You'd be hard-pressed to find a better single-disc Charlie Daniels Band greatest-hits compilation than 16 Biggest Hits, which indeed lives up to its billing, rounding up a balanced selection of hits that span from 1973 to 1989 -- from "Uneasy Rider" to "(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks." Granted, the Charlie Daniels of the mid-'70s sounds a lot rawer than the Charlie Daniels of the mid- to late '80s, with some listeners no doubt preferring the rowdiness of the former to the polished appeal of the latter, and vice versa. But either way, it's nice to have such a range of music represented here on 16 Biggest Hits, because it showcases how the Charlie Daniels Band -- and, by extension, country music altogether -- evolved over the decades, getting steadily streamlined for broader appeal. The Essential Charlie Daniels Band, released a few years earlier, has a lot in common with 16 Biggest Hits, though at only 14 tracks and non-chronologically sequenced, it's slightly inferior. The chronological sequencing of 16 Biggest Hits is key, for it plays out like history itself, as Charlie Daniels grew from his Southern rock and outlaw country roots -- best exemplified by Fire on the Mountain (1974), represented here by three songs -- to his flag-waving anthems of the '80s like "In America," "Still in Saigon," and "(What This World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks." Of course, there are a lot more Charlie Daniels Band highlights than the 16 here, but few were bigger than these. And if indeed you're looking for a more definitive collection of music, The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band is recommended, offering 30 songs over the course of two discs, and also Roots Remain, an all-encompassing 45-song triple-disc set including rarities.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier