Four great 70s albums from George Jones – all back to back in a single collection! First up is the self-titled George Jones – tremendous work from George Jones' 70s years at Epic
Records – a record that maybe hides behind an understated title, but which offers all the power of the maturing singer as he moved on from his styles in the 60s! The great Billy Sherrill is at the production helm, but he keeps things from the more commercial territory of some of his other crossover country work at the time – really allowing a very strong focus on George's vocals, which are hitting this mature quality that's drenched in all his many years of booze and sadness! Instrumentation is relatively traditional, and often surprisingly lean – and titles include "We Can Make It", "All The Praises", "Let's Make History", "The King", "The Last Letter", and "I'll Take You To My World". In A Gospel Way has George Jones returning to some of the spiritual modes he explored earlier in his career – but with a more mature, more world-experienced voice that makes the message in the music even more powerful than before – especially since by this time, most of the world knew Jones more as a sinner than a saint. That tension really makes the music sparkle – and titles include "Mama's Hands", "Why Me Lord", "A Man I Always Wanted To Meet", "The Baptism Of Jesse Taylor", and "I Can't Find It Here". Memories Of Us is a stone classic from the golden 70s years of George Jones – a time when the singer was sounding very different than at his start – really done in by the loves and losses of life, but in a way that makes his interpretation of the music even more meaningful than before! The songs are mostly mellow, and filled with a sense of blueness and emptiness that's certainly telegraphed by the title – produced with a nicely understated style by Billy Sherrill – on titles that include "What I Do Best", "Memories Of Us", "Touch Of Wilderness", "She Once Made A Romeo Cry", and "I Just Don't Give A Damn". The Battle is fantastic – a set that's got George working in very mellow territory, but with a quality that still has a surprising amount of bite – songs that are slow and laidback, but which have that sense of personal pain and individual vision that always made Jones one of the most fantastic singers to ever handle this sort of material – a claim that we'd extend way past the world of country music too! Production is laidback, too – Billy Sherrill at his best – with often a tinkling piano line or steel guitar part to provide some direction for the vocals, but always in a way that lets Jones forge his own emotional path forward. Titles include "I'll Come Back", "I Can't Get Over What Lovin You Has Done", "I'll Come Back", "Love Coming Down", and the classic "The Battle".