David Allan Coe got a good jumpstart on the whole 1970s country outlaw thing... For one thing, while Johnny Cash was going to San Quentin and Folsom to sing to the convicts, Coe had actually been in prison (although there has been some controversy about the nature of his crimes and the severity of his sentences...) and his first album, the independently released Penitentiary Blues, was an outlaw-themed set that came out in 1969, when the Waylon and Willie were just starting to free themselves from the corporate grip of mainstream Nashville.

Still, I've never quite bought into Coe's bad-boy self-mythologizing and self-promotion, although he sure has written a bunch of great songs. It's only late in life that I've come to realize that I may have him a little confused in my mind with Johnny Paycheck, but stuff like that happens. Anyway, here's a look at Coe and his career... And there sure are a lot of records you can check out!


Best-Ofs & Collections

David Allan Coe "17 Greatest Hits" (Sony, 1978)


David Allan Coe "For The Record: The First Ten Years" (Columbia, 1984)
Oh, sure, he actually went to jail and all, but in creative terms, David Allan Coe was a bit of a poseur, riding on the country "outlaw" coattails of Waylon and Willie and the boys... One sure sign is the high proportion of name-dropping songs he started out with (i.e. "Willie and Waylon and Me"... yeah, as IF!). But, that being said, he was my kinda outlaw poseur... He still made a bunch of hella catchy, fun, faux-rowdy redneck novelty tunes, and this collection is chock full of the best. "Jack Daniels, If You Please" is irresistible, and his version of Steve Goodman's "You Never Even Called Me By My Name" is a high water mark for country music -- any kind of country! Once he had a smash hit with "Take This Job And Shove It" in 1978, though, the writing was on the wall. As soon as he became a star in his own right, his music took a major-league nosedive. Muy mal. But hey, this collection of early stuff is definitely worth having.


David Allan Coe "The Essential David Allan Coe" (Sony, 2004)


David Allan Coe "Ultimate Collection" (Madacy, 2005)


David Allan Coe "Playlist: The Very Best Of..." (Sony Legacy, 2008)




Twofers

David Allan Coe "Castles In The Sand/Once Upon A Rhyme"


David Allan Coe "Longhaired Redneck/Rides Again"


David Allan Coe "Tattoo/Family Album"


David Allan Coe "Human Emotions/Spectrum VII"


David Allan Coe "Compass Point/I've Got Something To Say"


David Allan Coe "Invictus (Means) Unconquered/Tennessee Whiskey"


David Allan Coe "Rough Rider/DAC"


David Allan Coe "Castles In The Sand/Hello In There"


David Allan Coe "Just Divorced/Darlin' Darlin' "


David Allan Coe "Unchained/Son Of The South"




Albums

David Allan Coe "Penitentiary Blues" (SSS Int., 1969)


David Allan Coe "Requiem For A Harlequin" (SSS Int., 1970)


David Allan Coe "The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy" (1974)


David Allan Coe "Once Upon A Rhyme" (1974)


David Allan Coe "Longhaired Redneck" (1976)


David Allan Coe "David Allan Coe Rides Again" (1977)


David Allan Coe "Texas Moon" (1977)


David Allan Coe "Tattoo" (1977)


David Allan Coe "Buckstone County Prison" (1978)


David Allan Coe "Family Album" (1978)


David Allan Coe "Nothing Sacred" (DAC, 1978)
Obscene songs from Mr. Coe, with poetic gems such as "Linda Lovelace," "Pussy Whipped Again," "Cum Stains On The Pillow," and "Fu*k Anita Bryant..." An old-fashioned blue record for new-fangled rednecks.


David Allan Coe "Human Emotions" (1978)


David Allan Coe "Compass Point" (1979)


David Allan Coe "Spectrum VII" (1979)


David Allan Coe "I've Got Something To Say" (1980)


David Allan Coe "Encore" (1981)


David Allan Coe "Invictus (Means) Unconquered" (1981)


David Allan Coe "Tennessee Whiskey" (1981)


David Allan Coe "DAC" (1982)


David Allan Coe "Rough Rider" (1982)


David Allan Coe "Underground Album" (DAC, 1982)


David Allan Coe "Castles In The Sand" (1983)


David Allan Coe "Hello In There" (1983)


David Allan Coe "Just Divorced" (1984)


David Allan Coe "Darlin', Darlin' " (1985)


David Allan Coe "Unchained" (1985)


David Allan Coe "Son Of The South" (1986)


David Allan Coe "A Matter Of Life And Death" (1987)


David Allan Coe "I Love Country" (1987)


David Allan Coe "Crazy Daddy" (Columbia, 1989)


David Allan Coe "1990 Songs For Sale" (1990)


David Allan Coe "Standing Too Close To The Flames" (1994)


David Allan Coe "Johnny Cash Is A Friend Of Mine" (King, 1998)


David Allan Coe "Recommended For Airplay" (Sony-Lucky Dog, 1999)


David Allan Coe "Long Haired Country Boy" (King, 2000)


David Allan Coe "Songwriter Of The Tear" (Cleveland International, 2001) *
(Produced by David Allan Coe)

Clearly ravaged by the passage of time, Coe's voice sure ain't what it used to be... On the opening track, "Deperate Man," it sounds so thin, you'd think a teenager was singing, hardly the deep rumble of years gone by... There are some good songs on here -- notably the boozing ballad, "Drink Canada Dry" and a weeper called "The Walls In This House Are Too Thin" -- and a lot of stuff that's pretty negligible. It's hard to sort one from the other, though, since the production is generally pretty bad as well. Just sort of obvious and by-the-numbers. On the whole, you can probably skip this record unless you're a really devoted fan.


David Allan Coe "Country And Western" (King, 2002)


David Allan Coe "Sings Merle Haggard" (King, 2002)


David Allan Coe "Whoopsy Daisy" (Coe Pop, 2002)


David Allan Coe "Live From The Iron Horse: Biketoberfest '01" (Coe Pop, 2002)


David Allan Coe "Sings Johnny Cash's Biggest Hits" (King/Gusto, 2003)


David Allan Coe "Live At Billy Bob's Texas" (Smith Music, 2003)


David Allan Coe "All I'll Ever Be" (2005)


David Allan Coe "For The Soul And For The Mind: Demos Of '71-'74" (Coe Pop, 2005)


David Allan Coe & Pantera "Rebel Meets Rebel" (Big Vin, 2006)




Links

Wikipedia has a nice profile and a not-quite complete discography page, too...




Hick Music Index



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