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20 of Hank Williams' Greatest Hits CD

4.8 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, October 6, 1997
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Frequently Bought Together

  • 20 of Hank Williams' Greatest Hits
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The magic of his voice itself beats out any price, but this 20-track collection of Hank's most important work is practically a steal!

Amazon.com

Hank 101. Country 101. After 27 years in print as 24 Greatest Hits, Mercury kindly reduced it to 20 Greatest Hits. It's still excellent value, and it's still sobering to realize that Hank recorded just 66 songs during his lifetime, almost all of them essential. Here are those that serve as a working definition of country music, and as an admonition to artists who try to get too wordy or try to lose themselves in minor keys. "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Honky-Tonk Blues," "Cold, Cold Heart," "Lovesick Blues," "You Win Again," "I Can't Help It," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," and the rest. Fifty years later, they still have the power to move, and the power to shape modern country music. --Colin Escott
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 6, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mercury Nashville
  • ASIN: B000001EWA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #31,820 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael A. Beyer on April 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Hank Williams, Sr. stands as one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century. Just look at the diverse number of artists who have covered his music -- from Ray Charles to Elvis Costello to even George Thorogood (whose version of "Move It On Over" is absolutely outstanding). There isn't a bad cut in this 20-song collection, and the chord progressions on some songs (like "Lovesick Blues") are amazingly sophisticated.
There's no doubt that Hank Williams is pure country. However, it doesn't matter if you're coming to this album straight from your collection of Beck and Radiohead CDs -- the great songs stick with you after just a few listens. I think Williams should be considered one of the immortal composers of this century, and should stand alongside names like George Gershwin, Jimmie Rodgers, Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Neil Young. These men cannot be pigeonholed into neat and tidy genres. Put plain, they are all great songwriters.
I've been getting deeper and deeper into country/American music since the day I walked into a used CD shop and purchased Gram Parsons' two classic solo albums and Elvis' Sun sessions. Of course, you can't begin on this road of C&W musical exploration without stopping to listen to a little Hank Williams.
The first thing that hit me about "Greatest Hits" was the raw emotion of Hank's voice, and the stark, weather-beaten honesty of his music. But the main thing that comes across, time and time again, is the superior craftsmanship of the songs.
"Essential" is such an overused word these days, but the adjective absolutely applies to this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Ok, so you don't want to spring for a two CD set on Hank? Well, kudos to Mercury (yes, some might find it strange I say that) for giving casual fans a one disc set that cuts it down to the nitty-gritty, can't live without selections Hank recorded. This is all you need to find out about Hank if you're new to Hank. I must agree with Colin Escott when he says Country 101. This is the definitive intro to the man who made a lasting effect on country music as we know it. Some of this music is over 50 years old, but it still sounds modern and undated. Kudos to Kira Florita & Colin Escott for giving casual fans the perfect intro disc.
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Format: Audio CD
This is definitely worth 10 stars-all of Hank's major hits are here. A great collection for those who only need 1 cd of the big hits. Between his heartfelt songwriting and that wonderful voice with the teardrop in it, this man proved himself to be a colossal talent right up to his untimely death at 29. Anyone who's made it big in country music, male or female, owes a debt of gratitude to Hank Williams. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Naturally, this is a great disc. However, to really get a grasp on the greatness of Hank Williams, you, at least, need to own "40 Greatest Hits". "20 Greatest Hits" is just not enough. When this was originally an LP in was, at least, "24 Greatest Hits". Sadly, "40 Greatest Hits" is out of print, why I do not know. Nevertheless, you can get it used on Amazon. In all reality, if you are willing to spend a little bit more money, you need to get the three disc set "Hank Williams Original Singles Collection". You get every thing Hank ever recorded that was not a duet or poem. Plus, you get several essential demos. This is, with out a doubt, the best box set ever. "The Complete Hank Williams" is great but too costly for the casual fan. It contains all that "Original Singles" contains, all of the demos and most of the radio performances. As well, as the poems and duets with his wife.
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By A Customer on October 29, 1998
Format: Audio CD
I am not a country music fan. This album, however, is an example of a singer-songwriter long before Tori Amos or James Taylor. Hank wrote songs that have been recorded by numerous others, for one reason--they are ground-breaking and continue to sound fresh and sincere. Unlike so much of the country music today, Hank's search was not for the perfect cliche, rather, for a sound as honest as his lyrics. Because of this, his album is a must for the audiophile, as it has shaped music to this day.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember Hank. He could not write a bad song if he tried. The majority of his songs were about life, love and living. Often I saw myself in his songs.

To me, this collection is the best-of-the-best of Hank. If you like a good love song that tells a story, you will love this CD -- all 20 songs.

Dorothy W. Rossa

Chicago, Illinois
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Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to country music ever since I was 10 yrs old, and after all this time there is'nt a country singer, past or present, that is big enough to carry hank williams guitar.
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Format: Audio CD
I am 31 - but grew up on country music. I love all music - but especially older country music. I love Hank senior Johnny Cash etc. This CD is one of my very best purchases ever. I have a large music collection. If you enjoy his music -this is a must buy. Don't think twice. The best music is a souls essence released in song.
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