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

The Grand Tour

George Jones

1974

Buy At Rough Trade
The Grand Tour
Album Summary

The Grand Tour is an album by the American country music artist George Jones, released in 1974 as his fifth album for Epic Records. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and contained the hit title track, which reached a peak of #1 in August 1974.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.76

Votes

10202
Genres
Country

Reviews

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

1974 was a hell of a year for George Jones creatively, with one of his finest Epic records, The Grand Tour, being issued that year. Jones' partnership with producer Billy Sherrill saw some of its finest fruit here. The Grand Tour was a watershed for Jones, boasting the title track as one of the most devastating country singles ever issued that came so close to crossing over it was being played on some adult pop stations along with Sinatra, Bennett, Dionne Warwick, and Herb Alpert. Ironically, one of the co-authors of the tune was none other than Jones' about-to-be-ex-wife Tammy Wynette's future husband George Richey. If ever there were a song that cut too close to home for the singer it was this one. Sherrill worked his most creative magic over it, with a string section that only revealed the size of itself when he wasn't singing and filled in between the guitars, piano, and pedal steel during the sung lines. Jones poured his heart into every syllable and its chilling quality after almost 30 years attests to this. But this cut was only the beginning. "Pass Me By (If You're Only Passing Through)" with the Jordanaires is one of those haunting, mid-tempo honky tonk love songs that won't let go after the first chorus has been sung. As ballads go, "She'll Love the One She's With" by Hank Cochran and Grady Martin is one of those jealous country waltzes where obsession and love continually cross each other. Shored up by a small string orchestra and a pedal steel cascading through the vocal lines, it's wrenching and poetic. Johnny Paycheck's classic ballad "Once You've Had the Best" is done poetic and musical justice by Jones and Sherrill; in fact, this version blows away the author's. And in a nod to both Bakersfield and Jones' "Thumper" period, "The Weatherman" is a honky tonk stomper also partially authored by Richey and it sounds as if it were written just for this session; coming in the middle of a host of broken love songs, this is an optimistic, even giddy tune with a Mickey Raphael harmonica solo and a Don Rich sound-alike guitar break in the middle. Ultimately, this is Jones' country, the kind of country music that is pure yet as sophisticated as Sherrill wanted it to be. Chet Atkins and all of his countrypolitan productions never had anything on Sherrill, and with the greatest singer in the music's history as part of the team, combined with a collection of absolutely staggering songs (only I Am What I Am rivals it), this is one of the finest country records of the '70s and perhaps in the top 100 of all time.

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Thu Dec 30 2021
5

The Platonic ideal of a 70s country album

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Fri Mar 19 2021
4

This is a comfy album that's great with morning coffee (or an evening drink). Just the right amount of country drawl and simple strumming makes Jones a solid artist for his time. Not much of a country guy here, but if I can enjoy a country album then the name on the front must be pretty damn good.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

If I like this album, am I white trash?

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

one of the great country voices

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Thu Nov 12 2020
4

Epitome of a classic Country record. George may be the best voice to ever record Country Music and his arrangements allow his voice to evolve to a godly state. As a full album, this set of songs is overshadowed by The Grand Tour and a couple other solid songs whereas the rest sometimes drop into the background. Stand Outs: The Grand Tour, Once You've Had the Best, Who Will I Be Loving Now

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Mon Feb 21 2022
1

Not as fun as the coke-addled stories of his career might've hinted at.

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Mon Mar 28 2022
5

Mislila sam da necu stici poslusat album jer imam 4 ispita idući tjedan ali rekoh ajde za pauzu malo a i nisam zadnjih par poslušala. Kad ono holy shit. Album mi je bio ko topla ruka koja ti izvadi srce i miluje ga na suncu dok ti gledaš i uživaš.

