Various Artists

Best of 80's Country

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This brief budget compilation lives up to its modest title as long as you're willing to call any record that makes it into the country Top 30 a hit, and as long as you don't want to complain that geriatric comedian George Burns' novelty song "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again" was released in late 1979. That said, this really is a modest selection, with only nine cuts and a running time under 30 minutes. It gathers together tracks from the Universal vaults, all but one of which were released originally on Mercury Records (Mac Davis' "Texas in My Rear View Mirror" came out on Casablanca). The Statler Brothers' lead-off track "Elizabeth" and the Kendalls' "Thank God for the Radio" were both number one country hits, but several of these tracks are more notable for who's performing them -- Johnny Cash in a duet with an uncredited Hank Williams, Jr. on "That Old Wheel," the Everly Brothers on "Born Yesterday" -- than for the songs themselves. Really, from a listener's perspective, this is just a miscellaneous collection of country songs one might have heard on the radio between 1980 and 1988.

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