Even though they're occasionally shilled over the television airwaves, Time Life compilations are excellent sources for the best in mass-produced pop, rock, and country music. This 20-track collection of country duets is no different, standing as a near-perfect summation of the style as it emerged in the '60s and lasted through the '80s. Starting where every duets compilation should -- with the triumvirate of Johnny Cash-June Carter, Loretta Lynn-Conway Twitty, and George Jones-Tammy Wynette -- the disc proceeds to feature a parade of touchstone hits like "Don't Let Me Cross Over" (Carl and Pearl Butler), "Suspicious Minds" (Waylon Jennings-Jessi Colter), and "Islands in the Stream" (Kenny Rogers-Dolly Parton). The gradual progression from the (comparatively) gritty Nashville sound of the '60s to the ultraslick country-pop of the '80s can be grating, but Classic Country: Great Duets certainly succeeds in its mission.
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AllMusic Review by John Bush