Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band

16 Biggest Hits

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There's only one thing wrong with this album, but it's a big thing. The title notwithstanding, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers' 16 Biggest Hits actually contains 16 of their 17 biggest hits, with one important omission: the number one hit "I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love." It's hard to think of any excuse other than an error on the part of somebody at Columbia/Legacy to explain why one of the Gatlins' three biggest hits isn't on this collection. Certainly, Larry Gatlin and company were way overdue for a compilation of this sort, not having had any hits albums on the market since a series of three inadequate LPs in the late 1970s and early '80s. (The 1996 collection The Best of the Gatlins: All the Gold in California excludes Larry Gatlin's most successful solo recordings, making it another flawed compilation, and more expensive.) The Gatlin discography was subject to a dizzying series of varied billings, with different singles variously credited to: Larry Gatlin; Larry Gatlin with Family & Friends; Larry Gatlin With Brothers and Friends; Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Band; Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers; Larry, Steve, Rudy: the Gatlin Brothers; and the Gatlin Brothers. But no matter what the credit, all of the major Gatlin country hits from 1975's "Broken Lady" to 1988's "Love of a Lifetime" are here, all except "I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love," that is. At a mid-line price, and containing more of the Gatlins' hits than any other disc, this album must be rated their first pick. But somebody at the record company should correct the obvious mistake and then reissue this reissue.

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