Ultimate Collection

Dobie Gray

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Ultimate Collection Review

by Jose F. Promis

Listening to Dobie Gray's Ultimate Collection is like going through a musical time capsule. This collection includes his first charted single, "Look at Me," his first big hit "The 'In' Crowd" and its follow-up, "See You at the Go-Go," all which have a distinctive, mid-'60s big go-go sound. Other early songs, such as "Out on the Floor," are full of contemporary colloquialisms (such as "groovy" and "the chicks are outta sight!"). By the time the album reaches his stellar version of "Rose Garden," the music shifts into more mid-'70s adult leaning material, especially evident by his signature, much-loved anthem "Drift Away." Then there's the soul-country-rock of "The Time I Loved You Most," the lamenting ballad "Loving Arms," the total country of "Watch Out for Lucy," and the disco of the "Stayin' Alive" soundalike "You Can Do It" (his last Top 40 hit). Also included is his 1986 country hit "That's One to Grow On." This album collects all three of his U.S. Top 40 hits, as well as most of his other charted singles (unfortunately "Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, Forget 'Em" was omitted), and stands as a testament to an artist who was totally unafraid to sing what he wanted, whether it be rock & roll, soul, or country. And best of all, he always sounded as if he was having the time of his life.

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