Bobbie Gentry

The Best of Bobbie Gentry: The Capitol Years

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At two discs -- one devoted to original compositions, one to covers -- Zonophone's 2007 collection The Best of Bobbie Gentry: The Capitol Years (its subtitle is unintentionally amusing, as Gentry only recorded for Capitol) is the most comprehensive Bobbie Gentry set yet released, which isn't the same thing as the best. Not that this compilation is bad -- far from it, actually, since it does have all her hits and the great majority of her best tracks, plus a handful of rarities to lure in diehards. The problem is, it's too exhaustive to act as an introduction, especially with three terrific single-disc sets on the market (EMI's 2000 Ode to Bobbie Gentry, Raven's 2002 An American Quilt, Shout! Factory's 2004 Chickasaw County Child: The Artistry of Bobbie Gentry), and if you're already part of Gentry's cult, you'd be better served by getting Raven's pair of two-fers of original albums. That said, anybody who picks up this Best of Bobbie Gentry will hear plenty of wonderful music, so it's hardly a bad purchase; it's just that there are better options out there.

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