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Buck Owens

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Album Review

This is a reissue of Buck's debut album, originally issued on Capitol in 1961. Featuring Owens' early development of the Bakersfield sound (the classic Buckaroos lineup had yet to be assembled and Don Rich is only listed as the fiddle player on "Excuse Me (I Think I've Got a Heartache)"), this opening salvo sports his early hits "Above and Beyond," "Under Your Spell Again," and "Second Fiddle." This 14-track reissue also sports two extra bonus tracks in addition to the original album, "High as the Mountain" (a 1961 single) and the first recorded version of "Nobody's Fool But Yours," originally issued on a Capitol country compilation. Transfers are astonishingly crisp and clear, showing producer Ken Nelson's touch to good advantage. The sound that became the legend starts right here.

Customer Reviews

This debut album spotlights the hard-edged honky tonk sound that Buck had honed in the clubs.

Long before the silver sparkle Telecasters and “Hee-Haw,” Buck Owens was trodding the boards of Bakersfield bar stages, paying his dues and winning fans one twang at a time. Released on January 30, 1961, Buck Owens’ self-titled debut LP marked the start of his long, unprecedented career as a recording artist for Capitol Records. Bolstered by four charting singles- “Second Fiddle,” “Under Your Spell Again,” “Above and Beyond” and “Excuse Me (I Think I’ve Got a Heartache)”- the album spotlights the hard-edged honky tonk sound that Buck had honed in the clubs. Featuring Buck on electric guitar, Ralph Mooney on steel guitar, studio fiddler Jelly Sanders and future Buckaroo Don Rich, also on fiddle, Buck Owens is a startlingly mature debut album. In addition to the four hit singles and eight original album tracks, this painstakingly remastered reissue also contains two rare bonus tracks: “High as the Mountains” and the original recording of “Nobody’s Fool But Yours” previously issued only on a rare Capitol label hits anthology.


Born: August 12, 1929 in Sherman, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the '60s. Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-'60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the '60s. Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some...
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