It's All in the Game (Merle Haggard album)

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It's All in the Game
ItsAllintheGame.jpg
Studio album by Merle Haggard
Released 1984 (1984)
Recorded October 1983/Early 1984
Genre Country
Length 29:53
Label Epic
Producer Ray Baker
Merle Haggard chronology
The Epic Collection (Recorded Live)
(1983)The Epic Collection (Recorded Live)1983
It's All in the Game
(1984)
Kern River
(1985)Kern River1985

It's All in the Game is the 39th studio album by American country music artist Merle Haggard, released in 1984 by Epic Records. The album peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.[1]

Recording & Composition[edit]

Haggard's only album from 1984 is dominated with songs co-written with Freddy Powers. The country singer's career was booming during this period like it hadn't since the early seventies, and It's All in the Game continued this roll, producing three #1 hits. The first of these, "Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room," recalls the shuffling rhythm of his 1981 hit "Big City" and finds the narrator attempting to playfully reignite the passion of his marriage. The other two chart toppers, "A Place to Fall Apart" (co-written with Willie Nelson and featuring Janie Fricke on background vocals) and the love song "Natural High," have a softer vocal approach more indicative of the album's overall sound. "Little Hotel Room" and "I Never Go Home Anymore" contain Haggard's oft-used themes of loss, loneliness and estrangement. The LP also includes his take on the recent Willie Nelson/Julio Iglesias smash "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" and "You Really Lose Your Mind," his tribute to Ernest Tubb, who died in September 1984.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars [2]

AllMusic: "In another artist's hands, It's All In the Game might have been a mere crying-in-the-beer soundtrack. In Haggard's, it's deeply personal and emotionally compelling music."[2]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Let's Chase Each Other Around the Room" (Merle Haggard, Freddy Powers, Sheril Rodgers) – 2:48
  2. "A Place to Fall Apart" (Haggard, Willie Nelson, Powers) – 3:36 [with Janie Fricke]
  3. "It's All in the Game" (Charles Dawes, Carl Sigman) – 3:45
  4. "Little Hotel Room" (Powers) – 3:15
  5. "I Never Go Home Anymore" (Haggard) – 2:33
  6. "All I Want to Do Is Sing My Song" (Haggard, Powers) – 3:15
  7. "Natural High" (Powers) – 3:05
  8. "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" (Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe) – 2:29
  9. "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" (Hal David, Albert Hammond) – 2:54
  10. "You Nearly Lose Your Mind" (Ernest Tubb) – 2:21

Personnel[edit]

  • Merle Haggard – vocals, guitar
  • Freddy Powers - rhythm guitar
  • Roy Nichols - lead guitar
  • Bobby Wood - keyboards
  • Biff Adams - drums
  • Jim Belken - fiddle
  • Mike Leach - bass
  • Dennis Hromek - electric bass guitar
  • Lloyd Lindroth- harp
  • Don Markham - horns
  • Tiny Moore - fiddle, mandolin
  • Norm Hamlet - steel guitar

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 1
Canadian RPM Country Albums 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "It's All in the Game Charts". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "It's All in the Game > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 2, 2011. 
Preceded by
Major Moves
by Hank Williams, Jr.
Top Country Albums number-one album
September 22, 1984
Succeeded by
City of New Orleans
by Willie Nelson