Sound — 10
Country music used to be good, believe it or not. There was a time when the genre didn't suffer from a severe lack of originality. People like Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willie Nelson, and of course, the man whose compilation album I am reviewing right now - Merle Haggard. A musician with a style somewhere between Bob Dylan and The Marshall Tucker Band, he has been recording music since the late 1960's. "The Legendary Merle Haggard" is a greatest hits type album, released in 1983. The songs have a surprising range to them, moving through noticeable Folk, Blues and Southern Rock influences, as well as they all are definitely full of nice old-fashioned Country sound.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics, depending on which specific song you're listening to, can be surprisingly good, or else somewhat repetitive, but in terms of how the lyrics go along with the music, I actually found myself enjoying even the couple of songs that have repetitive lyrics, which I have a feeling I would've regarded as annoying under some different circumstances, like if the music wasn't as good. The music on its own is mellow and calm, but has a few sparks of energy scattered throughout, which is kind of cool. Merle Haggard's voice, while not the best in Folk or Country music, does a fine job given the general vibe of the songs on this album.
Overall Impression — 8
Well, I bought this for the simple reason that I knew a few of Merle Haggard's songs from an oldies radio station and none of those songs were on this compilation album. Having heard "The Legendary Merle Haggard" in its entirety, I can honestly say that I really, really wish the songs I already knew were on this album, seeing as how I assume they were hits, after all, they got played on the station a lot. Without the three or four tracks I've heard before, "The Legendary Merle Haggard" is a good compilation album, but definitely not the best it could be. I would give Merle Haggard as a musician a nine, but this album as is, gets an eight.