Various Artists

Best of Country [Madacy 2001]

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"Wow!," most people probably say out loud in their local Wal-Mart, "what a magnificent collection of my favorite country songs all conveniently compiled onto one compact disc for a spiffy low price. This looks so dazzling I think I'll buy a copy for all my country-loving friends!" Well, well. Unfortunately things aren't quite as spiffy as they seem, sad as that is. For the sake of your hard-earned money, don't fall victim to this "I can't believe how awesome this looks!" collection because its "gee wiz, that's an awfully low price so this must be my lucky day!" price tag is your clue that this is probably a gyp. And upon close inspection, you'll note that this is in fact released by the one and only Madacy -- yes, Madacy, Middle America's most notorious rip-off music operation circa summer 2001. The real story here is that, yes, there are some remarkable country hits here: "Diamonds in the Dust," "Dixie Road," "Don't Go to Strangers," and so on. But, no, these songs aren't performed by the original artists but rather a cast of who-cares near-no-names like Mel McDaniel, Lacy J. Dalton, and the one and only Johnny Paycheck. So, in sum, beware; this is a collection of re-recordings, and because of that you probably don't even want to bother with it.

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