Original Album: EMI Music Special Markets S21-57000 (1993)
1.The Letter that Johnny Walker Read
2.Bump Bounce Boogie
3.Miles and Miles of Texas
4.(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66
5.Nothin' Takes the Place of You
6.The Trouble With Lovin' Today
7.Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
8.Texas, Me & You
9.Jumpin' at the Woodside
10.We've Gone as Far as We Can Go
The much-traveled Western Swing outfit Asleep at the Wheel spent the latter half of the 1970s recording for Capitol Records (it has since recorded for half a dozen other labels). The band scored its greatest commercial successes during this period, hitting the country Top 40 four times and reaching the Top 10 with "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read." THE BEST OF ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL collects all four of the Capitol hits as well as six fine album tracks recorded during this era.
Those familiar with Asleep at the Wheel will find no surprises here, just premium Western swing with the occasional Tex-Mex and honky-tonk song thrown in. Leader Ray Benson, who sings in a warm baritone, shares lead vocal duties with Chris O'Connell, whose emotive alto counterbalances Benson nicely, especially on heartbreak duets like "The Trouble With Lovin' Today." Most often, though, the band chugs blithely along, laying down tasty licks to accompany its irresistible dance beat.
Someday, perhaps, someone will wade through the licensing nightmare required to compile a definitive Asleep at the Wheel collection. Until that day, collections such as BEST OF will be the best option for those interested in this fine band's history.