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Wed Jan 27 2021
4

I'm developing a soft spot for old-school country. What a voice.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Very nice. George Jones’s voice is the epitome of old country crooning and I’m here for it. This album makes me want to be on the road by myself with all the windows down, driving across the desert.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

The Grand Tour and Once You've Had The Best WRECKED my heart

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Sun Jul 30 2023
4

Sad divorced christian cowboy :(

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Mon Feb 01 2021
3

So this album made one thing abundantly clear to me: I REALLY HATE STEEL GUITAR. The first couple of tracks are heavy on the slide steel and I was in misery. Then it got to Pass Me By and She'll Love the One She's With and... I didn't hate 'em. In fact, I kinda liked 'em. In fact, about half the album is pretty alright. The other half, however, is like fingernails on a chalkboard. I was fully prepared to give this one star after song one. But the good songs brought the score up. Also, even though it's 11 songs, the album is only 28 minutes long. So, an extra star for brevity.

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Fri Feb 03 2023
3

You give one country record a good review and 4 albums later, you get another. I see you random album generator. Like most other Country records, the pedal steel on this record is what kept me invested, but it’s well established that I’m not a country fan, so that only takes it so far. Three stars, mostly because I really like the pedal steel as an instrument. Without a doubt, the coolest part of country music. I can not reiterate it enough, the pedal steel is the best and most interesting part of country music. Add that to my list of epitaphs.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
2

Sappy old drunk, he sang the same song 11 different ways on this album. It gets old fast. But he does have a nice voice.

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Fri Mar 25 2022
5

Ive never heard of this. I loved this. Pure country that just sounds great. Love it.

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Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Never heard before. great album

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Sun May 15 2022
5

Gut reaction was what is this slow, boring stuff but I gave it a second listen. This is sort of a concept album isn't it? not sure why the title track was a single or why people liked it. It serves a storytelling purpose but it is not enjoyable to listen to. Still, i'm enjoying learning more about Country.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
5

George Jones is a big part of my dad's musical tastes from ever since I could remember. But I hadn't really gotten into his music like I have artists like Willie Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Waylon Jennings, and many others. I don't recall ever hearing this album. Even so I knew going in this would be good. Really good. This is some really great 70s country that seems like it set the standard for what we think of when we think of country. Heartbreak abounds, but it seems to always be respectful. From the sad opening title track to the candid conversation from a star to his fans as the album closes ("Our Private Life"), this is a deeply moving and personal album that happens to also be a fantastic listen. I loved it and expect that George Jones is now a staple of my musical diet.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
5

There's something about this album that I find very comforting. Maybe it's the simplicity of the lyrics where it seems that all there is to life is love and heartbreak. (Maybe that is all there is...) Maybe it's the resonance of the deep voice singing back-up that reminds me of my dad singing hymns next to me in church. It just feels restful and good.

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Thu Sep 15 2022
5

I enjoyed all of the songs. They gave a coming of age indie film vibe. Favorite song from the album is Father and Son as Marvel is my whole personality and it's played at Yondu's funeral in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
5

Steel guitar is easy to love, and there's little else consistently accompanying Jones's voice. I usually let context inform my impressions but do my best to hide it from these notes. Not so here: There's something about the opening track, closing track, the marriage. Beyond words, but I read it and then heard it.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
5

Great, almost honky tonk, country

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

The King of love and heartache.

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Thu Feb 23 2023
5

Step right up, and meet the best friend a song ever had. The reason names like Elvis and Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt and Aretha Franklin are so iconic is due to their unique ability to take a song and make it all their own. George Jones is on that list, at or near the top in the world of country music. Take the title track alone here. The Ol' Possum didn't write it, but the way he sells it, you can't help but believe he's singing about Tammy Wynette. It's almost like he himself wrote it about her. That song alone puts the album on this list, as it's one of the greatest performances in country music history. No Show Jones was known more for his hit songs than his albums, and he'd be better represented here with a compilation of his best songs over his lengthy, remarkable career. But you can't have a list like this without including George Jones. Anyone unfamiliar with Jones should go on a deep dive. Read all about George and Tammy. Enjoy the stories about Jones riding a lawnmower to a liquor store because his wife hid his car keys. Go watch his fucking memorial service, where anyone and everyone came to perform and pay final respects to one of the genre's greatest voices. Listen to all of his hits, especially He Stopped Loving Her Today. Take the grand tour.

