Dwight Yoakam

The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam

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Take a look at the title of Rhino's 2004 Dwight Yoakam collection -- this is The Very Best of Dwight Yoakam, not The Greatest Hits, which means that there are several hit singles missing. Actually, there are a grand total of 20 charting singles missing, the exact length of The Very Best Of and certainly more than can be winnowed down to a single-disc overview of his biggest hits. Inevitably, cuts had to be made, and the decision was made to span his entire career, coming at the expense at some of his earlier, bigger hits, which means this may not appeal as much to listeners who are familiar with Dwight from the time he had a steady string of singles in the country Top Ten. Instead, this collection skews toward a crossover audience -- or, to be frank, rock guys who like Yoakam. In that regard, it's a success, giving a good idea of the range of his music, offering his biggest hits, along with popular countrified covers of "Suspicious Minds," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and "I Want You to Want Me." It could be argued convincingly that Just Lookin' for a Hit gives a better picture of Yoakam the hitmaker, but this is nevertheless a better portrait of his full career, and a better indication of what he wound up being: every alt-rocker's favorite neo-traditional country singer.

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