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  • The Essential George Jones
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The Essential George Jones Original recording remastered

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, March 28, 2006
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GEORGE GLENN JONES was born in 1931 in the East Texas town of Saratoga. As a kid he sang for tips on the streets of nearby Beaumont. By age 24, he had been married twice, served in the Marines and was a veteran of the Texas honky-tonk circuit. On a recording session in 1955 for Starday Records, producer Pappy Dailey suggested he quit singing like his idols, Lefty Frizzell, Roy Acuff and Hank ... Read more in Amazon's George Jones Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 28, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000EHQ882
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,991 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. No Money In This Deal
2. I'm Ragged But I'm Right
3. Why Baby Why
4. Just One More
5. Color Of The Blues
6. White Lightning
7. Out Of Control
8. You're Still On My Mind
9. The Window Up Above
10. Tender Years
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Grand Tour
2. Once You've Had The Best
3. We Loved It Away
4. The Door
5. These Days (I Barely Get By)
6. Memories Of Us
7. I Just Don't Give A Damn
8. A Drunk Can't Be A Man
9. Stand On My Own Two Knees
10. The Battle
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Behind those piercing eyes is a man who has seen all the pleasures and pitfalls that life has to offer. Lucky for us, he also had incredible talent and the ability to inject pieces of his own life into his music, which made it both easily identifiable and timeless, all at the same time.

Customer Reviews

George, what else needs to be said!
Dennis Llewellyn
This is a great addition to our music collection.
The depth and range of his voice is amazing.
Natalie Brons

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Jim Newsom on May 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
George Jones is the archetypal country singer. Born in a log cabin in east Texas and raised on gospel music in church and Carter Family records at home, he left school at sixteen, married and divorced young, spent a couple of years in the Marines, cut some sides for a small record company, performed with Elvis Presley, boozed, brawled and rode atop the country charts for thirty years.

The Essential George Jones tells his story in music, collecting forty songs recorded between 1954 and 1999, tracing the career of one of the true greats of the genre. Listening to the early sides, we see that Jones started out as a Hank Williams disciple, with the first four tracks sounding more like ol' Hank than young Possum. But as the set progresses, Jones' own distinctive style emerges. Old Rock-n-Rollers will remember "White Lightning" a silly rockabilly novelty hit in 1959, and "The Race is On" from the Beatle summer of 1964, but it's his string of number one country ballads that best defines the Jones legacy. "The Window Up Above," "Tender Years" and the classic "She Thinks I Still Care" defined the sound of Nashville in the early `60s in much the same way that Patsy Cline's records did, with that tinkly Floyd Cramer-style piano in the forefront and full vocal chorus in the background.

Essential has a six-year gap in its chronology, as Legacy was apparently unable to acquire the rights to Jones' output for Musicor Records in the second half of the `60s. But it picks up again with his 1971 duet with third wife Tammy Wynette, the beginning of a particularly fruitful four-year period back at the top.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Paul W. Dennis on May 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This two disc set of 40 songs on the Epic / Legacy Label is an excellent introduction to the career of George Jones. Of course, when you've charted over 160 singles over the course of 50 years, any 40 song set can only scratch at the totality of his career. While I can think of additional songs that I'd like to add to this collection, I can't think of any that are on the set that I'd be willing to delete.

Since this set comes to us from Epic,it naturally focuses most heavily on George's 20 years or so with the label. It does, however, delve into the early catalog of Starday and Mercury recordings, including three songs ("No Money In This Deal", "I'm Ragged But I'm Right" and "Why Baby Why") that date back to the earliest sessions in 1955.

Disc One includes such classics from the Mercury and United Artists years as "White Lightning", "Tender Years","A Girl I Used To Know", "You're Still On My Mind", The Race Is On", "She Thinks I Still Care" and "Window Up Above" plus duets with Melba Montgomery ("We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds") and Tammy Wynette ("Take Me"). The Musicor years are conspicuously missing,probably due to licensing difficulties. The last three songs on Disc One are from the Epic years as are 19 of the 20 songs on Disc Two.

Disc Two can be best described as the best of the Epic years with such classics as "The Grand Tour", "The Door", "Still Doin' Time", "I Always Get Lucky With You", "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)". The post-Epic period is represented only by the Billy Yates-penned classic "Choices", but the end of George Jones as a hit singles artist essentially coincided with his departure from Epic.

Sound quality is excellent

My suspicion is that any listener buying this set as their first George Jones collection, will be pursuing many more George Jones recordings. If so, this is a good place to start the journey
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The mergers and acquisitions that have marked the last decade of the record industry may be concentrating more power in the hands of the few, but it's also making it a lot easier to market multi-label anthologies of long-running artists such as Jones. This 2-CD, 40-track collection surveys nearly all facets of Jones' career, from his early success at Starday, through his breakout sides on Mercury, a stint on United Artists and his long run on Epic. Missing are his late '60s sides for Musicor, which had been licensed for earlier multilabel sets, but were unavailable (or too expensive) this time out. The out-of-print Musicor-focussd "George Jones: 24 Greatest Hits" (on the Tee Vee label) thus makes a nice complement to this set.

Jones' earliest sides find him still in the thrall of honky-tonk legends Hank Williams and Lefty Frizell. His work for Starday and Mercury were hardcore country, honed in the roadhouses of his native East Texas. But by the start of the '60s, at the tail end of his tenure for Mercury, Jones started to find a new voice. On breakthroughs like "She Thinks I Still Care," Jones and his producer shook off a bit of the twang, slowed down the dancehall tempos, and introduced the beginnings of the vocal style that would become his trademark over the next two decades.

The quality of his recordings surged and floundered throughout his hit-making years, alongside his drinking and drugging, but not always in correlation. At turns, the despair of his personal life fueled his performances, at other times it simply overtook him. By the end of the '60s, having left Musicor, he landed at Epic and wrote his legacy large with recordings produced by Billy Sherrill.
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