21 Number Ones

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
With a new studio album on the way, Kenny Rogers is primed for a resurgence in 2006, starting with this concise reminder of the wide swath he's cut through the country mainstream over the past 30 years. Staring with his first No. 1 single, 1976's lilting country-folk gem "Lucille," Rogers has made the top of the charts his home away from home to the tune of, as this album title indicates, 21 Number Ones. Never the prettiest of instruments, Rogers's sandpapery voice has been surrounded by smart, lilting arrangements that reference both country and pop, his ballads enhanced by lush string arrangements, his story songs with pedal steel cries, and throughout, background ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
With a new studio album on the way, Kenny Rogers is primed for a resurgence in 2006, starting with this concise reminder of the wide swath he's cut through the country mainstream over the past 30 years. Staring with his first No. 1 single, 1976's lilting country-folk gem "Lucille," Rogers has made the top of the charts his home away from home to the tune of, as this album title indicates, 21 Number Ones. Never the prettiest of instruments, Rogers's sandpapery voice has been surrounded by smart, lilting arrangements that reference both country and pop, his ballads enhanced by lush string arrangements, his story songs with pedal steel cries, and throughout, background voices that betray some southern gospel influence. The formula has worked aces for Rogers, employed as it is in the service of finely crafted tunes with simple, unambiguous lyrics that either embrace a universal philosophical conceit "The Gambler" or Hallmark-style platitudes of enduring love "Through the Years". Most of the tunes here were country chart-toppers, but this legacy also includes the massive Lionel Richie–penned and –produced love ballad "Lady," which reached the apex of the country, pop, and adult contemporary charts all at once, as well as three other songs including the rousing duet with Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream" that were simultaneously No. 1's on the country and pop or AC charts, and another, "Share Your Love with Me," that was solely a No. 1 AC hit. In addition to the Parton single, Rogers's other duet smashes include "We've Got Tonight" with Sheena Easton, "Make No Mistake, She's Mine" with Ronnie Milsap, "Buy Me a Rose" with Alison Krauss and Billy Dean, and three with Dottie West. An awesome achievement, this, with the promise of more ahead.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Given Kenny Rogers' long and successful recording career, it would seem that a collection like 21 Number Ones would be a useful to way to collect all of his biggest and best hits. That's not necessarily the case. First of all, this 2006 compilation has nothing from the First Edition, with whom he had his earliest hits, including "Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In" and "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town." Then, because of the nature of number one singles -- once an artist has had one number one single, it's easier to rack up subsequent singles, particularly on a genre-specific chart like Country, which is where nearly all of these 21 tracks charted -- his more interesting music from the late '70s and early '80s is left behind in favor of the slick ballads of the second half of the '80s. These are songs that did hit number one on the charts, but they're a little samey and not is interesting as the singles he made on his way up the charts. That said, with the exception of the previously mentioned First Edition singles -- and some other good '70s sides like "Something's Burning," "Laura What's He Got That I Ain't Got?," and "Love Lifted Me" -- all the big hits are here in their original hit versions, including the bonus track of the Kim Carnes duet "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer," which may not have hit number one, but made the Top Five on the Pop, Country, and Adult Contemporary charts. While it's hard not to miss those First Edition songs, this is the best single-disc collection of Rogers' biggest songs -- it's half the length of 2004's 42 Ultimate Hits, after all, so many listeners may find this more manageable -- which makes it both a useful overview and introduction. Plus, it has terrific song-by-song liner notes by Kenny Rogers himself, offering such insights as: "Around the world, I am known as the Gambler. When I go to Korea or Japan, for example, people see me and go, 'Ah, the Gambler.' The song really is a wonderful piece of philosophy, not just about playing cards or gambling, but about life in general"; "Sheena Easton had some Streisand-like qualities, this wonderfully lyrical singer who sang with a little more everyday passion than Streisand"; and "Kim Carnes and I, we sound like we're hemorrhaging half the time when we're singing in full voice." For fans who already have this music elsewhere, these notes very well may make 21 Number Ones a worthwhile purchase.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/24/2006
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 094634046923
  • Catalog Number: 40469
  • Sales rank: 4,992

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kenny Rogers Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Kim Carnes Composer
Jimmy Holiday Composer
Dave Loggins Composer
Lionel Richie Composer
Robin Gibb Composer
Billy Edd Wheeler Composer
Barry Gibb Composer, Audio Production
Steve Gibb Composer
Bob Morrison Composer
Roger Bowling Composer
Larry Butler Audio Production
Steve Dorff Composer
Dave Ellingson Composer
Maurice Gibb Composer
Steve Glassmeyer Composer
Randy Goodrum Composer
Debbie Hupp Composer
Kenny Rogers Composer
David Malloy Composer
Deadric Malone Composer
Richard Marx Composer
Marty Panzer Composer
Bob Seger Composer
Even Stevens Composer
Thom Schuyler Composer
Jeffrey M. Tweel Composer
Eddie Reeves Composer
Ben Peters Composer
Kenny Roberts Track Notes
David McEowen Mastering
John Dyes Composer
Hal Bynum Composer
Don Schlitz Composer
Alfred Braggs Composer
Jim Funk Composer
Susan Lavoie Art Direction
Erik Hickenlooper Composer
Rick Christian Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Easy Listening

    Easy and soothing to listen to while driving. Just love his music

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Introducing an New Generation to KR Classics

    Collection has all the best of Kenny Rogers that I was looking for. Now introducing my kids to his music--they especially love his story songs like The Gambler and Coward of the County.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews