Ballads of the Green Berets topped the album charts in 1966 and the title track reached number one and number two, respectively, on the pop and country charts. Despite the Hollywood heroism of the hit single, the album offered an occasionally gritty portrait of the war and, unlike Johnny Seay's American Reflections album from the same year, focused on the dedication and hardships of American men and women in Vietnam rather than explicitly political or patriotic concerns. Sadler wrote all of the material himself, and his sentimental vignettes struck a chord with Americans who were desperate for a less-contentious perspective on the war. Mostly a historical artifact today, Ballads of the Green Berets is a nostalgic trip back to a tumultuous time. The 1997 CD reissue offers "The 'A' Team," Sadler's only other hit single, as a bonus.
AllMusic Review by Greg Adams