- Released: February 11, 1997
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
- 1.Texas, 1947
- 2.Desperadoes Waiting for a Train
- 3.Like a Coat from the Cold
- 4.Instant Coffee Blues
- 5.Let Him Roll
- 6.Rita Ballou
- 7.L.A. Freeway
- 8.She Ain't Goin' Nowhere
- 9.A Nickel for the Fiddler
- 10.That Old Time Feeling
- 11.Texas Cookin'
- 12.Anyhow, I Love You
- 13.Virginia's Real
- 14.Broken Hearted People
- 15.Black Haired Boy
- 16.Me I'm Feeling the Same
- 17.The Ballad of Laverne and Captain Flint
- 18.Don't Let the Sunshine Fool You
- 19.The Last Gunfighter Ballad
- 20.Fools for Each Other
Compilation producer: Steve Lindsey.
Digitally remastered by Benny Quinn (Masterfonics, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee).
This is part of RCA Records' The Essential Series.
Personnel: Guy Clark (vocals, guitar).
Recording information: 11/1975-12/1978.
Photographer: Jim McGuire .
In a just world, not every damn fool with an acoustic guitar and the ability to string a few words together would be permitted to release records. In a just world, the term "songwriter" would carry the weight that it's intended to, that is, it would describe someone with the talent, perseverance, and focus to craft songs that live and breathe. In a just world, Guy Clark would be more than an insider's favorite. In a just world, Guy Clark's songs would be unanimously hailed as national treasures.
THE ESSENTIAL GUY CLARK proves why with unhurried masterstrokes. The collection brings together the Texas folk singer's first two albums (OLD NO. 1 and TEXAS COOKIN' respectively) reissued in their entirety. First released in the mid-'70s, Clark's debut is a perfect wonder of rough edges mixed with beauty. Clark invokes a child-like sense of wonder, deathbed ruminations, and doomed love with deceptively simple wordplay and melody. The latter half of the disc, devoted to TEXAS COOKIN', is more lighthearted fare, from the culinary delights of the title track to the jaunty violin ode "Virginia's Real" and the easy rolling sweetness of "Me I'm Feelin' the Same."