The Essential Waylon Jennings

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This two-disc overview isn’t as comprehensive as last year’s definitive box set Nashville Rebel, but then it’s not supposed to be. The Essential Waylon Jennings is more like an easy first step into a body of work as complex as it is classic, gathering 42 must-have cuts recorded between 1964 and 1986. It’s far from the first Waylon compilation—it’s not even the first to be named The Essential Waylon Jennings. But if you’re just beginning to discover a man whose influence looms even larger today than it did during his lifetime, it’s . . . well, essential.

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