Various Artists

20 #1's: Classic Country

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As its title describes, this collection offers up 20 songs that reached number one on the country charts, ranging from early-'60s countrypolitan to late-'80s new country. Among them are some true classics of the genre befitting the compilation's Classic Country label as well as some songs that just seem to have caught the Zeitgeist of the time. You can't argue with Loretta Lynn's autobiographical "Coal Miner's Daughter" or the eternal heartbreak of Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces." George Jones' witty ode to moonshine "White Lightning" is always welcome, and it's nice to see selections from Waylon Jennings and Tom T. Hall as well. Perhaps Dan Seal's synthetic-sounding 1985 single "Bop" doesn't quite qualify as classic country, but then again, someone helped it get to number one. Longtime devotees of country radio will certainly know the bulk of these tunes, which range in quality but boast plenty of appeal.

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