Platinum Collection

Platinum Collection

by Eddie RabbittEddie Rabbitt

CD

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Overview

Perhaps it's due, as Gary Wallington's liner notes state, to territory and estate restrictions that the Eddie Rabbitt volume in the Rhino Platinum Collection is missing one of his essential hits. Though "Step by Step" appeared on the 1985 CD titled #1's, which cross-licensed material from Rabbitt's Warner, RCA and Curb years, it was before the singer and songwriter passed away; he died in 1998. What is here are 22 excellent tracks with nary a filler in the bunch. Of course it opens with "I Love a Rainy Night," and continues through so many of the hits we associate with him, from "Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)," "Kentucky Rain" (he wrote it), "Suspicions," "Drivin' My Life Away," "Song of Ireland," "We Can't Go on Living Like This," "Hearts on Fire," and "Every Which Way but Loose." But the sound of this compilation with its remastered cuts is easily the best one out there. Like Ronnie Milsap, Eddie Rabbitt (yes, his real name) transcended the limits of Nashville and country music. In fact, he and Milsap extended its reach into the mainstream pop charts in the '70s, and this collection, which covers the years 1975-1980 when he left for RCA, is the period immediately preceding and just after Urban Cowboy. Rabbitt's music was far outside the outlaw country of Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings, but he helped to usher in an new era of crossover chart success not only for himself but for other performers like Lacy J. Dalton and Gail Davies, among others. The New York-born, New Jersey-raised Rabbitt would have been right in sync with the performers of the 21st century, given his love of rock & roll and his knack for delivering uncanny hooks with his writing partner Even Stevens. At 66 minutes, this is a killer collection that may be missing a few cuts, but it provides an excellent introduction and great listening nonetheless.

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