Fightin' Side of Me

by: Merle Haggard

Like its predecessor, Okie from Muskogee, The Fightin' Side of Me was a rush-released live album designed to cash in on the success of his ultra-patriotic hit single of the same name. The Fightin' Side of Me was recorded live in Philadelphia, where Haggard drew a capacity crowd. The songs are a good representation of a typical Haggard concert from the early '70s: A classic hit opens the record ("I Take a Lot of Pride in What I Am"), followed by some selections from his recent records, a couple of songs from Bonnie Owens and the Strangers, a medley of other singers performed as imitations, and, finally, three recent hits -- including "Okie from Muskogee" and "The Fightin' Side of Me" -- to close the show. It's a fun record, and one that gives a better indication of what a typical Haggard concert was like in the early '70s, but it's ultimately a minor entry in his catalog. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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