Alabama

The Essential Alabama [2005]

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RCA/Legacy's 2005 double-disc release Essential Alabama should not be confused with RCA's 1998 single-disc release The Essential Alabama, which may have had the same title but boasted a different track listing. However, the 2005 Essential Alabama should be confused with the 1998 double-disc set For the Record: 41 Number One Hits, since it has the same track listing as that album. At least the back cover of Essential acknowledges that it was "formerly available" as For the Record, so most fans will likely not be duped into buying the same album a second time. For the rest of us, Essential Alabama keeps everything good about For the Record: 41 Number One Hits and eliminates its one flaw: the misleading subtitle that claimed all of the songs on the album hit number one, which was not true (it also implied that the album had 41 songs when it really had 44). Which means that Essential Alabama is now the definitive Alabama collection, containing every one of their big hits -- including such contemporary classics as "Tennessee River," "Mountain Music," "The Closer You Get," "Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')," "Jukebox on My Mind," and "Down Home" -- in one concise, entertaining package.

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