Eddy Arnold

Best of the Best

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Of the many, many Eddy Arnold greatest hits packages available, King/BMG's BEST OF THE BEST may be the most interesting. Most Arnold hits packages favor his later, pop-oriented "Nashville Sound" recordings, even choosing heavily orchestrated remakes of Arnold's sparer hit recordings of the 1940s and early 1950s. BEST OF abjures the popular approach, returning instead to the original releases of such classics as "Anytime," "Don't Rob Another Man's Castle," and "Bouquet of Roses." Fans of Hank Williams Sr., Lefty Frizzell, and the like will particularly enjoy these versions, which are more honky-tonk than countrypolitan.

Like most such discs, BEST OF THE BEST is a little too short: its 10 tracks clock in at just under 30 minutes. The discount price at which this disc is usually offered, plus the uniqueness of the song selection, help offset this drawback, making BEST OF THE BEST a valuable offering. Until someone releases a thorough compilation of Arnold's original hits, BEST OF will remain an essential part of any Eddy Arnold collection.

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