42 Ultimate Hits

42 Ultimate Hits

by Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers has amassed his fair share of hits -- enough, in fact, to fill two CDs with more than three decades of chart history. It all begins with his 1968 breakout as lead singer in the First Edition, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," the Mickey Newbury–penned tune that is a bit of a send-up of the whole psychedelic era, both in…  See more details below


Kenny Rogers has amassed his fair share of hits -- enough, in fact, to fill two CDs with more than three decades of chart history. It all begins with his 1968 breakout as lead singer in the First Edition, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," the Mickey Newbury–penned tune that is a bit of a send-up of the whole psychedelic era, both in terms of the consciously pseudo-hip lyrics and the Beatlesque touches of backwards guitars. The First Edition, which was soon billed as Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, did go on to make some good records, and this collection gives them ample play: "Reuben James," Mel Tillis's sardonic "Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town," and the intense stomper "Something's Burning" all have their merits and messages. After launching his solo career, Rogers became one of the top-selling country artists of all time, then branched out into pop before ultimately returning to country again, always successful no matter the style. His meal tickets are strong story-songs, such as the venerable "The Gambler" and "Coward of the County," and poignant love songs on the order of Lionel Richie's "Lady" and the gentle rocker "She Believes In Me." He also scored big with several powerful duets that pair him with Dottie West (including "All I Need Is You"), Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton, Dolly Parton (the Gibb brothers' fanciful "Islands in the Stream"), Alison Krauss (the haunting pop-country entreaty, "Buy Me a Rose"), and Ronnie Milsap ("Make No Mistake, She's Mine"). Throughout his career, Kenny Rogers has struck a big chord with the public, and that note continues to resonate on this action-packed collection.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Kenny Rogers compilations tend to drift in and out of print, yet in a sense it doesn't matter much, because most featured most of the big hits. However, very few contained them all and, as of 2004, the only collection in print that contained all his big hits, from the First Edition through the mid-'80s, was 1999's four-disc box set Through the Years, which was too exhaustive for all but dedicated Rogers fans. So, there was a need for a new, relatively concise collection that featured all the hits; hence Capitol's 42 Ultimate Hits, a double-disc set that spans Kenny's entire career, from the First Edition to two new tracks, including a duet with Whitney Duncan. There's not much missing -- a few First Edition singles, along with several post-Eyes That See in the Dark hits that weren't all that memorable, neither of which are missed -- and it could even be argued that it stretches a little bit too far into the present on its second disc, which loses its momentum halfway through. Nevertheless, these are minor complaints, since the bulk of the collection provides Kenny Rogers' biggest songs -- among them "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)," "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," "Lucille," "Every Time Two Fools Collide," "The Gambler," "Coward of the County," "You Decorated My Life," "Lady," "Love Will Turn You Around," and "Islands in the Stream" -- in a chronological order and a listenable sequence. It may fall a little short of definitive, but it's still the best compilation on the market as of this writing.

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Disc 1

  1. Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
  2. Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town
  3. Reuben James
  4. Something's Burning
  5. Tell It All, Brother
  6. Love Lifted Me
  7. Lucille
  8. Daytime Friends
  9. Sweet Music Man
  10. Every Time Two Fools Collide
  11. Love Or Something Like It
  12. Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight
  13. The Gambler
  14. All I Ever Need Is You
  15. She Believes In Me
  16. Til I Can Make It On My Own
  17. You Decorated My Life
  18. Coward Of The County
  19. Don't fall In Love With A Dreamer
  20. Love The World Away
  21. Lady

Disc 2

  1. What Are We Doin' In Love
  2. I Don't Need You
  3. Share Your Love With Me
  4. Blaze Of Glory
  5. Through The Years
  6. Love Will Turn You Around
  7. A Love Song
  8. We've Got Tonight
  9. Scarlet Fever
  10. Islands In The Stream
  11. Buried Treasure
  12. Crazy
  13. Morning Desire
  14. Make No Mistake, She's Mine
  15. Twenty Years Ago
  16. The Vows Go Unbroken
  17. The Greatest
  18. Buy Me A Rose
  19. It's A Beautiful Life
  20. My World Is Over
  21. We're All The Same

