2 LPs on 1 CD: LONGHAIRED REDNECKS (1976)/DAVID ALLEN COE RIDES AGAIN (1977).
Long Haired Redneck/Rides Again is the second volume in Bear Family's David Allan Coe two-fer series of his work at Columbia Records from 1974-1981. This pair of albums, released in 1976 and 1977, respectively -- his third and fourth albums for the label -- find Coe aligning himself completely with the Willie, Waylon, and Billy Joe Shaver "outlaw" movement -- as if he ever had to try. Coming on the heels of his first Top Ten hit, a cover of Steve Goodman's "You Never Even Called Me by My Name" from Once Upon a Rhyme, Longhaired Redneck is one of Coe's finest records. He either wrote or co-wrote every song on the album, and the title track became his anthem. In addition, the haunting ballad "Revenge," "Free Born Rambling Man," and "Living on the Run" are hallmarks of his best work as a songwriter and as a performer. Rides Again is an altogether different affair. While Coe once again wrote or co-wrote all but one of the album's ten tracks, it is also the beginning of a darkly cynical period in his work, featuring such tracks as the conceited "Willie, Waylon, and Me" (complete with a reprise six tracks later); "If That Ain't Country (You Can Kiss My Ass)"; his paean to his polygamy, "The House We've Been Calling a Home"; and the bitter "Sense of Humor." There are also excellent songs here, such as "Under Rachel's Wings," "Greener Than the Grass We Laid On," and a cover of Dale Murphy's "Laid Back and Wasted." ~ Thom Jurek