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50 Golden Greats: The Complete Early Years

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Patsy Cline 3/21/2006

Review

Although Patsy Cline recorded a tremendous amount of material in her short (a little under eight years) recording career, her legacy rests with her early-'60s material, when her timeless versions of songs like "I Fall to Pieces" and "Crazy" helped define the shift in country music to a more pop direction. Her recordings prior to 1960, though, were something else again, and with the exception of 1956's "Walkin' After Midnight" and perhaps one or two other songs, she seemed reined in and stifled as a singer, even though she was working with the same producer, Owen Bradley, who was to produce her 1960s successes. Oh the difference a song makes, because in the end the material she recorded between 1955 and 1960 -- all of which is collected on these two discs -- was simply too weak for Cline to turn into anything resembling gold, even with her obvious vocal skills. She had signed an unusually restrictive contract in 1955 with Bill McCall's 4 Star publishing company, a contract that gave McCall complete control over what songs she could record, and he only allowed her to track songs from 4 Star's publishing catalog. Few of 4 Star's songs rose above the average, and not even a voice and delivery like Cline's could do much with them. The more pop-oriented "Walkin' After Midnight," written by 4 Star staff writer Don Hecht, is the obvious exception, and there are a couple of other tunes like "A Church, a Courtroom, and Then Goodbye" and "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray" where Cline was nearly able to turn straw into silk, but as a rule, her 4 Star tracks sound muted, uninspired, and -- at best -- utterly ordinary. When the prohibitive contract expired in 1960 and Cline was free to choose her own material, her star rose rapidly. A set like this one is valuable for the historic and archival value of having all of Cline's 4 Star tracks in one place, but as a listening experience, it does her no favors. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Hidin' Out Patsy Cline 2:14
  3. 2 Turn the Cards Slowly Patsy Cline 3:6
  4. 3 A Church, a Courtroom, and Then Goodbye Patsy Cline 2:24
  5. 4 Honky Tonk Merry Go Round Patsy Cline 2:20
  6. 5 I Love You, Honey Patsy Cline 2:5
  7. 6 Come on In (And Make Yourself at Home) Patsy Cline 2:26
  8. 7 I Cried All the Way to the Altar Patsy Cline 2:24
  9. 8 Stop, Look and Listen Patsy Cline 2:36
  10. 9 I've Loved and Lost Again Patsy Cline 2:32
  11. 10 Dear God Patsy Cline 2:20
  12. 11 He Will Do for You Patsy Cline 2:31
  13. 12 Walkin' After Midnight Patsy Cline 2:31
  14. 13 The Heart You Break May Be Your Own Patsy Cline 2:16
  15. 14 Pick Me Up on Your Way Down Patsy Cline 2:42
  16. 15 A Poor Man's Riches (Or a Rich Man's Gold) Patsy Cline 2:35
  17. 16 Today, Tomorrow and Forever Patsy Cline 2:45
  18. 17 Fingerprints Patsy Cline 2:25
  19. 18 A Stranger in My Arms Patsy Cline 2:25
  20. 19 Don't Ever Leave Me Again Patsy Cline 1:56
  21. 20 Try Again Patsy Cline 2:15
  22. 21 Too Many Secrets Patsy Cline 3:9
  23. 22 Then You'll Know Patsy Cline 2:13
  24. 23 Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray Patsy Cline 2:26
  25. 1 That Wonderful Someone Patsy Cline 2:28
  26. 2 In Care of the Blues Patsy Cline 2:33
  27. 3 Hungry for Love Patsy Cline 2:28
  28. 4 I Can't Forget Patsy Cline 2:25
  29. 5 I Don't Wanta Patsy Cline 2:20
  30. 6 Ain't No Wheels on This Ship (We Can't Roll) Patsy Cline 1:54
  31. 7 Stop the World (And Let Me Off) Patsy Cline 2:25
  32. 8 Walking Dream Patsy Cline 2:15
  33. 9 Cry Not for Me Patsy Cline 2:28
  34. 10 If I Could See the World (Through the Eyes of a Child) Patsy Cline 2:52
  35. 11 Just Out of Reach Patsy Cline 2:28
  36. 12 I Can See an Angel Patsy Cline 2:21
  37. 13 Come on In (And Make Yourself at Home) Patsy Cline 1:51
  38. 14 Let the Teardrops Fall Patsy Cline 2:32
  39. 15 Never No More Patsy Cline 2:33
  40. 16 If I Could Only Stay Asleep Patsy Cline 2:35
  41. 17 I'm Moving Along Patsy Cline 2:4
  42. 18 I'm Blue Again Patsy Cline 2:8
  43. 19 Love, Love, Love Me Honey Do Patsy Cline 2:2
  44. 20 Yes, I Understand Patsy Cline 2:46
  45. 21 Gotta Lot of Rhythm in My Soul Patsy Cline 2:20
  46. 22 Life's Railway to Heaven Patsy Cline 2:51
  47. 23 Just a Closer Walk with Thee Patsy Cline 2:47
  48. 24 Lovesick Blues Patsy Cline 2:17
  49. 25 How Can I Face Tomorrow Patsy Cline 2:14
  50. 26 There He Goes Patsy Cline 2:24
  51. 27 Crazy Dreams Patsy Cline 2:31

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