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Chill Factor

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Album Review

Compared to Kern River, Chill Factor is streamlined, constructed primarily of originals and given a clean, gleaming production designed with the radio in mind. In the case of the sweetly swinging “Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Star,” it took him all the way to the top of the charts — the last time he’d achieve such a peak in his long career — and it’s a deserving final number one hit, bearing enough of a trace of Western swing to be of a piece with his classic hits, yet given an unmistakably modern spin. All of Chill Factor has this serene, clean production — even when the tempo starts to kick upward, things stay reserved (in the case of “You Babe,” it threatens to mummify the performance but this is a one-time stumble) — and while this sound dates the album somewhat, it’s also easy to hear beyond it, to recognize that this is one of Haggard’s strongest collection of songs of the ‘80s, a record where he remains a peerless craftsman and has yet to succumb completely to the streak of bitter nostalgia that sometimes tainted his records of the ‘90s. Here, he’s clear-eyed and perceptive, sometimes pining for the past, but decidedly alive in the present.

Customer Reviews

A Merle Haggard Classic !!

Amazing to find Merle Haggard's Chill Factor on iTunes. Chill came out at the birth of the CD age and saw a limited run on CD before going out of print. Hag's works from the 80s are often underated and overlooked, but are among his best.

Chill Factor Warms My Heart

Been looking for this album to help complete my Hag collection. Great songs and I always wondered why Twinkle Twinkle was the only hit? This set really shows his versatility and great group of musicians in the band. A great addition to any country collection!!

One of this best!

I have to confess that I came to Merle in the 80's when he was supposed to be after his prime. I think Big City is his altime best and that is from the 80's. I also love that's the way Love goes and that too is from the 80's. I say that because I may be a little baised. But I think Chill Factor is really up there too. And Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Star is my all time favorite Haggard songs. Chill Factor is a great song too. The entire album is worth a listen. If you are even thinking about getting something from Haggard then you got to get this one. I love it.


Born: April 6, 1937 in Oildale, CA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As a performer and a songwriter, Merle Haggard was the most important country artist to emerge in the 1960s, and he became one of the leading figures of the Bakersfield country scene. While his music remained hardcore country, he pushed the boundaries of the music quite far. Like his idol, Bob Wills, his music was a melting pot that drew from all forms of traditional American music -- country, jazz, blues, and folk -- and in the process, developed a distinctive style of his own. As a performer, singer,...
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