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Best of Joe Ely Original recording remastered


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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

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listen  1. She Never Spoke Spanish To Me 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Suckin' A Big Bottle Of Gin 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Tennessee's Not The State I'm In 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Boxcars 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown 2:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Honky Tonk Masquerade 3:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. West Texas Waltz 5:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Fools Fall In Love 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Standin' At The Big Hotel 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Musta Notta Gotta Lotta 2:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Dallas 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Fingernails (Live In London) 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Long Snake Moan (Live In London) 5:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Cool Rockin' Loretta 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Settle For Love 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Me And Billy The Kid 3:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. If You Were A Bluebird (Live) 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Letter To Laredo 4:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Roll Again 5:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. All Just To Get To You 4:16$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Mca Nashville
  • ASIN: B000051Y1M
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,185 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

As admired as this Texas songwriter is in both the rock and country worlds, it's amazing that this is his first retrospective. Amazing, but true-here are 20 tracks from 12 1977-1998 albums, including tales of heartbreak ( Fools Fall in Love ), outlaws ( Letter to Laredo ), philosophy ( Roll Again ) and boozin' ( Suckin' a Big Bottle of Gin ), with flashes of blues, hard country and rockabilly. Long overdue.

Amazon.com

He's never had a Top 10 single, none of his albums have gone platinum, and yet Joe Ely has carved a unique--and influential--niche for himself during nearly 25 years as a solo performer, most of them spent on MCA. His incomparable stories overflow with humanity and humor, not to mention an idiosyncratic West Texas perspective. He was "alt country" before the genre existed and can be justly credited as a fountainhead of that movement. This generously programmed set may not matter to hardcore Elyphiles who have everything he recorded. To the newcomer, however, these 20 songs--dating back to his first MCA album (Joe Ely, 1977) and ending with his last (Twistin' in the Wind, 1998)--are a compelling introduction, the music reflecting Texas's rich musical stew. Numbers like "She Never Spoke Spanish to Me" and "Me and Billy the Kid" wear well, and the inclusion of material from his two stunning live albums for MCA (Live Shots, 1980, and Live at Liberty Lunch, 1990) conveys his onstage presence. One may always quibble with selections on best-ofs, but short of a box set, this is an effective first look at his enduring vision. --Rich Kienzle

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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An ardent fan.
John Walsh
In 1972 Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore recorded their only album together as the Flatlanders and the album went nowhere.
Steve Vrana
Ely's unique style of Country, Rock, Blues and Tex-Mex lends his songs a unique flavor.
T. C Lane

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 5, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is the first domestically released Joe Ely anthology, and the only one to cover everything from his 1977 self-titled debut through 1998's Twistin' In the Wind. If you're unfamiliar with this Texas country-rocker, this is an excellent place to start.
In 1972 Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore recorded their only album together as the Flatlanders and the album went nowhere. But over the next three decades each artist has garnered critical praise as a solo performer, though none has achieved more than cult status with the record buying public. Between the three of them, they wrote all but "Long Snake Moan" taken from Live Shots recorded while Ely was the opening act for the Clash. Though they don't perform with Ely on record, Hancock wrote eight of these songs, including "She Never Spoke Spanish To Me," "Suckin' a Big Bottle of Gin" and the wonderful "West Texas Waltz," and Gilmore wrote "Dallas" and co-wrote "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown."
Ely is also an excellent songwriter as well, penning "Fingernails" (the greatest song Jerry Lee Lewis never wrote!), "Me and Billy the Kid" and "All Just To Get to You." Ely's first two albums (represented by the first seven tracks) are an exciting blend of country, rock, honky-tonk and Tex-Mex. Steel guitar player Lloyd Maines provides much of the band's muscle along with Ponty Bone on accordian on the second album. By the release of his 1981 album, Ely was more rock than country and Live Shots which came out the same year is an amazing live album. Ely didn't release another album until 1984's Hi-Res, where he virtually abandoned any connection to country music.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By T. C Lane on November 29, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This is Joe Ely's first compilation in the US. It covers all his MCA albums as well as one song from a 1987 HighTone release. Ely's unique style of Country, Rock, Blues and Tex-Mex lends his songs a unique flavor. A great songwriter he also is smart enough to use the talents of equally fine songwriters like Butch Hancock "Tennessee's Not The State", and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, "Dallas", on his albums. Hancock, Gilmore and Ely were members of the legendary Flatlanders, who made one classic album in 1972 (in print called "More A Legend Than A Band" on Rounder Records). At 20 songs and 78 minutes this is a great introduction to anyone who has a passing interest in Ely's music. But it also will serve the Ely fan. No, there are no new songs or unreleased tracks here, but it does a fine job of wrapping up Ely's 23 years of solo work. One could always quibble: I miss "Jericho" from 1978's Honky Tonk Masquerade and either one of his 2 Robert Earl Keen covers from 1992's Love and Danger: "Road Goes on Forever" or "Whenever Kindness Fails", but those are minor omissions. And besides those songs are on Ely's 3 best studio albums, which are all in print: Joe Ely (77), Honky Tonk Masquerade (78) and Love and Danger (92). Those 3 albums plus this compilation filling in the gaps are essential in starting your Ely solo collection. With fine up-to-the-minute liner notes by John Morthland and good, clear sound, this turns out to be one of 2000's best reissues.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cowboy on the Ocean on November 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Joe Ely has truly become a full blown music legend - and not just in West Texas, but all over. His unique sound, with Texas influence, will only leave you wanting to hear more and more, again and again.

No matter if he is singing with the Flatlanders, Butch Hancock, or by himself, Ely will never fail to create a music masterpiece - and this album is proof of that. I own enough "Greatest Hits" albums to know that the not all the songs are truly "Great."

However, that is simply not the case here with Joe Ely. While some will have their favorites, all will listen to every song on the CD and never had the desire to skip any song. If you are new to Joe Ely or a long time fan, this is a must own CD for you.
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9 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Texas' Joe Ely has pumped out 14 albums of material since he made his debut in 1977. But as this latent collection of his greatest illustrates, his best stuff was recorded early on with chief songsmith Butch Hancock on board. Songs plucked from the first four albums dazzle with crackerjack playing, muscular vocals and a goldmine of material (Suckin' a Big Bottle of Gin, Tennessee's Not the State I'm In, West Texas Waltz, Standing at the Big Hotel) straight from Hancock's pen. Even Ely, unpressured, was able to dash off the sporadic gem (Honky Tonk Masquerade, Fingernails). But only the deaf will miss the stylistic decline which set in after Hancock bolted in 1981. Forced to rely on his own material, Ely's focused changed and the spark in the studio all but disappeared. Only a rousing live version of Hancock's If You Were a Bluebird, recorded in 1990, makes the case for any late-career relevancy and only then because Ely's true value is the work he does on stage.
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By 1tune on July 1, 2014
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
It's All Good!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first volume of Joe Ely's greatest hits. Some exremely well sung songs by this master with my ffavorite "ME AND BILLY THE KID"
No one does it better that Joe Ely An artist that never dominated popular radio but delivers songs of such power and relevence that
the listener will be carried away. Long life to you Joe Ely and continue your marvellous work. An ardent fan.

John Walsh
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