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Thu Mar 30 2023
5

George Jones made a legacy out of being down BAD and I think that’s great

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Wed Jun 14 2023
5

Just fantastic classic country. I've always been a fan of George & his voice. 5 stars.

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

wow. this is an incredible album, where everything just fits perfectly. emotionally it’s exactly what i didn’t know i needed. gonna be listening to this a lot, and for a while

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Thu Aug 10 2023
5

Good lyrics can make you think, but really good lyrics can make you feel. It’s remarkable how these lyrics percolate directly into your heart, with no impedance from understanding. Beautiful in its simplicity, beautiful in its execution.

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Mon Aug 28 2023
5

Really enjoyed this. Maybe because I don't listen to much country music all the songs were enjoyable

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Wed Nov 15 2023
5

The Possum - Need I say more? The album was absolutely perfect for the day I received it to listen to, so add one star for that!

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Wed Dec 27 2023
5

While this is not Leonard Cohen's Souvenir of the Grand Tour (which sounds like a good time to be had), George Jones' The Grand Tour is a really stellar showcase of what this country crooner had to offer. For this is George in this element; give him a song about a lost love or a soon-to-be lost love and you're bound to hear some of the most heart-wrenching performances you may very well here. Even if things don't change over the course of twenty-eight minutes, it is twenty-eight minutes well spent and a solid glimpse of what one of country's finest legends was all about.

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Sun Jan 07 2024
5

Great tear in your beer country.

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Fri Jan 26 2024
5

I am back in the 80s at my Grandparent's house just waking up from my sleep over and having some horribly unhealthy breakfast in a cigarette smoke filled house with this playing on the stereo

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Tue Feb 06 2024
5

A beautiful, tragic and simple 28-minute journey of pure sublimity. Fully entering my honk tonk era with this one and I’m not even almost sorry.

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Wed Feb 21 2024
5

I am so happy listening to this !! I'm just hyped to have a country album but also I really like this and think its great and an excellent pick for the list. like this is one of those albums where I listen and I so so get it when people are like oh yeah the modern day trashy pop country is so booty, I mean I don't even think the genres are that comparable at this point, like I enjoy a song about beer/whiskey, mamas, n trucks as much as the next gal, but the lack of beer/whiskey, mamas n trucks is noted and appreciated, anyways 9.5/10

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Mon Feb 26 2024
5

All time country great!! I’m sure there will be more of his albums on this list!

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

This album wasn’t available on Amazon, so I listened to his Superhits albums Vol. 1 & 2. Powerful lyrics and great delivery. Jones is a country legend for good reason.

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Wed Apr 17 2024
5

Damn fine album! You can’t beat The Possum.

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Fri Apr 09 2021
4

I dig this! Country is the OG emo

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Mon Jul 05 2021
4

George has a cool voice and a lot of great tunes here. The title track is the stuff you think of when you think of classic country. Very clean production and overall a joy to listen to.

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Fri Jun 04 2021
4

Nice nostalgic memories of this guy playing from my Nan’s kitchen radio. Overall a pretty alright album.

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Wed Jul 07 2021
4

Never heard of this one, which is nice. Country! The grand tour; absolute standard country. I quite like it, but maybe will get bored. Darlin' - slow, lovely weepy guitars. pass me by: again, lovely guitar sound. she'll love the one she's with: slow but pretty. once you've had the best weatherman: borrowed angel: quite like this, but still very trad. she told me so: sad chords mary don't go 'round: who will I be loving now: too slow our private live: has a 'cartoon' feel to it. I liked it more than i'd like to admit!

