, you measure it by the yardage it spans, and nobody that prolific could make every song a pearler. Indeed, Rick Rubin rejuvenated Johnny Cash's career by encouraging him not to just bash out albums like trainers, but to focus on polishing his work until the album shone like a diamond. Anyway, Buck Owens was similarly generative, producing 20 studio albums, two holiday albums, three live albums and six compilations in the 60s alone. Who has the energy to go through all of those? Are some of those albums corkers? Certainly. Are some of those reeking? Probably. Anyway, some people just don't like country music. They dislike the instrumentation, they dislike the perceived cornball sentiments, they dislike cowboy boots, they dislike the unfortunate cultural baggage some country has been saddled with, they dislike the unabashed forays into novelty records, they dislike the need to sift through crap in order to find the worthwhile nuggets. Thankfully, I've Got a Tiger By the Tail is replete with nuggets. It's a straightforward, unpretentious good time. Of course, it's country, so much of the album deals with melancholy and heartache, which is great in itself, but the listener will be grateful that the album is leavened by rock 'n' roll additives and a healthy splash of wit. It won't persuade anyone disinclined towards country, but let them be content in their missing-out. It can't quite raise my spirit enough to warrant the full 5 stars, but don't worry about that: it delights enough.

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Thu May 26 2022
4

A refreshing change of pace. I don’t listen to a lot of country, but this is the type of country I like (traditional/honky tonk). I thought this was a solid album from start to finish. I’m not sure if I’d listen to it again but I did really like it.

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Fri May 27 2022
4

Love it. Great old fashioned honky-tonk. Tons of fun.

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Thu Jun 30 2022
4

A great example of Owen’s Bakersfield sound and an essential part of music history. Country rock, as it became know in the late 60s and early 70s, likely doesn’t exist in the same way without this. It will not seem revolutionary to new listeners, and I play other examples of the Bakersfield sound much more often (Dwight Yoakam), but worthy of the list and and a listen or two.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
4

For country music, dueling Telecasters over a strong backbeat is a pretty tough sound to beat. Not the biggest country fan, but I've always dug that Bakersfield sound. I don't know if Merle Haggard is going to turn up on this list (somehow I doubt it as that would crowd out yet another early 2000s UK also-ran electronica act), but I'm glad Bakersfield gets represented at least once.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

A quintassential album for old-school country and the general boot-scooting, honkey tonk sound that defined the early mainstream acceptance of this music. Owens uses his personality to come off as personable, relatable, but also memorable as he sets the mood and scene around his "experience". Owens sold this image and marketed it to the masses, leading to the genre and identity that so many future generations followed.

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Fri Dec 02 2022
4

Pleasantly surprised by this one. Old style country doesn’t always appeal to me but the lyrics were good and it wasn’t too much a caricature of country either.

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Sun Dec 04 2022
4

Thoroughly enjoyed this record, and we have to give credit to Buck Owens (and his wife Bonnie Owens???) for giving us the classic 'Wham Bam'. Not a lot of sincere emotions on this, but the tunes are catchy and fun.

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Thu Dec 15 2022
4

Catchy tunes but was a bit much after 32 minutes.

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Thu Dec 22 2022
4

The best kind of country music

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Wed Jan 11 2023
4

Even though I'm not a big fan of country music, I would say this record has something magical in it. The "American roots" mood really got me and I almost felt as I was in Memphis while listening to this album. Highlights: I've Got a Tiger By the Tail, Trouble and Me, Memphis

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