10 Classic Country Albums Turning 40 This Year

From Tanya Tucker's decidedly Outlaw 'T.N.T' to Waylon Jennings' romanticizing 'I've Always Been Crazy'

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Waylon Jennings, 'I’ve Always Been Crazy' (RCA Victor)
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Waylon Jennings, 'I’ve Always Been Crazy' (RCA Victor)

"Don't You Think This Outlaw Bit's Done Got Out of Hand," Waylon half asks his fans, and half accuses them, on I've Always Been Crazy. You can kind of see his point. The songs here are once again incessantly self-referential and self-romanticizing, albeit in that nearly-always-charming Outlaw way. Other "Outlaw Bits": The jokes all remain of the decidedly in-variety; the Waylors' famously burping-bass rhythm tracks are, on the chart-topping title track and on Number Five hit "Don’t You Think…," burping their way damn-near to disco; and his seventh album in two years is padded out with Haggard and Cash covers as well as a medley of Buddy Holly hits. On the other hand, those covers are amazing and that medley lets Waylon mark his territory during that year's big-screen-sparked Buddy Holly revival. That medley also reminds us, in part, of what's contributed to all that title-track craziness: "Don't ask me who I gave my seat to on that plane…," he sings at one point. "I told you that a long time ago."

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