Entertainment Weekly - 11/3/95, p.66
"Jackson has established himself as one of country's savviest New Traditionalists, largely through a fresh approach to neo-honky-tonk, hook-laden songs, and a sly, deep-in-the-pocket sense of humor..." - Rating: A-
Q - 1/96, p.1523 Stars
- Good - "...one of the safest pairs of hands operating out of Nashville, with just about everything he touches turning to gold..."
Journal Of Country Music (Vol.18, Num.1, pp.52-54) - "...traditional and cut-by-cut excellent....it is part of Jackson's talent that he makes his humility as convincing as he does the varying rhythms of his brand of country music..."
Personnel: Alan Jackson (vocals); Bruce Watkins, Jimmy Capps (acoustic guitar); Brent Mason (acoustic & electric guitars, 6-string electric bass); Keith Stegall (acoustic guitar, piano, background vocals); Robbie Flint (acoustic slide & steel guitars); Steve Gibson (electric guitar); Paul Franklin, Weldon Myrick (steel guitar); Stuart Duncan, Rob Hajacos, Larry Franklin, Mark McClurg (fiddle); Jo-El Sonnier (accordion); Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano); Roy Huskey, Jr. (acoustic & electric basses); Glenn Worf, Larry Paxton, Dave Pomeroy, Michael Rhodes, Roger Wills (electric bass); Harold Bradley (6-string bass); Eddie Bayers (drums); Bruce Rutherford (drums, background vocals); John Kelton (programming); John Wesley Ryles, Denny Henson (background vocals).
Producers: Keith Stegall (tracks 1-3, 5, 7, 9-10, 12, 15, 19); Scott Hendricks, Keith Stegall (tracks 4, 6, 8, 11, 13-14, 16-18, 20).
Engineers: Bill Deaton, Chris Hammond, Scott Hendricks, John Kelton, Gary Laney.
Recorded between June 26, 1989 and May 31, 1995. Includes liner notes by Alan Jackson.
With twenty songs (two of them newly recorded) and more than an hour of playing time, THE GREATEST HITS COLLECTION is particularly generous by Nashville standards, and it shows off how easily this blonde-haired honky-tonk hero can wear a variety of country hats. Included are a few songs from each of Jackson's four hit albums, and they range from the waltzing regret of "(Who Says) You Can't Have It All" and the stately, vintage balladry of "I'd Love You All Over Again," to the jangly country-rock of "Gone Country" and flat-out barn-burners like "Chattahoochee."
Jackson has a magnificent voice that registers halfway between George Jones' low drawl and Dwight Yoakam's nasally impudent twang, and he's comfortable in either of his predecessors' milieus. The proof is in the cover songs--Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" is pure Yoakam country, and "Tall, Tall Trees" is a great, early Jones/Roger Miller collaboration. But Jackson wrote most of these tunes himself, and one of his amazing achievements is that he's been able to build a formidable catalog of honky-tonk-related stuff with hardly any references to moonshine or any other kind of wet stuff. "She's Got The Rhythm (And I Got The Blues)" is the token drinking song here, and its presence only makes the absence of them in the Jackson ouevre that much clearer. He may be a slave to the honky-tonk spirit, but he's not addicted to the music's vices.
Personnel: Alan Jackson (vocals, guitar); Keith Stegall (acoustic guitar, piano); Bruce Mason, Jimmy Capps, Bruce Watkins (acoustic guitar); Steve Gibson , Brent Mason (electric guitar); Robbie Flint (slide guitar, steel guitar); Paul Franklin , Weldon Myrick (steel guitar); Mark McClurg, Larry Franklin, Rob Hajacos, Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Jo-El Sonnier (accordion); Hargus "Pig" Robbins (piano); Roy M. "Junior" Husky (acoustic bass, electric bass); Dave Pomeroy , Roger Wills, Glenn Worf, Larry Paxton, Michael Rhodes (electric bass); Harold Bradley (6-string bass); Bruce Rutherford, Eddie Bayers (drums); John Kelton (drum programming).
Audio Mixers: John Kelton; Scott Hendricks .
Audio Remixer: John Kelton.
Recording information: Castle Recording Studio, Franklin, TN (06/26/1989-05/31/1995); Cayman Moon Records (06/26/1989-05/31/1995); Sound Stage Recording Studio, Nashville, TN (06/26/1989-05/31/1995).
Editor: Ronnie Thomas.
Photographer: Se¤or McGuire.
Unknown Contributor Role: Harold Bradley.
If it hadn't been for Garth Brooks' pop-crossover success, Alan Jackson probably would have been the male face of country music in the first half of the 1990s. Though he started off as a basic New Traditionalist ballad singer in the style of Randy Travis or George Strait, Jackson quickly developed a slightly rougher edge on honky-tonk classics like "Don't Rock the Jukebox" and "She's Got the Rhythm (And I Got the Blues)." He also shows off a taste for R&B and rockabilly classics like K.C. Douglas' "Mercury Blues" and Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues." But it was with 1994's career-defining "Gone Country" that Jackson scored his most enduring hit. A catchy but subtly damning dismissal of the "hat acts" that were flooding the Nashville scene in the wake of Garth Brooks' success, "Gone Country" states the case for country music tradition as something more than a fashion statement. This impressive 20-track summation of Jackson's first five albums is a perfect example of that stance in action.