Faron Young

Walk Tall: The Mercury Hit Singles 1963-1975

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When Faron Young left Capitol in 1962 after the expiration of his contract, he had, in ten years, racked 41 Top 40 country hits. Beginning in 1963, with a strange knockoff of Marty Robbins' "El Paso," Young began a run of 39 more hits for Mercury over the next 12 years. In 22 years, Young had scored a total of 80 country hits -- all but one in the Top 40. This set of Mercury material may not be as raw and hillbilly as the earlier Capitol stuff, but it does sound a bit more woolly than his final Capitol sides. Countrypolitan was all the rage in the 1960s, and remained so until outlaw music made its mark on the charts in 1974. Young, continuing to write his own songs and record only the choicest by other composers, offered a different voice than his early Hank Williams-inflected one. His baritone was rich and warm and full of sentiment and dreamy texture, as can be heard on "Yellow Bandana," "You'll Drive Me Back (Into Her Arms Again)," "This Little Girl of Mine," and "She Went a Bit Farther," as well as honky tonk stompers such as "Wine Me Up," "It's Four in the Morning," "Keeping Up With the Joneses" with Margie Singleton, "Here I Am in Dallas," and "Your Time's Comin'." Young never completely lost the hard country edge in his sound, despite the layers of strings and backing vocalists. His delivery remained passionate, direct, and soulful. And while this material may not have the raw punch some of the other music did, it has a breadth and depth few country singers with the possible exception of Robbins and Ray Price could get next to, let alone copy. This is an excellent representation of Young's time spent with Mercury, and for novices who are curious, The Complete Capitol Hits of Faron Young on Collector's Choice and this 24-track volume will provide virtually everything you will ever need. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi