Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hank Williams Jr. - Major Moves

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Major Moves, the Platinum selling 1984 release from Hank Williams Jr. It spent nineteen weeks on the US Billboard album chart, peaking at number 100. It also went to number 20 on the Canadian Country chart and number 1 on the US Billboard Country chart.

Side one begins with "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight". As the second single, it peaked at number 10 on the US Billboard Country chart and number 6 on the Canadian Country chart. From 1989 to 2011, a reworked version of the rousing rocker was used as the opening theme for ABC’s Monday Night Football.

"Promises" is a cover of the Eric Clapton song from the 1978 album Backless.

The B-side to the second single was "Video Blues", a song about that new-fangled device called the video cassette recorder and the limited selection of films at the time (blockbusters and porn). It features a rag-time rhythm. This one reminds me of a place that opened in our home town in the mid-80’s where you and your friends would rent a small room where you viewed the movie you picked out. They even sold popcorn and drinks. So, it was really good for folks who did not yet own their own VCR. Yeah, the business did not last very long.

The mid-tempo title track "Major Moves" was also the third single; it went to number 14 on the Canadian Country chart and number 10 on the US Billboard Country chart.

"Blues Medley" includes "My Starter Won't Start This Morning", "Hold Up Your Head", “One Kind Favor” and “Trouble In Mind”. Ray Charles is a guest vocalist on the track.

Side two starts with "Mr. Lincoln", a conversation with the former President about the state of the union one hundred years later. Listening to this one thirty years later, it is obvious things have gotten worse here in the US.

The up-tempo "Country Relaxin'" ticks off a variety of ways to unwind in rural communities.

The first single "Attitude Adjustment" went to number 7 on the Canadian Country chart and number 5 on the US Billboard Country chart. The song has got a toe-tappin’ rag-time tempo.

"Knoxville Courthouse Blues" was the B-side to the first single. It tells the cautionary tale of a guy on trial for statutory rape.

The closing track "Wild and Blue" is a cover of a 1982 John Anderson hit.

I have to thank the folks over at YouTube for providing these tracks to listen to. It is an interesting mix of genres on the record, showing that Hank Williams Jr. liked to mix it up a bit. Major Moves is kind of rare beast, having only made its way to CD once back in 1998.

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