The Marty Stuart entry in the mid-priced 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection series is the best compilation of Stuart's work yet released. It shares seven tracks with the 1995 set The Marty Party Hit Pack, a best-of that is more imaginative, but less complete. This one contains Stuart's ten biggest country solo hits on MCA between 1990 and 1996, plus "This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time)," one of his three hit duets with Travis Tritt, and the final track from his ambitious but commercially marginal 1999 concept album, The Pilgrim. An outspoken advocate of country's longstanding traditions, Stuart has nevertheless tried to transform those traditions in his recordings, and you can hear that on these hits, especially "High on a Mountain Top," which features a prominent mandolin part and bluegrass-style harmonies, but is still driven by a twangy electric guitar. That balance of old and new made Stuart a significant Nashville hitmaker between 1990 and 1992, and though that period of his career passed, he continued to try to forge a new, authentic country sound on The Pilgrim. This compilation provides a thumbnail sketch of his most popular work, and it will serve casual fans as an excellent and inexpensive précis.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Travis Tritt