This two-fer from the Australian Raven label is a part of a series of Delbert McClinton reissues. All of them come with new liner notes, session photos, and bonus tracks. These two albums, from 1980 and 1981, respectively, represent a renaissance for McClinton of sorts. While he never had a fallow period creatively, The Jealous Kind allowed him a renewed commercial viability even if it was short-lived. Both records were issued by the Muscle Shoals Sound imprint of Capitol Records and were produced by Barry Beckett with the Muscle Shoals rhythm section and horns. While the first disc is centered around diversity in its song choices – by everyone from Larry Henley to Bobby Charles to Van Morrison to Al Green to Jerry Williams – and took radical approaches to reinterpreting the material through soul, blues, funk, rock, and country, the latter chose hard-driving Southern-fried funk and R&B and a relatively close-to-the-vest approach in terms of material – most notably covers of "In the Midnight Hour" and Naomi Neville's "Lipstick Traces (On a Cigarette)".
George Strait may have landed his first number one in 1982, making him an "overnight sensation," but he'd been working for it since 1976. Strait From the Heart boasts "Fool-Hearted Memory," a perfect slow two-step that raged in all the dancehalls in America for half a year and sent folks to the bins in droves seeking out Strait's records. What they found was a singer of uncommon vitality who could sing honky tonk, countrypolitan, and the new traditional sounds that were just beginning to assert themselves after the first wave of "new country." The new Strait fans were interested in the ballads such as "Marina del Rey" and "A Fire I Can't Put Out," but they are hardly the best cuts on the set. In fact, when Strait lets it get on the raw side is when he is at his best. Tracks such as "Honky Tonk Crazy," his cover of Guy Clark's "Heartbroke," the Western swing of his original "I Can't See Texas From Here," and the strutting barroom anthem "The Steal of the Night" offer a portrait of Strait as a man who can do it all.