Published Mar 31, 2016Steve Earle once argued that you never come back from Copperhead Road. You can smell that whiskey burnin' again, though, as it turns out the first four full-lengths from the country great are being pressed back onto vinyl.
UMe will deliver brand new vinyl editions of 1986's Guitar Town, 1987's Exit O, 1988's Copperhead Road and 1990's The Hard Way, which had previously been available through since-shuttered MCA Records. Each set has been remastered from the original tapes by Robert Vosgien, and they all hit store shelves May 6.
Guitar Town was Earle's formal debut, and sold Platinum in Canada off the strength off songs like "Goodbye's All We Got Left," "Hillbilly Highway" and "Someday." The record would also yield a pair of Grammy nods for the songwriter. With 2016 marking the 30th anniversary of Guitar Town, it's added that an expanded, double-CD edition of the album will arrive late in the fall.
Exit O from 1987 was the first to credit Earle's longtime backing band, the Dukes, and featured hits like "Nowhere Road" and "I Ain't Ever Satisfied." The album likewise crept up the charts and managed to nab Grammy nominations for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song ("Nowhere Road").
Copperhead Road kicked off with its memorable title cut, and the record featured guest performances from the Pogues, Strength in Numbers' Sam Bush, Maria McKee, John Cowan, Jerry Douglas and more. Earle had described the set's sound as "a blend of heavy metal and bluegrass."
Finally, The Hard Way is aptly named, coming during a period of time when Earle was struggling with drug addiction. Earle would later tell an interviewer of the making of the LP: "I defend The Hard Way to the death, because I almost died in the process of making it."
Like Exit O, it found him working with the Dukes, with the collection having been cut in Nashville. In 2015, the record's "When the People Find Out" was used as the end credits music for HBO mini-series Show Me a Hero.
Despite the aforementioned deluxe edition of Guitar Town coming up later this year, these vinyl re-releases preserve the original tracklistings.