These are new 2004 recordings of John Anderson's greatest hits.
Personnel: John Anderson (banjo, background vocals); John Anderson (vocals, acoustic guitar); Joe Spivey (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle); Darel DeCounter (steel guitar, dobro); Mike Anderson (bass guitar); Vernon Pilder (electric guitar); Tommy Rivelli (drums); Donna Anderson, Harry Stinson, Liana Manis (background vocals).
Recording information: Bayou Studio, Nashville, TN.
Unknown Contributor Role: John Anderson.
John Anderson's 2004 release on Koch is called Ultimate Hits, which gives the impression that it's a reissue of his big hits from the '80s and '90s. While the titles of the songs are indeed familiar -- "Swingin'," "1959," "Straight Tequila Night," "Black Sheep," "Money in the Bank" -- these are not the familiar hit versions. Instead, they are recently recorded new versions produced by Anderson and Joe E. Spivey, which will surely disappoint anybody looking for a concise collection of Anderson's biggest hits. That's the bad news. The good news is that these new versions are thoroughly enjoyable. While the production is perhaps a little too clean, the house band is strong and Anderson is in good voice, making this a fun revival of his hits. Perhaps it's not the first choice for casual fans, but listeners who want to hear Anderson revisit his best-known tunes will find this quite nice. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine