John Anderson "John Anderson" (Warner Brothers, 1980)

John Anderson "John Anderson 2" (Warner Brothers, 1981)
(Produced by Norro Wilson)

Anderson might have hit a slight sophmore slump on this disc, but it's still so damn good you could hardly tell. This disc kicks off with his fine version of Billy Joe Shaver's "I'm Just An Old Lump Of Coal," as deserving a hit as any hard country song ever recorded. From there he moves on to a solid rendition of the old Lefty Frizzell tearjerker, "I Love You A Thousand Ways," effectively marking out his turf as the next, best honkytonker since George and Merle started to mellow... The rest of Side One doesn't really go anywhere; the songs are fine, but unmemorable... It's on Side Two were the unexpected gems reside. "Makin' Love And Makin' Out" and the smooth, sublime "Motel With No Phone" are two non-hit album tracks that make this still-on-vinyl-only oldie worth owning... Sure, these great twang tunes are followed by the monotonous pseudo-trucker novelty tune, "Chicken Truck," which was one of Anderson's lesser hits, but things pick up again with a fine barroom ballad, "The Same Old Girl," and the closer, a nice, languid weeper that was cowritten by the late Dave Kirby. All in all, as solid a hard country album as you could hope for in these modern times. Recommended!

John Anderson "I Just Came Home To Count The Memories" (Warner Brothers, 1981)

John Anderson "Wild & Blue" (Warner Brothers, 1982)

John Anderson "All The People Are Talkin' " (Warner Brothers, 1983)

John Anderson "Eye Of A Hurricane" (Warner Brothers, 1984)

John Anderson "Tokyo, Oklahoma" (Warner Brothers, 1985)

John Anderson "Countrified" (Warner Brothers, 1986)

John Anderson "Blue Skies Again" (MCA, 1987)

John Anderson "10" (MCA, 1989)

John Anderson "Too Tough To Tame" (Capitol, 1990)

John Anderson "Seminole Wind" (BNA, 1992)

John Anderson "Solid Ground" (BNA, 1993)

John Anderson "Christmas Time" (BNA, 1994)

John Anderson "Country 'Til I Die" (BNA, 1994)
(Produced by John Anderson & James Stroud)

John Anderson "Paradise" (BMG-BNA, 1996)
(Produced by John Anderson & James Stroud)

John Anderson "Takin' The Country Back" (Mercury, 1997)
(Produced by Keith Stegall)

John Anderson "Nobody's Got It All" (Columbia, 2001)
(Produced by Blake Chancey & Paul Worley)

John Anderson "Nobody's Got It All" (Columbia, 2001)

John Anderson "Easy Money" (Warner/Raybaw, 2007)

John Anderson "Bigger Hands" (Country Crossing, 2009)

John Anderson "Goldmine" (Bayou Boys Music Group, 2015)


John Anderson "Greatest Hits" (Warner Brothers, 1984)
Some of the best honkytonk hits recorded in the late '70s and early '80s. I really love Anderson's smoky, smooth vocals, as well as his perfect pitch for picking and performing hard country gems. He's had real soul, a great band, and plenty of totally killer material to work with. Sure, Moe Bandy was around, too, but Anderson's picture oughta be placed in the Country encylopedia under any entry on "neotraditional" artists: he really defined the style, and did it better than pretty much anyone else. These best-ofs, particularly the first volume, are both highly recommended (although if you can pick up the original albums, they're even better!)

John Anderson "Greatest Hits, Volume Two" (Warner Brothers, 1990)

John Anderson "Anthology" (Audium, 2003)
Okay, here's the deal: This is actually a pseudo-best of that features two CDs worth of re-recorded versions of Anderson oldies, running from his "Old Chunk of Coal"/"1959" Warner classics, to his later hits on BNA. It would have been great if this was really the multi-label best-of that his work cries out for, but even so, it's still pretty good. Anderson's voice is still a delight to hear, and his heart's all country. Worth checking out, even if the packaging is a bit misleading. I didn't keep my copy, though.

John Anderson "Greatest Hits" (BNA, 1996)
This collection covers a later phase of Anderson's career, his early 1990s work for BNA, where some newfangled glossy production overtook and kinda buried his growly honkytonk. In general, it's not as satisfying as the old stuff, but the guy is still more fun to listen to than most of the clone-ish pretty boys that have cluttered Nashville the last few decades. I dig the sound of Anderson's voice, though the material he's singing on here is pretty weak.


Hick Music Index

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