Spiritual heir to Gram Parsons, Yoakam was a similarly-transplanted southerner who fetched up in Los Angeles, riding the tip of the early-’80s new country swell. As honky tonk rocker, his sound was tougher than Parsons (“Guitars, Cadillacs”, “Please, Please Baby”) but equally as devastating when taking it slow (“I Sang Dixie”).
Compressing the Reprise years onto just one disc is fraught?nothing from 1995’s excellent Gone album, and why bother with the naff hicksterism of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”? ? but the inclusion of the 1988 Buck Owens duet “Streets Of Bakersfield” partly redeems this misnomered collection.