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The Very Best of David Frizzell

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Album Review

After spending his early years touring with his older brother, country music icon Lefty Frizzell, David Frizzell tried his hand at a solo career, enjoying some minor chart success in the 1970s with a smattering of singles. His real success, however, would come in the next decade via a series of albums recorded both solo and with young country singer Shelly West. This anthology focuses on his solo highlights throughout the early and mid-'80s with wry country-pop songs like the number one hit "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home," "A Million Light Beers Ago," and "Lefty," a tribute to his brother that featured a guest spot from Merle Haggard. The absence of his duet material with West makes this a somewhat incomplete picture of Frizzell's most successful years, but there are still plenty of worthwhile solo songs here to be enjoyed.

Customer Reviews

Great news...

This is the greatest-hits package we were waiting for: NO RE-RECORDINGS HERE! Varese always uses the original record when possible, and this is no exception.

And now, it's time for a Shelly West one. And...that's coming out next month. Pester iTunes now.

Frizzell’s original hit recordings from the early ‘80s

As the baby brother of honky-tonk legend Lefty Frizzell, the thirteen-year-younger David Frizzell found his stardom in a very different era of country music. Lefty broke in as a child performer in the ‘40s and became a country star as a hardcore honky-tonker in the 1950s. He continued to have hits through the ‘60s and early ‘70s, but passed away at the age of 47 in 1975. His brother David also began performing as a child, accompanying Lefty on the road in the 1950s and ‘60s, and signing his first record deal in 1970. But even with a few minor hits, major commercial success was still a decade and a couple of label changes away. In 1981 he topped the charts with “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma,” a duet with Shelley West recorded for Capitol. Frizzell and West would have several more hits together, as anthologized on the companion disc, The Very Best of David Frizzell & Shelly West. David Frizzell’s solo success came the next year with “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home.” His voice retained a bit of his older brother’s husk, but in his early forties, he was more of a pop balladeer than the rootsy country artist his brother had been. More importantly, Nashville in the early-80s was still mired in the crossover production gloss of the late-70s, and Frizzell’s records were no exception. There are a few honky-tonk piano riffs, some steel, twangy guitar and banjo, but there are also soft strings, smooth backing vocals and warm balladry. Frizzell summoned moments of his brothers earthiness, and on hits like “I’m Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home” and the tribute “Lefty” (the latter a duet with Merle Haggard) he quickly transcended Nashville’s by-the-books studio production. Frizzell’s fans will be thrilled that Varese’s finally dug up the original hit recordings from the Warner/Viva label for CD release. Up to now you had to either hunt down original vinyl or make do with re-recordings. This fifteen track set collects all ten of Frizzell’s hits from 1981 (“Lefty”) through 1985 (“Country Music Love Affair”), and adds five additional period tracks: “Lone Star Lonesome,” “I Wish I Could Hurt That Way Again,” “She Wanted Me,” “We Won’t Be Hearing ‘Always Late’ Anymore,” and “Forever and Always.” The set comes with a four-panel insert that includes new liner notes by Lawrence Zwisohn, and features crisply remastered sound by Steve Massie. This is a long overdue collection for Frizzell’s many fans and a welcome period piece for those who enjoy Nashville’s soft sounds of the early-80s. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]


Born: September 26, 1941 in El Dorado, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s

Just like Hank Williams, Jr. he's standing in the shadows of a very famous man, but David Frizzell became a country star in his own right during the '80s. The younger brother of country legend Lefty Frizzell, David was born September 26, 1941, in El Dorado, AK. At the age of 12, he hitchhiked to California to join Lefty, who added the youth to his show and persuaded Columbia to sign him in 1958. Nothing came of the deal, however, and David spent the '60s touring with his brother, recording for several...
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The Very Best of David Frizzell, David Frizzell
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