Unlike some volumes in the MCA Special Products series, Country Classics, Vol. 5 (1985-1986) covers a short, specific span of time, which it means it's a lot more consistent than some of its cousins. That doesn't mean it's a perfect album, since there are a couple of weak cuts here. Nevertheless, that sort of weakness should be expected from any budget-line collection, and there are more than enough strong songs -- George Strait's "The Chair," Reba McEntire's "Have I Got a Deal for You," Nicolette Larson's "Let Me Be the First," Steve Wariner's "Life's Highway," Waylon Jennings' "Working Without a Net," Barbara Mandrell's "Angel In Your Arms" and Steve Earle's "Hillbilly Highway" -- to make it worth its budget price.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine