During his ten years at Capitol Records, Merle Haggard recorded 36 Top Ten hits and numerous chart-topping albums. These recordings, made between 1966 and 1976, established Haggard not only as one of country's most successful artists, but also as one of its most eloquent spokesmen for working-class values. Curb's GREATEST HITS VOLUME 2 includes 10 such hits recorded between 1969 and 1976; the label has also released a VOLUME 1 that covers Haggard's earlier Capitol recordings.
Despite the implied sociopolitical content of many of Haggard's songs of this era, most have aged well. The only exception is "The Fighting Side Of Me," a broadside aimed at '60s youth counterculture. Other songs, including the nostalgic "The Roots Of My Raising" and the POW plaint "I Wonder If They Ever Think Of Me" remain effective, even though the scenarios they evoke are fast becoming distant memories. VOLUME 2 also includes a great cover version of Bob Wills' "Cherokee Maiden" and the classic down-and-outer "Everybody's Had The Blues." Together, the two Curb hits packages offer a solid overview of Merle Haggard's first decade as a superstar.