Various Artists

NOW That's What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

While this 34-track compilation celebrates the half-centennial of the Academy of Country Music Awards, its contents don't go back quite that far. Moreover, it goes in reverse chronological order, so fans of contemporary country can hear their favorite hits on the set's first disc. This basically addresses the tradition's split into two camps -- the modern era that began in 1991 (with Brooks & Dunn in some historical revisionism), and everything that came before. Interestingly enough, Garth Brooks, the man who unintentionally caused the rift, is nowhere represented. Disc one features smash hits by Lady Antebellum ("Need You Now"), Taylor Swift ("Mean"), Miranda Lambert "The House That Built Me"), Lee Brice ("I Drive Your Truck"), Lee Ann Womack ("I Hope You Dance"), Kenny Chesney ("The Good Stuff"), Faith Hill ("This Kiss"), and Tim McGraw ("Live Like You Were Dyin'"), to name a few. Disc two starts in 1989 with Clint Black's "Better Man," revisits 1987 with Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever Amen" and the Highwaymen in 1985 with their signature theme, 1983's Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton duet ("Islands in the Stream"), and Willie Nelson in 1982 ("Always on My Mind"). Before these are Alabama and the Oak Ridge Boys, George Jones, Don Williams, Glen Campbell, and Charlie Rich, and going all the way back to Merle Haggard with his 1969 novelty song "Okie from Muskogee," which closes out the set.

blue highlight denotes track pick