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kenny Rogers   Primary Artist
Matt Rollings   Piano
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Joe Chemay   Percussion,Background Vocals
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vicki Hampton   Background Vocals
Yvonne Hodges   Background Vocals
John Kelton   Bass
Sean Locke   Vocals
Brent Mason   Guitar
Matthew McCauley   Conductor
Chris McHugh   Drums
Wendy Moten   Background Vocals
Bobby Ogdin   Keyboards
Billy Panda   Acoustic Guitar
Chuck Tilley   Drums
Chris Willis   Background Vocals
Spencer Campbell   Bass
Kenny Roberts   Vocals
Dwaine Rowe   Keyboards
Van Thanh Nguyen   Vocals
Phil Vassar   Piano,Background Vocals
Robert Bailey   Background Vocals
Tom Bukovac   Electric Guitar
Jeff Smith   Guitar
Steven Delopoulos   Vocals
Mike Durham   Guitar
Jenai   Vocals
Ilya Toshinsky   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Bill Miller   Vocals
John Howard   Bass
Cameron Court   Vocals
Sanaz Kiani   Vocals
Lydia Salnikova   Keyboards,Vocals
Whitney Duncan   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Mac Davis   Composer
Lee Greenwood   Composer
Mickey Newbury   Composer
Mel Tillis   Composer
Tammy Wynette   Composer
Kim Carnes   Composer
Jimmy Holiday   Composer
Dave Loggins   Composer
Lionel Richie   Composer
Howard Smith   Composer
Mike Post   Composer
Robin Gibb   Composer
Eric Kaz   Composer
Billy Edd Wheeler   Composer
Barry Gibb   Composer
Gary Burr   Composer
Joe Chemay   Producer,Engineer
Steve Gibb   Composer
Bob Morrison   Composer
Kieran Kane   Composer
Charlie Black   Composer
Roger Bowling   Composer
Steve Dorff   Composer
Dave Ellingson   Composer
Maurice Gibb   Composer
Steve Glassmeyer   Composer
Randy Goodrum   Composer
Gary Gray   Engineer
John Guess   Producer
Debbie Hupp   Composer
Larry Keith   Composer
Casey Kelly   Composer
John Kelton   Engineer
Kenny Rogers   Composer
Brent Maher   Composer,Producer,Engineer
David Malloy   Composer
Deadric Malone   Composer
Richard Marx   Composer
Matthew McCauley   String Arrangements
Danny Morrison   Composer
Brian Nash   Composer
Wood Newton   Composer
Michael Noble   Composer
Marty Panzer   Composer
George Richey   Composer
Bob Seger   Composer
Billy Sherrill   Composer
Johnny Slate   Composer
Keith Stegall   Producer
Even Stevens   Composer
Thom Schuyler   Composer
Michael Spriggs   Composer
Jeffrey M. Tweel   Composer
Eddie Reeves   Composer
Mike Dekle   Composer
Ben Peters   Composer
Kenny Roberts   Producer
Granger Beem   Engineer
Bernard Boudreau   Cover Photo
Jim Collins   Composer
John Dyes   Composer
Matt Andrews   Engineer
Hal Bynum   Composer
Preston Ross   Composer
Don Schlitz   Composer
Nancy Henderson   Liner Notes
Alfred Braggs   Composer
Julie Didler   Composer
Barry Etris   Composer
Dan Tyler   Composer
Phil Vassar   Composer,Producer
J. Wilson   Composer
Erick Jaskowiak   Engineer
Scott Kidd   Engineer
Alex Harvey   Composer
Matt Rovey   Engineer
Joanna Carter   Art Direction
Jim Funk   Composer
Erik Hickenlooper   Composer
Whitney Duncan   Composer
Rick Christian   Composer

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