Eddy Arnold: Complete Original #1 Hits is a single-disc, 28-track overview of the Tennessee Plowboy's country-pop hits recorded for RCA that spanned over three decades. What makes this compilation different from several other similar packages is that these are the original hits, not the overdubbed re-recordings. Starting in the mid-'60s, Arnold began utilizing strings on his records, similar to what Patsy Cline, Ray Price, and Jim Reeves would also be known for. Pure country listeners balked at this approach, but these tracks introduced the country form to a much wider audience with what would be known as the Nashville Sound, which kept Arnold on the charts for another decade. With the success of this formula, Arnold began re-recording his earlier material with lush arrangements. Complete Original #1 Hits spotlights the lesser heard, hard to find original mixes, sans strings, in chronological order, beginning with his first number one, "What Is Life Without Love" in 1946, and concluding with his last, "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye," in 1968.
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AllMusic Review by Al Campbell