Personnel: Tracy Byrd (vocals, guitar); Joe Lee Carter (harmonica, background vocals); Joe Carter (harmonica); John Jarvis (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Glenn Worf, Mike Brignardello (bass guitar); Michael "Bear" Taliferro, Mike Taliaferro (background vocals); Billy Joe Walker, Jr. (acoustic guitar, electric guitar); B. James Lowry, Biff Watson (acoustic guitar); Pat Buchanan, Reggie Young , Steve Gibson , Adam Shoenfeld, Brent Mason (electric guitar); Dan Dugmore, Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Kenny Sears, Aubrey Haynie (fiddle); Greg Morrow, Paul Leim (drums); Curtis Young, John Wesley Ryles, Neil Thrasher, Wes Hightower (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Kyle Lehning; Bob Bullock.
Recording information: Emerald Entertainment; Our Place Studios.
Photographer: Nigel Parry.
The first two songs on Tracy Byrd's GREATEST HITS make clear what a wide variety of material the Beaumont, Texas native has successfully tackled. "The Truth About Men" (which also features Andy Griggs, Montgomery Gentry, and Blake Shelton) is a great example of Byrd's trademark party songs. Celebrating the less-than-dainty behavior that often characterizes the male gender, the tune is driven by a beat that tears a honky-tonk page straight from the Merle Haggard barroom book. "Just Let Me Be in Love," on the other hand, is a Latin-influenced number full of nylon-string flamenco-guitar leads and lush synthesizer lines. Although Byrd's vocal performance is stone-cold country, the end result here sounds more like SHANGO-era Santana than Marty Robbins or Freddy Fender. Luckily, Byrd's big, rich voice and classic phrasing tie the various stylistic detours together.
In addition to several re-recorded versions of his biggest chart-toppers, the 2005 collection includes two previously unreleased tracks. "Johnny Cash" is an escapist fantasy in the vein of Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It," while "Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman" is a hilarious two-stepping romp that will definitely make male listeners think twice about doing their woman wrong.