Top 3 Essential George Jones Albums

Three of the country music legend's most essential works

George Jones is known as one of the greatest country singers of all time. His popular song "He Stopped Loving Her Today" consistently ranks on lists of the best country songs. He is one of the best-selling artists of all time. Over the course of his career, Jones recorded more than 900 songs and had more than 150 hits, both as a solo artist and in duets.

He struggled with sobriety over the course of his storied career, earning the less-than-complimentary nickname "No Show Jones" for his proclivity to miss concerts due to his well-documented drug and alcohol abuse. Jones is also known for his marriage to fellow country star Tammy Wynette, with whom he recorded some of the most popular, well-known country duets around: "We're Gonna Hold On," "Golden Ring," "(We're Not) The Jet Set" and "Two Story House."

50 Years of Hits is a must-have for any Jones fan, whether you're new to his music and need an album to get started, or are a lifelong fan trying to amass his complete collection. How can you go wrong with a three-disc box set encompassing 50 years of hits from one of country music's biggest legends? There are 50 songs in total: one song for each year Jones was churning out the hits. The set leads off with his 1955 hit "Why Baby Why" and closes with a song from his final album, "Amazing Grace."

By 1980, Jones hadn't released a single number one song. Many thought the artist was slipping into irrelevancy, but he bounced back in a big way with I Am What I Am, often noted as his comeback. After years of struggling with drug and alcohol dependence, he was finally sober. The album contains Jones' popular, if not most popular, song "He Stopped Loving Her Today." In several surveys, the song has been named the greatest country song of all time. The 2000 rerelease of the album contains four bonus tracks. In the grand scheme of all of Jones' works, I Am What I Am is an absolute staple.

 

Any list of the best George Jones albums has to include one of his many duet albums with wife Tammy Wynette, who is a legend in her own right. The two had one of the most tumultuous, yet dynamic, relationships in all of music history, and they produced a slew of hit songs. 16 Biggest Hits includes songs recorded from 1971 through 1980.

In many ways, the album acts as an account of their marriage. It leads off with "Take Me," followed by "The Ceremony," in which they recite their wedding vows. "Let's Build a World Together" and "Near You" are like optimistic looks toward the future, and "We're Gonna Hold On" and "We Loved It Away" illustrate the rockier parts of their union. 16 Biggest Hits is a fantastic sampling of one of music's most powerful pairings.