The Essential Series Sampler selects 20 highlights from RCA's Essential Series, which combines hits and rarities from some of the label's most popular country artists. For this sampler, RCA has wisely chosen to stick with familiar items from Floyd Cramer, Jim Ed Brown, Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Dottie West, Jim Reeves, Skeeter Davis and Ronnie Milsap. It still doesn't make the collection coherent -- there are too many different styles from too many different eras for this disc to really hold together -- but it's still an excellent sampler, indicating what a fine series Essential is.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine