I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail – Buck Owens and his Buckaroos (1965)

Album no. 47/1001

So, this is a country album. There’s really not much more to say about that.

Old mate Buck (or as his official birth certificate says ‘Alvis Edgar’) and his buckaroos pioneered what came to be known as the ‘Bakersfield’ sound (he was from Bakersfield in California).  

Have you listened to this album before?

CL: No, but all I keep hearing is ‘Tiger in your Tank’ by Muddy Waters. Somehow, I don’t think this is going to be like that.

NK: If only. I’ve never heard this either. I recognise a couple of songs, but I’ve never heard Buck sing them.

Standout track

CL: About ten seconds into the first song, I knew. Oh I knew. This was not going to be a fun time. Actually no, when I saw the cover – that’s when I knew.  

NK: The album cover is pretty bad, isn’t it? The best song is ‘Memphis’, which seems a bit of a cop out because it’s a Chuck Berry song that isn’t really country.  I think the quicker ones are better, but that could be because they’re over quicker.

CL: What is the appeal of country music like this? I really don’t understand. Mr Owens has a weird voice – it sort of sounds like he’s swallowing his tongue on some of these songs, like ‘Wham Bam’. And much like our previous experience with country music, once again all the songs sound the same. Sorry.

NK: Sorry not sorry? I like that he’s got ‘Let the sad times roll on’ and ‘We’re gonna let the good times roll’ on the same album. I appreciate his eagerness to let times of various moods roll.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

CL: Let’s be honest,  is anyone actually going to seek this album out to listen? No. So it’s doesn’t matter.

NK: Harsh. This isn’t that bad, there’s only one song over three minutes. That said, I’m not sure when the best time to listen to this is. I listened to it on a plane, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend that. 

Why has this album been included on the list?

CL: We’ve had a couple of country albums thus far, and this is really just another variation on that same tired old theme. Yeah, so I got to the middle of the album, then I listened to about 30 seconds of each song after. That’s enough.

NL: I listened to the whole thing. Some of the lyrics are quite funny and overwrought, which I think is a hallmark of country music. Maybe it’s the invention of the Bakersfield sound, but I didn’t get into this much.

Will you be listening again?  

CL: Admittedly I probably did go into this with my mind very firmly closed – but it didn’t surprise me. It was everything I expected. And less. So no.

NK: Nope.

Rating

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

I’ve Got a Tiger by the Tail is not on Spotify, but you can buy it in iTunes.

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