WHO: George Jones
WHAT: “Super Hits”
ORIGINALLY RELEASED: 1987
BILLBOARD PEAK: 56 (re-release)
LAST WEEK: Off the chart
WHY?: If you hate country songs that specialize in being down and out, or just down in general, George Jones isn’t the performer for you. “Achy Breaky Heart” may have been popularized as a single by Billy Ray Cyrus in 1991, but Jones had been living the concept of a heartbroken cowboy since he debuted in 1957. His ability to inject pathos into songs such as “Why Baby Why” and “Tennessee Whiskey” made him the envy of vocalists across a range of genres. Frank Sinatra once famously referred to him as the “second best singer in America.”
The best track on “Super Hits,” and the best song in Jones lengthy repertoire (and some have even suggested to be the greatest country song of all time), has to be “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” The track topped the country charts during 1980, and B-side “A Hard Act To Follow” seemed to be about the A-side. The narrative wrenches the heart, as Jones describes a man who constantly prays his love will return to him. She does, to his funeral. The day described in the song’s title was the day of his death.
“Super Hits” was originally released in 1987, and features a mere 10 tracks from Jones career, but they’re a good jumping off point. The album may have reentered the Billboard 200 as fans continue to remember the country legend following his death in April. “He Stopped Loving Her Today” jumped back to no. 21 on the country singles charts immediately following his passing.