The careers of too many country singers can be condensed into greatest-hits packages, and with reason. John Anderson’s early work is a notable exception. Yes, the hits are here, both “Old Chunk Of Coal” and “Chicken Truck”. But this is an album of mostly strong songs, including a swell reading of Norro Wilson’s “July The 12th, 1939″, a Bobbie Gentry kind of story-song presumably learned from The Fabulous Charlie Rich. Or maybe from Stoney Edwards; or from the writer himself, who produced the album. “Motel With No Phone” owes a debt to Merle Haggard (as, for that matter, does “Makin’ Love And Makin’ Out”). But it’s only a debt, and Anderson is a strong and supple singer with his own quite distinctive voice. Mostly 2 is ten tracks of classic country, played by some of Nashville’s finest session musicians: Pete Wade, Harold Bradley, Jerry Reed, Pete Drake, Pig Robbins, Bob Moore, Buddy Spicher, etc. That’s how you make albums that last.
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