40 Greatest Hits is one of the most complete CD anthologies of Brook Benton's Mercury hits. The two-disc set includes every one of Benton's Top 100 pop hits, except for a Christmas single and a minor spoken-word hit. Everything else, including his two rock-oriented duets with Dinah Washington and smash hit "The Boll Weevil Song," is here. Benton's smooth Nat "King" Cole-influenced vocals are very white-sounding at times, but he was a pioneer in hiring black string players for his sessions, and his eclectic choices of material show that he was an artist with broad tastes and exceptional talent. His range is remarkable, spanning gospel, pop, country, rock & roll, and easy listening balladry, and his recordings were often crisply produced in the Nashville Sound-style by Shelby Singleton. Colin Escott wrote the liner notes for this package, which concludes with Benton's last major hit, "Rainy Night in Georgia." A cross-licensed collection could conceivably round up his remaining minor hits and be marginally more complete, but 40 Greatest Hits is the ideal summary of Benton's peak years on the chart.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Adams