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I've Got a Tiger By the Tail

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Album Review

Buck Owens had his share of country hits prior to the release of I've Got a Tiger by the Tail and the hit single that spawned it. But "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" was Owens' national breakthrough, featuring everything right about his Bakersfield honky tonk sound sweated down to a 2:12 single that proved to be a irresistible piece of crossover magic to non-country fans without diluting his basic sound one iota. This 14-track CD reissue brings together the original Capitol tracks from that album (which also included the hit "Cryin' Time," later to be a crossover hit of its own when recorded by Ray Charles), along with two bonus tracks. These are live versions recorded in Bakersfield at the Civic Auditorium in October 1963 of "This Ol' Heart" and "Act Naturally," taken from the Capitol anthology album Country Music Hootenanny. The sound of Don Rich is all over this album, with his signature biting Telecaster guitar style, plus his vocalizing on "Wham Bam" (which features Owens on lead guitar) and a feature with Buck on a duet of Chuck Berry's "Memphis." Bass player Doyle Holly handles the vocal chores on "Streets of Laredo," while Don Rich's fiddle work is highlighted on the instrumental "A Maiden's Prayer." But ultimately it's Owens' show with tracks like "Trouble and Me," "We're Gonna Let the Good Times Roll," "If You Fall Out of Love With Me," "The Band Keeps Playin' On," and the ballad "Let the Sad Times Roll On" being classic examples of Owens' Bakersfield honky tonk sound at the height of its freight-train rumbling powers.

Customer Reviews

Another Hit Laden Album From the King of Bakersfield Twang!

Driving down the dusty roads of West Texas in songwriter Harlan Howard’s Cadillac, Buck and Harlan wrote the title track of I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail after being inspired by a sign at an ESSO gas station. Another monster hit for Buck and his Buckaroos, it was released as a single in the waning days of December 1964. Debuting at #8 and quickly rising to #1, it held the pole position on the country charts for five weeks. This hit laden album also contains Buck’s timeless composition “Crying Time.” While not a hit for Buck, Ray Charles’ cover of the song became a top ten pop hit in 1966. Buck’s rollicking rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Memphis” rankled the feathers of some traditional country fans, but it was right in line with his penchant for songs with a big beat. That Buckaroo beat is on full display in the two bonus tracks of this Sundazed Music edition. Recorded at Bakersfield’s Civic Auditorium in 1963, these performances of “This Ol’ Heart” and “Act Naturally” provide a rare early listen to Buck’s blazing live shows.


I love Buck.

I've Got a Tiger By the Tail, Buck Owens & His Buckaroos
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