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Sun Dec 12 2021
4

4, de fanade. Den sista sången va lite lame dock!!

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Wed Dec 15 2021
4

I don't like modern country, but I do like the older country. This album is pretty great!

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Fri Dec 17 2021
4

OMG so much heartbreak! I can’t believe these 11 women all left the same guy. I like this type of pure country, with the signature slide guitar, his aching voice and the hurtin’ lyrics. I was having a rough afternoon, driving around downtown (at a walking pace) trying to pick-up food donations, but it was hard to be in a bad mood with lyrics like “As you leave you'll see the nursery, Oh she left me without mercy, Taking nothing but our baby and my heart.”

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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

The Silver Fox !!! Love his songs and unique sound!

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Wed Jan 19 2022
4

Liked this album a lot. Again, don't listen to much country but this had nice melodies and lyrics.

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Wed Jan 26 2022
4

Classic country and a great voice.

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Sun Jan 30 2022
4

Such a comfortable listen. Just warm and soothing, like being at grandma's house.

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Mon Feb 07 2022
4

I just came off reviewing a 2 hour long Smashing Pumpkins album, so this album was a delight. It's crisp, concise and flawlessly rendered. The album has everything you want in a George Jones album, that affecting vocal, the gorgeous guitars, the lyrics that are a total mood. It's a pretty perfect country album. Fave Songs: The Grand Tour, Borrowed Angel, Darlin', Who Will I Be Loving Now, Once You've Had the Best, Pass Me By (If You're Only Passing Through)

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Wed Feb 09 2022
4

This is a great country album. It’s simple approach to each song, short run time, great production, vocals and harmonies, and easy to participate in lyrics.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
4

Countrypolitan rules! If the record has a flaw, it’s the lack of rough edges – it’s almost too perfect. In fact, it’s as slick, shiny and all-in-place as the man's epic hair. Ingeniously conceived and perfectly executed. There are gorgeous keyboard and pedal steel flourishes all over the place. The unifying concept would be good loving gone bad or fear thereof. The even-toned, occasionally deadpanning crooning is steadily consistent – no matter how cheekily humorous, crushingly sad, shockingly earnest or blindingly self-delusional the line. One wonders how often he smiled (or winked) when performing these gems. About as good (and polished) as country can be. “Borrowed Angel” and “She Told Me So “are the highlights (for the irony, probably) but no real duds (save maybe for the closing cut). 4.4 for 4 (I wasn’t kidding about being too perfect and it also seems maybe more like a series of songs than an album.)

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

The Grand Tour is essentially a collection of songs about infidelity and relationship troubles (mostly infidelity), but Jones's attitude is frequently forgiving, unconditionally loving, and optimistic. At worst, he is willing to accept that people are the way they are and there is no point in fretting about it. Even on the album's final track "Our Private Life" where George lightly chastises the public about their obsession with celebrity gossip, he refrains that he doesn't mind giving up his private life because he came to play for them. He only asks that they remember he is only human when he comes up in the tabloids. I love the old-school rural way of thinking, where sometimes we just accept things. I used to see it in my grandparents. Everybody's got their troubles, often significant, and sometimes you just have to love them anyway.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
4

I'm not crying, you're crying.

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Sun Apr 17 2022
4

Toujours bon un bon country, ca sonne et secoute tres bien, autant que tout autre country. 4.5

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Mon May 02 2022
4

4.3 - One of the strongest examples I've heard to date of good storytelling in country music. Another proof point that dismissing the genre as a whole is completely ignorant. Just listen to the the way the narrative unfolds on "The Grand Tour", revealing the detail that his wife left him and took with her their baby, is utterly devastating. Similarly, "She Told Me So" takes an unexpected twist when the singer is describing a lover who worships him but soon it becomes clear that actually he's under her spell.

