Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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George Jones & Melba Montgomery

  • Vintage Collections [Capitol, 1997] A-

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

Vintage Collections [Capitol, 1997]
Besides keeping track of them, the big problem with new George Jones reissues is the same as the big problem with old George Jones issues--consistency. Be they literal rereleases like New Favorites and The Race Is On or circumscribed compilations like Razor & Tie's UA-only She Thinks I Still Care, they rise and fall with the quirks of a taste that isn't yours. But here partnership is a steadying influence, as Montgomery props up the flatter material with her cornpone contralto. George isn't just being polite when he claims Melba was a better match than Tammy--anyone who counts that Birmingham beautician deep country should check out the hollers near Iron City, Tennessee. Montgomery is less original than Jones, as is Pavarotti. But she's so downhome that she never got her druthers or her just deserts. And she's also so downhome that Pappy Daily didn't even think about countrypolitanizing her. A-