Producers: Ron Bledsoe, David Allan Coe, B. Sherril.
Personnel: David Allan Coe (vocals, guitar).
Liner Note Author: David Allan Coe.
Recording information: 1974-1984.
Photographer: Larry Dixon.
For the Record: The First 10 Years gets a slight edge over its counterpart 17 Greatest Hits, not just because it contains three more songs, but because it gives a greater context for David Allan Coe's achievements. Yes, his redneck tendencies sound a little disturbing to PC-leaning ears, but Coe was a great, unashamed country singer, singing the purest honky-tonk and hardest country of his era, making even Waylon and Willie seem a little conventional. There is an undeniable reactionary streak to his music yet, especially in retrospect, this makes it stronger, since he seems like one of the lone voices fighting for traditional country values. Did he win the fight? Well, in a way, he did, since he created pure, hardcore country, as this set of songs proves. This is Coe at his very best, from covers of "Please Come to Boston" to his trademarks "Longhaired Country," "Willie, Waylon and Me," "Jack Daniels, if You Please," and "Mona Lisa Lost Her Smile." He winds up relying on covers a bit much, but his attitude makes him stand apart from his brethren. He may not be the most original outlaw, but there's none more outlaw than him. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine