Ronnie Milsap

16 Biggest Hits

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16 Biggest Hits lives up to its billing, more or less, rounding up a wide-ranging selection of Ronnie Milsap's most memorable songs. All but one of these 16 songs was a chart-topper, and the only one that wasn't, the Top Five-charting "Stranger in My House," is a darn good song nonetheless, certainly one of his best by any other measure. The selections of 16 Greatest Hits span 15 years, from "Pure Love" (1974) to "A Woman in Love" (1989), and the compilation leans heavily on Milsap's early-'80s hitmaking prime, when his music fit right in with the urban cowboy trend then prevailing. Thankfully, there's a good selection of mid-'70s hits thrown in as well, like the Kristofferson-penned "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends," so that Milsap's countrypolitan phase is represented, thereby counterbalancing the heft of the early-'80s material here. It's debatable whether or not 16 Biggest Hits would have been a better listen if it had been sequenced chronologically, if only to showcase the arc of Milsap's career. There's a bounty of Milsap best-ofs on the market, with double-discs like The Essential Ronnie Milsap (2006) and 40 #1 Hits (2000) standing out as the most comprehensive. However, if the prospect of 40 songs on one collection is too daunting, or just plain too much, a single-disc collection like 16 Biggest Hits or the 22-track Ultimate Ronnie Milsap (2004) is ideal. Either way, Milsap sang a ridiculous number of hits in his day, so it's hard to go wrong with any collection that's reasonably compiled.

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