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Sun May 15 2022
4

Grand Tour is in my top 5 favorite country songs of all time. The rest of the album was good, but not much else on here.

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Sun Jun 12 2022
4

This is pretty much a perfect classic country album. Just simple songs sung by an iconic country voice. A sound that I would not have tolerated in my younger years, but yet it feels homey as I listen now…

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Sun Jun 12 2022
4

If you had asked me as a kid in the '70s why I didn't like country music, this would have been Exhibit A. Twang twang twang. This is Bob's Country Bunker kind of stuff. However, various people in my life and the aging process over the past forty years have had me come around to a new appreciation. I find it interesting that just a few days ago I was listening to Frank Sinatra sing in 1955 and I thought, "I think this is what traditionally masculine emotional vulnerability must sound like." I had the same thought with George Jones today. This is clearly classic country at its roots. Lovely.

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Fri Aug 12 2022
4

A solid set of pretty well-worn country ballads, and some more uptempo numbers as well. The last song ("Private Lives"), I more enjoyed for the unorthodox subject matter, don't think I've heard a "gossip column" teardown song before. Favorite tracks: "Borrowed Angel", "Mary Don't Go Round", "The Grand Tour"

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Wed Aug 17 2022
4

Solid old school country. Melancholy!

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

I appreciate and often enjoy the super-authentic old country sound, though at album length the slow pace and maudlin texture start to wear thin for me. This is top of the game though.

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Wed Oct 05 2022
4

A very surprising 4/5! This album was like seeing your long lost family. It brought up feelings of nostalgia for old "pop-country". I love the use of slide guitar, and I can see how 80s and 90s country was drastically changed due to George Jones. Best Songs: The Grand Tour, Pass Me By, Mary Don't Go Round, Our Private Life Worst Songs: Darlin', She'll Love the One She's With

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Wed Oct 19 2022
4

The title song alone for George Jones', The Grand Tour, is just perfect and is why I think country song writers are America's best poets. Love lost sucks.

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Thu Dec 01 2022
4

I actually really enjoyed this. I may be a secret Country music fan afterall.

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Thu Dec 08 2022
4

Again, not really my genre, but mad respect for these classic country artists. They were "real" country storytellers and singer/songwriters.

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Sun Dec 25 2022
4

Quality country music. George has a great voice and the songs are pretty fantastic. It's just not a 5 to me for some reason. A very strong 4 though.

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Fri Jan 06 2023
4

A touch too close to modern commercial sounding country, but it does still have an authenticity that strikes me.

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Fri Jan 20 2023
4

Still the greatest voice in country. Hooch and heartbreak.

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Thu Mar 09 2023
4

This is the country I remember growing up in the early 70’s in SC.

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Sun Mar 26 2023
4

7/10 just fun goofy country nothing special but still enjoyable

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Sun Mar 26 2023
4

Beautiful country music. I love the old stuff. Worth considering for a vinyl.

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Mon May 15 2023
4

I could listen to this all day. In fact, I pretty much did.

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Wed Jul 05 2023
4

I suspect reviewers on this site will not be kind towards 1970s sad sack country, but I like this sort of thing. I prefer older country but this was pretty good. I like "The Weatherman" the most. Probably more of a 3.5 but I'm rounding up.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
4

I liked it. It had a good mix of slower and upbeat songs. The 29 minute length does leave a bit more to be desired however.

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Wed Jul 19 2023
4

This is a great album. George Jones' voice is one of the greatest in country music and the instrumentation here complements it perfectly especially the pedal steel. The lyrics mostly deal with heartbreak told from the point of view of someone who is almost pathologically in love with someone who treats them wrong. It lends a sense of unease to an otherwise straightforward album.

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Thu Jul 20 2023
4

Whenever I say I don’t like country I have to add a lot of exceptions. George Jones is another one. I like his voice, the musicians are always top shelf, and shucks, I guess there’s just something’ appealin’ about a sappy song ‘bout a broken heart.

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