Glen Campbell

Greatest Hits and Finest Performances

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One has to hand it to those people at Reader's Digest -- Capitol Records hasn't seen fit to do a definitive Glen Campbell collection, instead dividing up his work between various best-ofs, a three-part Essential series, and other hits collections, but Reader's Digest has commissioned this 58-song, three-CD set from Capitol, which covers the same territory that one would hope for from a proper box set. It isn't quite perfect, but it is closer than anything the label has done under its own name. As with other Reader's Digest releases, the set is divided into various thematic groups: "Glen's Greatest," "Campbell Classics," "Love Stories," "Double-Your-Pleasure Duets," "Goodtime Guitar" -- they're a bit arbitrary, at times, in terms of which song goes where, but the virtue is the selection, which includes a wide range of tracks off of LPs that have, otherwise, never appeared on CD, including "The Twelfth of Never" from A New Place in the Sun, and also oddities such as his Brian Wilson-produced single "Guess I'm Dumb." The second half of the third disc contains a selection of live cuts from the Royal Festival Hall live album, recorded with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, including his Beach Boys medley, as well as concert renditions of "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Galveston," and "MacArthur Park." The set comes with good annotation, and the sound is a match for the 1990s Capitol catalog.