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Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | EMI Catalogue

Essential, Vol. 1 (Are You Ready for the Country?) compiles Jason & the Scorchers' first EP, Fervor, and their debut LP, Lost & Found, adding four bonus tracks for good measure. It's an excellent way to acquire their best records, yet it was replaced four years later by the nearly identical Both Sides of the Line, which featured the EP and LP without the bonus tracks. [A two-disc version of Essential, Vol. 1 was reissued and remastered with bonus tracks in 2008 as The EMI Years.] © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released January 1, 2008 | Caroline Records

Jason & the Scorchers weren't quite the first band that attempted to fuse country and punk rock, but no one before them (and precious few since) did it in a way that honored what was best about both genres. Jason Ringenberg's feral vocals, Warner Hodges' growling guitar, and the hard snap of Perry Baggs' drums and Jeff Johnson's bass made for pure, overdriven rock & roll, but Ringenberg made no attempt to soften the natural twang of his voice or the rural influences in his lyrics, and the group's country accents were honest, pure, and un-ironic, and arguably closer to the heart of classic country than most of what was coming out of Nashville in the early '80s. While Jason & the Scorchers made their recorded debut with an indie EP in 1982, it was the 1983 EP Fervor that won them a contract with EMI-America and gained them an international audience, and this two-fer CD pairs up Fervor with the group's first full-length album, 1985's Lost & Found, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better representation of this group at its peak. Fervor opens with a supercharged cover of Bob Dylan's "Absolutely Sweet Marie" that outruns everything else on the EP, but the original tunes are where the Scorchers really show off their stuff; "Pray for Me, Mama (I'm a Gypsy Now)" practically channels Merle Haggard, "Hot Nights in Georgia" and "Harvest Moon" rock hard while acknowledging their Nashville roots, and "Help, There's a Fire" is an irresistibly silly would-be single. Lost & Found upped the ante on Fervor and left no doubt that the EP's excellence was no fluke. "Last Time Around" and "White Lies" charge out of the gate like a thoroughbred at the Kentucky Derby, but the roaring cover of "Lost Highway" let the song run wild without robbing it of its pathos, and "Shop It Around," "Broken Whiskey Glass," and especially "Far Behind" mirror the flinty, heart-tugging passion of vintage Nashville songwriting at its best. Fervor and Lost & Found were hardly the only good records Jason & the Scorchers would make, but they rarely hit on all cylinders as strongly as they did with these two sets, and together on one disc they make for an essential country-punk blowout any alt-country fan should hear. [EMI previously reissued Fervor and Lost & Found on one disc in 1996 under the title Both Sides of the Line, but this new version has been remastered and restores the original artwork for both records.] © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1998 | Mammoth Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 2002 | EMI - EMI Records (USA)

While Jason & the Scorchers' first two national releases -- the Fervor EP and the long-playing follow-up, Lost & Found -- earned reams of good reviews and blazed a trail for the cowpunk and alt-country movements that followed in their wake, they earned far more fame than record sales. Their second LP, 1986's Still Standing, seems to have been an attempt to give Jason & the Scorchers a bit of polish in hopes of attracting a wider audience. Produced by Tom Werman (who had previously worked with Molly Hatchet, Ted Nugent, and Cheap Trick), Still Standing has a slicker tone than the group's previous work, especially Warner Hodges' guitar (and Hodges seems all too eager to give his solos a veneer of arena-level bombast), while occasionally veering toward Georgia Satellites-style raunch -- not a bad idea but one that doesn't suit Jason Ringenberg's voice all that well. More to the point, the songwriting on Still Standing isn't quite up to the level of Lost & Found, but while Still Standing sounds like an attempt by Jason & the Scorchers to meet the mainstream half way, there's enough of their strength and fiery passion to make the album worthwhile, and "Crashin' Down," "Shotgun Blues," and the delicate ballad "Ocean of Doubt" show that even this band's weaker albums had moments to savor. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released April 5, 2010 | Nashvegas Flash - Courageous Chicken Entertainment

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Rock - Released January 1, 1996 | Mammoth

Here comes yet another steam-rolling country-rock release from Jason & the Scorchers. Pushin' the pedal to the metal, Clear Impetuous Morning sounds a lot like a band that has just found an open stretch of highway and is jammin' in high gear. Just about everything here rocks out in fine form including a cover of the Byrds' "Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man." Emmylou Harris even drops by to guest on "Everything Has a Cost" to great effect. You won't be disappointed if you choose to get a hold of this disc. © James Chrispell /TiVo