Recorded between 1971 & 1986. Includes liner notes by Johnny Whiteside.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Johnny Paycheck (vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Marty Martel; George Jones; Johnny Paycheck; Tim McGraw; Johnny Whiteside.
Photographers: Al Clayton; Sandy Speiser.
Those unacquainted with the world of country music, who think the Johnny Paycheck story begins and ends with the recession-era working-man's anthem "Take this Job and Shove It" are as misguided as the benighted soul who thinks Willie Nelson's career began with "On the Road Again." Though he seldom gets credit from the Wille/Waylon camp, Paycheck was indeed one of the original country outlaws. Sadly, the turn of the century found most of his extensive, gem-laden catalog out of print, but this definitive, 23-song collection goes a long way towards correcting that injustice.
Such tracks as "11 Months and 29 Days" show that Paycheck was just as comfortable in a blues format as he was with honky-tonk. Spiritual kin to Merle Haggard, perfectly mixing proletarian sentiments and hard-living tales of the wrong side of the law ("I'm the Only Hell [My Mama Ever Raised]" is as perfect a sequel to "Mama Tried" as one could want). "Colorado Cool-Aid" displays Paycheck's gift for light-hearted storytelling in a Tom T. Hall-like manner. Every track on THE SOUL & THE EDGE offers a glimpse at a different aspect of Paycheck's gifts, and for that we should all be grateful.