- Released: February 1, 2008
- Originally Released: 2008
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Reasons To Quit
- 2.You Take Me For Granted
- 3.That's The Way Love Goes
- 4.Are The Good Times Really Over (I Wish A Buck Was Still Silver)
- 5.Big City
- 6.Pancho And Lefty
- 7.Someday When Things Are Good
- 8.What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life)
- 9.My Favorite Memory
- 10.Going Where The Lonely Go
- 11.C.C. Waterback
Personnel includes: Merle Haggard (vocals, guitar); Willie Nelson, George Jones (vocals).
Producers include: Merle Haggard, Chips Moman, Willie Nelson, Ray Baker, Billy Sherrill.
During the '80s, country music took a sharp turn toward the middle of the road. Fiddles, pedal steel guitars and two-steps faded from the genre's sound, to be replaced by heavily processed guitars, electric keyboards, and slow tempos. For a while, Merle Haggard managed to strike a temporary and uneasy truce with the "new sound" that radio required. Throughout the early '80s, Haggard adapted the new style to his art and created a batch of affecting and commercially successful ballads, before a "youth movement" knocked Haggard off the charts for good.
HIS EPIC HITS includes Haggard's most successful '80s recordings, 11 Top Ten hits released between 1981 and 1984. Always a master of the heartfelt ballad, Haggard manages to transform a generic sound into art through sheer force of will and talent. If there's something to be said for the '80s sound, it is that it's so inobtrusive that it focuses attention entirely on the vocals. As a singer, Haggard has few peers, and the melancholy quaver his voice developed as he grew older fits songs like "You Take Me For Granted" and "What Am I Gonna Do (With The Rest Of My Life)" to a tee.