21 #1 Hits: The Ultimate Collection

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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.
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: 8/1/2006
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227409326
  • Catalog Number: 74093
  • Sales rank: 6,434

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Buck Owens Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Dwight Yoakam Guitar, Vocals
The 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
Dave Schultz Remastering
Mathieu Bitton Art Direction
Peter Anderson Audio Production
Voni Morrison Composer
Patrick Mulligan Discographical Annotation
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