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The Essential Gary Stewart Original recording remastered

4.9 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, February 11, 1997
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Here are 20 gems from Gary's late-'60s-to-early-'80s RCA prime, when he stepped forward as one of the greatest honky-tonk singers and songwriters of his (or any) generation. This is packed with hits: She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles); Out of Hand; Drinkin' Thing; Your Place or Mine; Whiskey Trip; Quits; Mazelle; Brotherly Love , and more!

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In an age when barroom-'n'-cheatin' songs hit country radio program directors' wastebaskets quicker than you can say "Foolin' Around," it's good to remember Gary Stewart. The Kentucky native kicked around for years before breaking big in 1975 with the likes of "Drinkin' Thing," "Out of Hand," and "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)." If anything, those hard-driving plaints were soon eclipsed by the rocking "Your Place or Mine (I Really Don't Care)" and "Ten Years of This" (a bitter soliloquy delivered by a man to his wife on the occasion of their wedding anniversary)--two cuts on which Stewart gives Jerry Lee Lewis himself a run for his money in terms of unhinged vocal artistry. Essential captures all these and more on a generous CD that matches Gram Parsons, if not Hank Williams, for abandon and dark emotional intensity. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 11, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: February 11, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002WZG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,580 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Gary Stewart was one of those artists who seemed stranded between rock & roll and country. Shooting himself after the death of his wife of 40+ years was a great musical loss in 2003. This 1997 anthology opens with a Wayne Carson song. Carson will be remembered for writing the classic "The Letter" as well as "Neon Rainbow" & "Soul Deep" that were hits for the pop band The Box Tops in the 60s. Appropriately, "Drinkin' Thing" is a last call anthem filled with pedal steel teardrops, "It's a lonely thing, but it's the only thing to keep a foolish man in love hanging on." Stewart's big seller "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)" is another Wayne Carson song filled with heartbreak, "My heart is breaking like the tiny bubbles." Michael Murphy's song "Backsliders' Wine" that was also recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker highlights Stewart's excellent way of filling the lyric with emotion, "Fight for your rights, but don't just fight for right." Gary's own song "Single Again" is another hardluck romantic weeper with Gary's great snarl, "Last I heard a little while back, you were cruising town in his Cadillac." On Danny O'Keefe's "Quits," Stewart's voice has a vibrato that makes him sound like a man on the edge. On Wayne Carson's "Oh, Sweet Temptation" Stewart's voice trembles, "I look into your bedroom eyes & Lord, I want to stay." Gary's voice bursts with lustful emotion on the crowd pleaser "Your Place or Mine." Stewart mines Carson's catalog again on "Whiskey Trip," "Lovin' her with every sip, I'm just like a sailing ship." On of my favorite tracks is the rocking "Mazelle," "Who's going to star in your movie, Mazelle, who'll play the big shot in your scene? Will it be him or me on your silver screen?" "Cactus & a Rose" was my first Gary Stewart album.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Although he'd not been recording since the time he was on Hightone, the material he recorded for RCA, such as the stuff collected on here, is the prime stuff and is the material that holds the legacy of his career. Gary unfortunately didn't have that many huge hits that charted in the top 10, only 3 of his 13 top 40 hits peaked in the top 10, "Drinkin' Thing" (#10 in 1974), "Out of Hand" (#4 in 1974), and his only #1 hit from 1975, "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)." Although not all of his charted hits are on here, the majority of his hits are on this 20 song disc and among the other major hits on this package include "Quits," "Ten Years of This," "Your Place Or Mine," "Single Again," "Whiskey Trip," "Oh Sweet Temptation," all of this stuff is classic and as all great music does, it stands the test of time and the stuff that didn't chart is classic material and is equally as good as the hits. Unfortunately Gary committed suicide a few hours ago at his home in Florida, but if you don't have at least this CD which contains a great selection of his best work, pick it up right now.
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Format: Audio CD
Nothing short of perfect, Gary Stewart gave us EXCELLENT music in his time. The crud today can't even come close...
Gary will make you cry, make you feel pain, make you feel so many emotions, it's as powerful as music can get. Get this and see what all the buzz is about...
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GARY STEWART IS ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC VOICES THAT COUNTRY MUSIC HAS EVER KNOWN. HAVING FOLLOWED HIS MUSIC FOR YEARS, THIS ALBUM IS A COMPILATION OF THE BEST OF ALL HIS WORK. I HAD THE PLEASURE AS A COUNTRY ENTERTAINER MYSELF TO WORK WITH GARY A COUPLE OF TIMES. THIS ALBUM TRULY DISPLAYS THE SAME GREATNESS,THE ONE OF A KIND VOICE, AND THE SOUL FELT VOCALS THAT I HAD HEARD WHEN I SHARED THE STAGE WITH HIM IN NASHVILLE. GARY IS GONE NOW...BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. HE WAS THE GREATEST!
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I first became aquainted with Gary Stewart's music while a boy in the late 70's and early 80', as my father was a big fan. While I enjoyed all types of music, Stewart's voice and the way he expressed himself through song was something special. It reached out and grabbed me. Many people (including myself) feel that "Out of Hand" - Stewart's 1975 classic is one of the top ten albums of any genre ever made. Whether listening to the catchy "She's Acting Single" or the haunting ballad of marital misery "Ten Years of This" Stewart makes you feel like he has lived each and every song. A side note: Listen to songs like "Whiskey Trip" and "Drinking Thing" in moderation and while isolated from alcohol. If anyone played this album at an AA meeting, the program's success rate would plummet. This album, along with The Essential Keith Whitley are musts for any country music collection. Now if someone would reissue such Gary Stewart classic songs like "Case of the Blue Ribbon Blues", "I Had To Get Drunk Last Night" and "Leah" a fan could have a true Gary Stewart collection (I have the others on LP). I wish I knew what Gary was up to nowadays.
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Format: Audio CD
The "essential" Gary Stewart is basically EVERYTHING he recorded for RCA under the guidance of Roy Dea. This album gives a reasonable overview of Gary's stint with RCA but leaves out so much excellent material that one could be forgiven for feeling a little short-changed with this album. Stewart is THE greatest honky-tonk singer of all time and if the reader hasn't yet discovered his full repetoire go directly to the CD store and get all you can afford. Start with the two-fer "Out Of Hand"/"Your Place Or Mine". The former is the best honky-tonk album ever released and the latter is one of the best rock & roll/country albums out there. The other two-fer, "Steppin' Out"/"Little Junior" is maybe a little inferior to the "Hand" one but still head and shoulders above any competition. His other RCA albums ("Gary" and "Cactus and a Rose") are available on a harder-to-find two-fer but are well worth seeking out. Get these six albums and THEN you have the "Essential" Gary Stewart. His Hightone albums are good but not really in the same class as the RCA stuff so start with the RCA material and then alight the staircase to honky-tonk heaven.
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