Raven's The Quintessential Hank Thompson 1948-1979
covers a lot of ground in a single disc: 30 tracks from 31 years, a testament to Thompson
's longevity as well as the need for a good, concise overview such as this. There have been plenty of Thompson
sets, from Bear Family's exhaustive door stop of a 12-disc box to a variety of single-disc strolls through his back pages, but nothing conveys his consistency like The Quintessential
, which rounds up all the hits from "The Wild Side of Life" to the lived-in, good-natured honky tonk of "Smoky the Bar" and "The Older the Violin, the Sweeter the Music." Of course, with a career as long as Thompson
's there are inevitably many charting hits missing from this set, but all the big hits -- from "Humpty Dumpy Heart" and "Squaws Along the Yukon" to "Six Pack to Go" and "On Tap, in the Can, or in the Bottle" -- are here, making the best introduction to this classic country singer ever assembled.