Though named after Tennessee Ernie Ford's biggest hit, Sixteen Tons was released five years after the single was a hit. The large gap of time between the release of the single and album is inconsequential -- in essence, the album is a compilation of Ford's greatest hits of the '50s, containing not only the title track, but also "Mule Train," "The Cry of the Wild Goose," and "The Shot Gun Boogie." Though more comprehensive compilations of Ford's work were later released, Sixteen Tons remains an entertaining listen from start to finish; in fact, in terms of sheer listenability, it rivals any of the latter-day collections.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine