All things considered, The Definitive Collection is an excellent single-disc sampler of Patsy Cline. One could easily point out that there have been a lot of Patsy Cline compilations, many of them in print on the day this one was released, and validly ask just why the world (or even the U.S.) needs another one. From Universal's point of view, there remained an unfilled niche in the marketplace for a full-length CD compilation selling for more than the short discount albums but less than the multi-disc sets. That is where The Definitive Collection, with its 22 tracks, selling for a mere $14.99, comes in. The track list, sequenced in roughly chronological order, presents all 14 of Cline's country chart hits, among them "Walkin' After Midnight" (heard here in the original hit recording, not the re-recording found on Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits), "I Fall to Pieces," "Crazy," and "She's Got You." The eight additional tracks have been judiciously selected and include two songs that made the pop, but not the country, singles charts ("Heartaches" and "Strange"); two B-sides written by noteworthy country artists (Hank Cochran's "Why Can't He Be You," and Bob Montgomery's "Back in Baby's Arms"); and a handful of pop and country standards (Hank Williams' "Lovesick Blues" and "Half as Much," the Bing Crosby/Grace Kelly hit "True Love," written by Cole Porter, and Bob Wills' "San Antonio Rose"). The result is a well-rounded 58-plus minutes of Cline (about one-fifth of her total recorded output) that presents the highlights of her career. True, a few more tracks could have fit on the CD, but then the publishing royalties might have necessitated a higher price.
The Definitive Collection Review
by William Ruhlmann