Chet Atkins

Picks on the Hits/Superpickers

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Apparently solely on the grounds that both titles have a version of the word "pick" in them, One Way Records has combined a very good Chet Atkins album with a mediocre one on this discount-priced two-fer. Good news first: On Superpickers, Atkins joins together with an A-list of Nashville session musicians for a set of picking extravaganzas. The players make up a well-chosen band, and Atkins gives them plenty of space to solo on folk standards like "Mr. Bojangles" and "City of New Orleans," as well as tunes that are just platforms for the many variations. Atkins himself is goaded into some wonderful playing as a result, and Superpickers is one of his best albums. Unfortunately, Picks on the Hits, originally released in the late summer of 1972, is one of those easy listening toss-offs, a collection of tunes that had been high in the pop charts recently, tarted out with strings and occasional choruses, with Atkins sticking his guitar in here and there. The album has no place on a disc with the far superior Superpickers, but the discount price is low enough to recommend buying the CD just to get the second album on it.

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