This is the second page of a discography of Buck Owens, the king of the "Bakersfield Sound." This page looks at his work from 1970 on, as well as best-of collections and links to other Buck Owens sites. Page One of this discography covers his work in the 1950s and '60s.
Buck Owens "Big In Vegas" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 413]
Yeah, sure... that's what they all say.
Buck Owens "Your Mother's Prayer" (Capitol, 1970) [T 439]
Buck Owens & Susan Raye "We're Gonna Get Together" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 448]
Buck Owens "Kansas City Song" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 476]
When in doubt, record a regionally-themed novelty song. Heck, it worked for Roger Miller, didn't it?
Buck Owens "Merry Hee-Haw Christmas" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 486]
Buck Owens & Susan Raye "Great White Horse" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 558]
Buck Owens "I Wouldn't Live In New York City" (Capitol, 1970) [ST 628]
Heck, neither would I! Not with those rents, at least. (By the way, Columbus, Ohio's honkytonk hero, High Sheriff Ricky Barnes does a mighty fine cover version of the title song... worth tracking down as well...!)
Buck Owens "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Capitol, 1971) [ST 685]
One of Buck's lesser albums, a perfunctory release in which he goes country-folk, doing Dylan, Donovan and a trio of Simon & Garfunkel tunes. It's silly, and there's no passion in the performance, besides which these songs were old-hat even by the time this came out. Buck contributes a few tunes as well and one of these, the "Detroit City"-ish "San Francisco Town," is the album's lone standout track. I suppose if you relish hearing Owens do kitsch, then this would be of interest -- there's a Moog riff on his version of "Catch The Wind," and the echo-y arrangements on "I Am A Rock" sound cool, even if Buck is sleepwalking his way through the vocals. But as an actual, true-blue country album, this is pretty weak.
Buck Owens "Ruby" (Capitol, 1971) [ST 795]
Buck Owens & Susan Raye "Merry Christmas From Buck And Susan" (Capitol, 1971) [ST 837]
Buck Owens "Live At John Ascuga's Nugget" (Capitol, 1972) [ST 11039]
Not merely "The Golden Nugget," mind you: it's at John Ascuga's Golden Nugget! Buck does Vegas (well, Nevada, at least...) and poses with a really cute elephant on the the album's cover. One imagines an interesting story about myriad gambling debts being settled by recording this big old product-placement-y album... but I doubt the real story behind this album is anything nearly so interesting. Pity, also, that it's not a theme album about gamblers, but oh well -- you can't have everything! (Actually, it's not a bad little record... and for some reason it's fairly easy to find on vinyl. Worth picking up.)
Buck Owens "Live At The White House" (Capitol, 1972) [ST 11105]
Buck Owens & Buddy Alan "Too Old To Cut The Mustard" (Capitol, 1972) [ST 874]
Buck records a goofy album with his son, Buddy Alan...
Buck Owens "In The Palm Of Your Hand" (Capitol, 1973) [ST 11136]
Buck Owens "Ain't It Amazing Gracie" (Capitol, 1973) [ST 11180]
Buck Owens & Susan Raye "Good Old Days" (Capitol, 1973) [ST 11204]
Buck Owens "Arms Full Of Empty" (Capitol, 1973) [ST 11222]
Buck Owens "It's A Monster's Holiday" (Capitol, 1974) [ST 11332]
Buck Owens "41st Street Lonely Heart's Club" (Capitol, 1975) [ST 11390]
Buck Owens "Buck 'Em" (Warner Brothers, 1976)
Buck Owens "Our Old Mansion" (Warner Brothers, 1977)
(Produced by Norro Wilson)
A rock-solid, true-country gem! This one's pretty surprising, since Buck had been kind of phoning 'em in for a few years towards the end of his Capitol career... But here, his heart is clearly in it, and he's playing these songs for all he's worth... There's a heavy western swing vibe on many songs, but also a nice, sweet, fiddle-drenched honkytonk sound that recalls Buck's golden years. Hell, with a record like this under his belt, I guess he was still in his "golden years." Be nice if somebody could put this one back in print sometime so more folks could hear it in its full glory.
Buck Owens "Hot Dog" (Capitol, 1988)
Buck Owens "Live At Carnegie Hall" (Capitol, 1989)
A fine live set from the 'Sixties, released for the first time nearly a quarter century after the fact, as a resurgent Buck was riding high on his late-'80s revival. Nice stuff!
Buck Owens "Act Naturally" (Capitol, 1990)
Buck Owens "Kickin' In" (Capitol, 1991)
So far, the best Buck CD edition best-of to hit the American market. I have to confess to having rather mixed feelings about Buck Owens... Although he is undeniably one of the greatest (and best known) popular country artists of the 1960s, his work is laced with an air of offhanded professionalism that verges on detachment and even cynicism. This was especially true in the early '70s, when he was mad at his record label (Capitol) and started phoning in his albums. Still, Buck recorded dozens of the best, most boisterous country hits of the 'Sixties and almost singlehandedly breathed life back into the genre, with his bouncy, rock-savvy "West Coast/Bakersfield" country sound. Plus, his band totally kicked ass. This 3-CD set dips a little too deeply into his more lugubrious contractual obligation albums (the third disc covers the early 'Seventies on...) but it's still a pretty worthy retrpspective. For folks looking for a purer dose of early '60s Buck, the numerous reissues of his original albums on the Sundazed label are also highly recommended.
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.1" (Capitol, 1964) [ST 2105]
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.2" (Capitol, 1968) [ST 2897]
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.3" (Capitol, 1969) [SKAO 145]
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.4" (Capitol, 1971) [ST 830]
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.5" (Capitol, 1974) [ST 11273]
Buck Owens "The Best Of Buck Owens, v.6" (Capitol, 1976) [ST 11471]
Buck Owens & Susan Raye "The Best Of Buck And Susan" (Capitol, 1972) [ST 11084]
Buck Owens "The Very Best Of Buck Owens, v.1" (Rhino, 1994)
Buck Owens "The Very Best Of Buck Owens, v.2" (Rhino, 1994)
A nice set culled from the various "band" albums cut by the Buckaroos, putting together an authoritative collection of the best work by Buck's guitarist, the late Don Rich. Rich was the man who sculpted the Buck Owens sound, wielding a bright-toned Telecaster with the same ease as any number of blonde California surfer dudes -- here he even sings on a few songs, but it's mostly an instrumental affair... It helps to be a connoisseur of non-vocal tunes, but any fan of Buck's can find something to be excited about here. Rich died in a 1974 motorcycle accident, causing a loss that Owens and the Bakersfield sound never really recovered from; here you can hear the man in his prime, playing the fiddle and guitar like nobody's business.
Various Artists "Country Pickin' " (Texas Round-Up, 2002)
Hick Music Index