Music Club's 1999 collection Islands in the Stream: The Greatest Hits 1983-1988 concentrates on a very specific period of Kenny Rogers' career: the time after he had already been a superstar and was now concentrating on crossover success, fashioning himself as an adult contemporary MOR crooner. He inaugurated this phase of his career with 1983's Eyes That See in the Dark, a record written by the Bee Gees that was arguably the finest album of his career, if judged on a pure track-by-track level. This turned out to be a quick peak, as each successive record was a little slicker, a little more considered, and a little less interesting. This collection contains most of the highlights from these albums, including all the hits and a good portion of Eyes That See in the Dark. While that record is still essential to any Kenny Rogers collection and provides unquestionably the best material, this does round up the best from the uneven records -- tunes that prove he was indeed a good adult contemporary singer -- and is worthwhile if taken on those terms.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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