8:20 PM 28th February 2021
Now That’s What I Call Country (Sony Music/Universal Music On Demand)
Spread over four CDs this compilation draws together the best of country music over the last 60 years. There is a nod to some of today’s current country influenced artists such as Ward Thomas, Kylie Minogue when she went through her country phase and Mark Ronson featuring Miley Cyrus.
I am surprised that The Shires are not on the compilation as they were at one time signed to Universal music. The UK duo would sit comfortably alongside these other stellar country artists.
Other than that it is mostly the old guard keeping the country flag going, so you can expect the likes of 'Take Me Home Country Roads' by John Denver, 'Let Your Love Flow' by the Bellamy Brothers and what country compilation would not be complete without 'Stand By Your Man' by Tammy Wynette or 'Ring of Fire' by Johnny Cash.
Some of the tracks though seem oddly out of place here: 'Way Down' by Elvis Presley, ditto 'When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman' by Dr Hook?
There are some more mainstream acts included who dipped a toe or should that be cowboy boot into the genre such as Squeeze who offer the ballad 'Labelled With Love' and Elvis Costello and The Attractions with 'Good Year For The Roses'.
Some acts from the tail of the last century get a look in such as Shania Twain who gives us the memorable 'Man! I Feel Like A Woman!' and The Mavericks whose track 'Dance The Night Away' always reminded me of a Jim Reeves song and has since become a karaoke classic.
Talking of which, Jim Reeves actually closes the compilation with'I Love You Because'.
I rate the album 4 out of 5.