John Anderson's first two singles, "She Started Likin' Cheatin Songs" and "Your Lying Blues Eyes," both from his self-titled debut album 1978, climbed into the Top 20 of country charts. They earned him a place with the big boys and girls on the scene. For the next six years he remained a force to be reckoned with every time he issued a single. His good-natured honky tonk was just what the nation needed and, along with the talents Lacy J. Dalton, Tanya Tucker, Mel McDaniel, and a slew of others, they proved that the Urban Cowboy thing may have been just a fad, but the music wasn't. Anderson was with Warner Brothers for a decade before left for the seemingly greener pastures of MCA in 1988. This ten-cut collection traces that early period of the singer and songwriter's career, and includes his biggest hits: "Swingin" (written back in 1978), "Chicken Truck," and his fine version of Billy Joe Shaver's "I'm Just an Old Chunk of Coal (But I'm Gonna Be a Diamond Someday)." Anderson's early albums are all very fine -- to be honest, almost all of them are -- but most remain out of print in the 21st century. This hits collection and its companion from Warner, Volume 2, along with the BNA compilation from his later '80s and early-'90s tracks on BNA also called Greatest Hits provide a stellar overview of an amazingly consistent career.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek