The Best of Z.Z. Hill presents one of the most triumphant and genuine comebacks of the early '80s. In retrospect, it does seem seamless, but in actuality, it wasn't. By the time he hit Malaco, Hill's persona was more defined. The grouchiness and selfishness had broadened and finally turned to trademark. Vocally, the confidence grew and The Best of Z.Z. Hill shows he could do anything thrown at him. The half-humorous and half-poignant "Cheating in the Next Room" and the brilliantly understated "Down Home Blues" are still the most potent. Despite the acknowledged sure shots, The Best of Z.Z. Hill also offers a rich amount of other strong songs. Hill's tenure with Malaco was typified by wryness and that blended effortlessly with the country-styled R&B. The hilarious "Three Into Two Won't Go" and the double entendre fest "Shady Tree Mechanic" both access Hill's phlegm-filled delivery. The omissions are minimal although his killer cover of "Wang Dang Doodle" could have made this even better. Released in 1987, this came a few years after his death and two years after another greatest-hits collection, In Memorium. Although the songs were and are available elsewhere, The Best of Z.Z. Hill boasts ten solid shots, great songs, and nothing but smiles.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Elias