21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection

21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection

by Buck Owens
     
 

Gone too soon at age 76 in March 2006, Buck Owens could hardly have had a better tribute to his artistry than this collection of his 21 influential chart-toppers. An architect of the enduring Bakersfield Sound -- and along with Merle Haggard, its most commercially successful proponent -- Owens fashioned his heady hybrid from honky-tonk, rockabilly, and a dollop of… See more details below

Overview

Gone too soon at age 76 in March 2006, Buck Owens could hardly have had a better tribute to his artistry than this collection of his 21 influential chart-toppers. An architect of the enduring Bakersfield Sound -- and along with Merle Haggard, its most commercially successful proponent -- Owens fashioned his heady hybrid from honky-tonk, rockabilly, and a dollop of western swing; added in his own gifts as a nimble lyricist; assembled an absolutely killer band in the Buckaroos; and set a furious pace between 1963 and 1967. Seventeen consecutive No. 1 singles make up the lion's share of this essential set. Indicative of his broad-based appeal, Buck saw the Beatles cut a hit 1965 cover of his first No. 1, "Act Naturally"; Ray Charles create a signature hit with "Cryin' Time"; and, in 1988, Dwight Yoakam top the charts with "Streets of Bakersfield," a duet with Owns himself. A single disc can tell only a bit of the story, but what a story it tells -- these are the songs most of America knew Buck by and loved him for, songs that reached across generations and genres to make a lasting impact. Many of Buck's hits were relentlessly sunny -- even the laments in "How Long Will My Baby Be Gone" are articulated at a brisk pace -- but when he got in the mood he could put an aching ballad across with the best: Witness the classic status of 1964's "Together Again" and the beautiful, moaning 1965 heartbreaker, "Only You Can Break My Heart." They're all here, remastered, well annotated, and better than ever.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
It's not accurate to say that Buck Owens' catalog has been mistreated on CD -- he was one of the first major country artists to be given an excellent, comprehensive multi-disc box set, and he's one of the few country artists to see most of his actual full-length LPs reissued on CD. Despite all this activity, there has been one glaring omission from his discography: a single-disc overview of his career containing all his big hits. Released a few months after his death, Rhino's 2006 release 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection comes close to filling that bill. Like most collections that narrow their focus to just Billboard chart-toppers, 21 #1 Hits contains the lion's share of the artist's best-known songs -- in this case, "Act Naturally," "Love's Gonna Live Here," "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail," "Together Again," "Buckaroo," and his duet with Dwight Yoakam on "Streets of Bakersfield" are all here -- yet misses some important and popular sides that came up shy of the pole position. Here, such early singles as "Second Fiddle," "Under Your Spell Again," "Above and Beyond," and "Mental Cruelty" are missing in action, and all deserve a spot on a definitive introduction to Buck, particularly since there's room for them on this 50-minute disc. Also, this comp suffers from odd sequencing: most of his best-known songs all arrive within the first six songs, including the 1988 re-recording of "Streets of Bakersfield," which sounds out of place sandwiched between the '60s classics "Love's Gonna Live Here" and "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail." After that introductory burst, it settles into a rough chronological order, which only highlights the fact that the 1988 "Streets" would have been a better closer than Buck's admittedly fine 1969 live version of "Johnny B. Goode." But this is nitpicking: there is no other single-disc Buck CD that comes as close to offering as much of his best in one disc as 21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection, and it's nice to finally have such a collection in his catalog after such a long wait.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/01/2006
Label:
Rhino
UPC:
0081227409326
catalogNumber:
74093
Rank:
19255

Related Subjects

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buck Owens   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Dwight Yoakam   Guitar,Vocals
Jordanaires   Background Vocals
Red Simpson   Guitar
Pete Anderson   Guitar
Skip Edwards   Piano
Flaco Jiménez   Accordion
Donald Frost   Bass
Jay Dee Maness   Steel Guitar
Bob Morris   Bass
Taras Prodaniuk   Bass
Don Reed   Fiddle
Don Rich   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Jim Shaw   Organ
Doyle Curtsinger   Bass
Mel Taylor   Drums
Jerry Wiggins   Drums
Jeff Donavan   Drums
Willie Cantu   Drums,Tambourine
Doyle Holly   Guitar
Jay McDonald   Steel Guitar
Kenny Pierce   Bass
Ken Presley   Drums
Jelly Sanders   Guitar
Mel King   Drums
Albert "Al Bruno" Bruneau   Guitar
Jimmy Burton   Guitar

Technical Credits

Buck Owens   Composer
Chuck Berry   Composer
Red Simpson   Composer
Pete Anderson   Producer
Harlan Howard   Composer
Homer Joy   Composer
Bob Morris   Composer
Ken Nelson   Producer,Audio Production
Estella Olson   Composer
Gary Peterson   Discographical Annotation
Don Rich   Composer
Jim Shaw   Executive Producer
Rich Kienzle   Liner Notes
Nat Stuckey   Composer
Mathieu Bitton   Art Direction
Peter Anderson   Audio Production
Voni Morrison   Composer
Patrick Mulligan   Discographical Annotation

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