#132: 40 Greatest Hits, Hank Williams
I wouldn’t say I’m ever looking forward to a country double-album, exactly. Listening to country music takes some active listening on my part that I don’t need when I’m listening to, say, Courtney Love. It’s just not the music I grew up loving.
This is a greatest hits album, but it’s the best-selling album of Williams’ career, even though it came out twenty years after he died. In fact, he died on New Year’s Day of 1953 at the age of 29 of heart failure, literally in the back of a limousine. It sounds like he was an alcoholic and drug addict.
I found myself really loving this one in spite of myself. It sounds like a grumpy old man complaining about why nobody loves him, and after learning some facts about Hank Williams’ life, I think I can understand why. Still, you can’t help but feel sorry for someone who was clearly in so much pain.
“Move It On Over” — The jaunty old country-style songs are my favorite kind of country music, after Johnny Cash.
“You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Gonna Leave)” — Fair enough! Probably a good way to stay single, but a fair request.
“My Bucket’s Got A Hole In It” — Hahahaha.
“I Just Don’t Like This Kind of Living” — You ain’t never been known to be wrong and I ain’t never been right.
“My Son Calls Another Man Daddy” — This is such a frank, emotional song!
“Why Don’t You Love Me” — How could anyone treat Hank Williams like a worn-out shoe?!
“Nobody’s Lonesome For Me” — Hank Williams did write tons of amazing, self-pitying lyrics. When the time rolls around for me to lay down and die/ I bet I’ll have to go and hire me someone to cry.
“Dear John” — The kinda cheeky ones are my favorite, and make me feel a tiny bit sorry for poor old Hank.
“Howlin’ At The Moon” — So in love he can’t even spell his name. No wonder women were so obsessed with Hank Williams.
“I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You” — I do love this slide guitar.
“Ramblin’ Man” — I love songs about travelers. There’s something over the hills that I gotta see.
“Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” — I had a hedgehog named after this song.
“The Woods On Fire” — The hillbilly version of “painting the town red”!
“I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive” — Nothing’s gonna be alright no how.
“Kaw-Liga” — Hasn’t aged the best, but it was kind of nice to hear a different style of music.
“I Saw The Light” — I loved this one the best. It was recorded in 1947, so long before he died. Really beautiful, but really sad, considering the rest of his life.
LEAST FAVORITE SONGS:
“A Mansion On The Hill” — Very middling on some of these songs. This was one of them.
“Mind Your Own Business” — “Don’t you DARE call the cops if you hear a woman screaming at my place!”
“They’ll Never Take Her Love From Me” — This album is so long and so slow.
“You Win Again” — Maybe I just hate this song because I just hate this phrase. “You win! You’re right but I’m gonna try to make you feel bad about it anyway.”
IS RS FULL OF IT?
Putting aside the fact that slow, sad, country music is my Kryptonite, Hank Williams definitely has business on the Top 500 list. Hank Williams only released two studio albums during his lifetime, and both of them only had eight songs on them, which seems a little unrepresentative of, you know, the impact of his career.
But don’t you think that this should swap places with #127? Hank was almost fully original! Ray Charles just sang his songs.
Unfair? Maybe. True? Yes.