Very Best of John Michael Montgomery

Very Best of John Michael Montgomery

3.0 2
by John Michael Montgomery

The Very Best of John Michael Montgomery is truly the crème de la crème, given that the tall Kentuckian has sold more than 15 million albums and filled a trophy case with multiplatinum awards. This 20-song set highlights the secret of Monty's success: good songs about loving hard and long, keeping the faith, dedication to loved ones, and celebrating joys. And…  See more details below


The Very Best of John Michael Montgomery is truly the crème de la crème, given that the tall Kentuckian has sold more than 15 million albums and filled a trophy case with multiplatinum awards. This 20-song set highlights the secret of Monty's success: good songs about loving hard and long, keeping the faith, dedication to loved ones, and celebrating joys. And be it a ballad or a barn burner, his sturdy baritone voice can dig in and bring passion or enthusiasm to the moment. All the essentials are here, including enduring ballads such as "I Swear" and "I Love the Way You Love Me"; the well-observed tale of a young girl's salvation from a violent home, "This Little Girl," which features Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski's vocal support; the fiddle-fired "Life's a Dance," a timeless bit of gently rocking, homespun philosophy; and the raucous, neo-honky-tonk workout "Be My Baby Tonight," replete with some Jerry Lee–style piano, soaring twin guitar solos, and frenetic fiddling. As a bonus, Montgomery cut two new songs for the album: "Cool," a father's perceptive look back at his youthful follies as he sees himself in his own son's eyes, and the deliberate, heartfelt pledge "One Day Less," which figures to rank with Montgomery's best love songs. Here's a collection of solid mainstream country by a fellow who puts his soul into every song, keeps his nose to the grindstone, and does good work each time out.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Rick Anderson
For the millions of fans who have made John Michael Montgomery a major country music star, and who probably already own most (if not all) of the eight albums from which this best-of is drawn, the main appeal of this album will be functional: it pulls together a disproportionate number of the power ballads for which he is justly famous, making this a heartland makeout record of considerable utility. (It also features two previously unreleased power ballads, "Cool" and "One Day Less.") Not every song here is a heart-tugging love song, but most of them are, and those are the best ones. Lyrically, this stuff is exquisitely predictable: she's strong, life goes on, she thinks he's wonderful even though he's just a regular guy, she's his best friend, they've been through some tough times and now he loves her more than ever, love can move a mountain, etc. But to complain about that would be to miss the point; mainstream country music is about meeting expectations, not confounding them, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. That said, there are one or two mild surprises, such as the unusually complex and soulful "Angel in My Eyes" and the Alison Krauss/Dan Tyminski cameo on the tearjerking "Little Girl." They're not surprising enough to be a problem, though. Recommended.

Product Details

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Michael Montgomery   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Richard Fagan   Composer
Jerry Holland   Composer
Rick Bowles   Composer
Harley Allen   Composer
James Austin   Producer
Gary Baker   Composer
Keith Blake   Remastering
Buddy Cannon   Producer
Chuck Cannon   Composer
Steve Diamond   Composer
Garth Fundis   Producer
Byron Gallimore   Producer
Scott Hendricks   Producer,Engineering
Jennifer Kimball   Composer
Josh Leo   Composer
Stan Lynch   Composer
John Michael Montgomery   Producer
Frank J. Myers   Composer
Csaba Petocz   Producer
Robb Royer   Composer
Mark Sanders   Composer
Bob Seger   Composer
Allen Shamblin   Composer
Victoria Shaw   Composer
John Scott Sherrill   Composer
Michael Timmins   Composer
Norro Wilson   Producer
Robert K. Oermann   Liner Notes
William Robinson   Composer
Sarah Light   Composer
Jimmy Denton   Composer
Beverly Parker   Cover Photo
Paige Levy   Producer
Steve Woolard   Discographical Annotation
Will Rambeaux   Composer
Rebecca Marshall   Composer
Tony Marty   Composer
Arlos Smith   Composer
Aggie Brown   Composer
Jess Brown   Composer
Blair Daly   Composer
Maribeth Derry   Composer
Doug Johnson   Producer
Jerry Kilgore   Composer
Valerie Valera   Art Direction
Brice Long   Composer
Brett Jones   Composer
Steve Seskin   Composer
Ed "G.E." Hill   Composer
Kerry Harvick   Composer
Tony Mullins   Composer

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The Very Best of John Michael Montgomery 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The son of a Kentucky musician whose own Nashville dreams never came true, John Michael Montgomery kept a bit of his daddy's hometown grit, even as he put together an impressive string of Nashville-produced hit albums and singles. This generous compilation offers twenty tracks, and collects nearly every significant hit single that Montgomery's had in his twelve year recording career. ¶ Montgomery's first hits, the ballads "Life's a Dance" and "I Love the Way You Love Me," had a middle-of-the-road sweetness that hit an emotional chord with both record buyers and award givers -- the second single was the ACM song-of-the-year for 1993. The love songs continued in 1994 with, "I Swear," as did the awards (ACM song-of-the-year and single-of-the-year). As with most of Montgomery's ballads, the country flavor is to be found almost entirely in his vocals. There's a hint of steel, but the drums-guitars-bass-keyboard backing could just as easily host a pop vocalist (in fact, the song was covered by the R&B group All-4-One and netted a grammy). It's the slight edge in Montgomery's voice, the phrasings, and the down-home sentimentality of the lyrics that brings his slow songs into the country arena. ¶ Later in 1994 his singles began to capitalize on Montgomery's uptempo numbers, charting with the rowdy country-rocker "Be My Baby Tonight" and the mid-tempo "If You've Got Love." Both tracks kick up the twangy guitars and fiddle of a honky-tonk bred backing. His releases continued mix ballads and up-tempo tunes, including the lightning-quick auctioneer's cadence of "Sold (The Grundy Country Auction Incident)" and the contemplation of his father's death, "I Miss You a Little." The latter, unfortunately, is missing from this collection. ¶ By 1996 Montgomery was mostly charting ballads, variously edging more towards the center and bringing a bigger dose of his country sound down-tempo. "Angel in My Eyes" is more contemporary pop than country, but 1998's "Cover You in Kisses" has a superb melody anchored by a strong underline of steel and fiddle. Montgomery's last #1 single, 2000's "The Little Girl" features Alison Krauss and Dan Tyminski on harmony vocals. ¶ In addition to seven #1s (seventeen top-5s!), this collection adds "'Til Nothing Comes Between Us" from the "Pictures" album, and a pair of newly recorded tracks: the waltz-time generation gap tale "Cool," and the romantic "One Less Day." This is a terrific overview and introduction to Montgomery's hitmaking career. Though it's missing the top-5 "Cowboy Love" and top-10 "I Miss You a Little," it's probably the more complete pick over his 1997 "Greatest Hits" LP.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago