Entertainment Weekly - 12/20/96, p.77
"...reminders of why Black is one of our best cosmic honky-tonkers." - Rating: B
Q - 2/97, p.1063 Stars (out of 5)
- "...engagingly peppy country rock....Part Merle Haggard, part Glenn Frey..."
THE GREATEST HITS includes four previously-unreleased tracks: "Like The Rain," "Half Way Up," "Cadillac Jack Favor" and a live version of The Eagles' "Desperado."
Personnel includes: Clint Black (vocals, acoustic, electric & 12-string electric guitars, harmonica, bass harmonica); Wynonna (vocals); Hayden Nicholas, Larry Byrom, Don Potter, Biff Watson, Martin Young, Reggie Young, Brent Rowan, Dann Huff (guitar); Jerry Douglas, Paul Franklin, Sonny Garrish, Jeff Peterson (steel guitar); Stuart Duncan, Rob Hajacos, Audrey Haynie, Mark O'Connor, John Permenter, Jeff Huskins (fiddle); Buell Neidlinger, Leland Sklar (bass); Lisa Hartman Black, Kenny Loggins, John Wesley Ryles, Liana Manis, Donna Rhodes, Timothy B. Schmidt, Harry Stinson, Wendy Waldman, Curtis Young (background vocals).
Producers include: James Stroud, Clint Black.
Compilation producers: James Stroud, Clint Black, Mark Wright.
Engineers include: Lynn Peterzell, Kevin Beamish.
Includes liner notes by Robert K. Oermann.
"Like The Rain" was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance.
Clint Black is at the vanguard of modern country music, having been among the first to successfully blend the honky-tonk feel of Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell with the sound of current pop and rock. The one tune on this collection of his 1989-1996 work that he didn't write isn't a Williams or Frizzell tune or anything like that; it's a cover of the Eagles' "Desperado." There are three other previously-unreleased Black tracks here to go with a dozen hits that cover the highlights of his so-far very consistent, very modern career.
All of Black's milestones are here, from the moody, atmospheric "Like The Rain" to the bluesy groove of "Half Way Up." Not just a pretty face with a cowboy hat, Black shows off the breadth of his compositional prowess, and a great workingman's voice.
Personnel: Clint Black (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, harmonica, background vocals); Hayden Nicholis (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, sitar, background vocals); Brent Rowan (guitar); Don Potter, Martin Young, Larry Byrom, Biff Watson (acoustic guitar); Dann Huff, Reggie Young (electric guitar); Jeff Peterson (steel guitar, dobro); Paul Franklin , Sonny Garrish (steel guitar); Jerry Douglas (dobro); John Wittenberg, James Getzoff, Barbara Porter, Ezra Kliger, Joy Lyle, Tibor Zelig, Spiro Stamos, Bonnie Douglas, Brian Leonard, Maria Newman, Paul Shure, Berj Garabedian (violin); Jeff Huskins (fiddle, keyboards); Rob Haiacos, John Permenter, Mark O'Connor , Aubrey Haynie, Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Ray Tisher, Brian Dembow, Harry Shirinian, Mihail Zinovyev (viola); Jan Kelley, Dennis Karmazyn, Harry Shlutz, Larry Corbett (cello); Matt Rollings, Shane Keister (piano, keyboards); Dane Bryant (piano, background vocals); John Hobbs, Mitch Humphries (piano); Randy McCormick (keyboards); Jake Willemain (bass guitar); Dick Gay (drums, percussion); Ed Greene, Eddie Bayers (drums); Eric Darken, James Stroud, Lenny Castro (percussion); Thomas Flora, Craig Morris, Curtis Young, Michael Black, Harry Stinson, Tom Funderbunk, Jana King, Jim Photoglo, John Wesley Ryles, Kenny Loggins, Lisa Hartman-Black, Steve Real, Timothy B. Schmit, Wendy Waldman , Liana Manis, Dennis Wilson (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Lynn Peterzell.
Recording information: Loud Recording, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Firooz Zahedi.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Tom Funderbunk; John Hobbs.
Along with Garth Brooks, Clint Black was part of the first wave of "hat acts"--cowboy-hatted hunks singing country music influenced as much by classic rock and pop as by George and Merle. But as his first GREATEST HITS collection demonstrates, Black was one of the few "hat acts" who had more than a pretty smile underneath that lid. Unlike most country artists, Black writes all his own material, and the songs collected here are among his best: deeply emotional works filled with finely-wrought lyrics and original, yet catchy, melodies.
GREATEST HITS spans Black's first five albums, including his brilliant debut single "A Better Man," the breezy "Summer's Comin'" and "State of Mind," the heartbroke ballad "Burn One Down," and his fine duet with Wynonna, "A Bad Goodbye." His knack for turning a phrase is evident in "Killin' Time" and its sequel, "No Time to Kill," as well as in "A Good Run of Bad Luck" and "Wherever You Go." GREATEST HITS also includes four bonus tracks: Black's great live version of the Eagles' "Desperado," "Like the Rain" and "Halfway Up" (with harmonies by his wife, actress Lisa Hartman Black) and "Cadillac Jack Favor," a story song which eventually inspired a TV movie.