Liner Note Author: Kira Florita.
Recording information: 04/21/1947-09/23/1952.
It is difficult to complete with Mercury's 1978 two-disc Hank Williams set 40 GREATEST HITS, which set the standard for compilations to follow with its inventive sequencing and superb song selection. GOLD, however, comes mighty close. With 42 tracks spread out over two CDs, digitally remastered sound, and a thick booklet packed with notes and photographs, GOLD is an excellent primer for the Williams novice.
Williams wrote so many incredible songs--so many time-tested paeans to love, loss, joy, loneliness, and heartbreak--that it is impossible to include them all under one cover. But where GOLD is missing such gems as "Nobody's Lonesome for Me" and "Baby We're Really in Love," it includes live tracks, demo rarities like "Please Don't Let Me Love You," stark anthems like "Alone and Forsaken," and two songs that Williams recorded under the name Luke the Drifter. In between are scads of Hank essentials, including "Your Cheatin' Heart," the aching "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love with You)," and "I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive" (one of pop music's great existentialist anthems). If you aren't acquainted with Hank Williams--and even if you are--GOLD is a great bet.