"SUPER HITS" is a lot like George Jones' career -- erratic. Drawn from the past 15 years, the tunes are a familiar mixture of inspired performances and obvious miscues.

For the uninitiated, the album may be a bit misleading too, because the honky tonk classics it contains -- such as "White Lightnin' " and "Why Baby Why" -- aren't the original recordings but rather denatured Nashville retakes produced by Billy Sherill.

For the real thing, you'll have to dig deeper than the scope of this collection, but that's not to say it doesn't have its merits. When it comes to sheer emotion, it's hard to beat "He Stopped Loving Her Today," which reportedly took Jones over a year to finish and clearly ranks among his best work.

Happily, Sherill's lavish rearrangement of "The Window Above" doesn't obscure the power of Jones' torture lyric, and "The Grand Tour" is one of their more memorable collaborations. The album brings us up to date with Jones' recent dewy-eyed hit "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes?," and despite its tugging heart strings, the tune sounds far more convincing than the singer's curiously unmoving version of "Bartender's Blues." GEORGE JONES -- "Super Hits" (Epic FE 40776). Appearing with Loretta Lynn Saturday at the Patriot Center.