Rolling Stone - 8/6/92, p.603 Stars
- Good - "...finds Cyrus at home with virtually all country idioms, but bursting with a pop sensibility that gives his music freer play..."
Personnel: Billy Ray Cyrus (vocals), Terry Shelton (guitar), Barton Stevens (keyboards), Corky Holbrook (bass), Greg Fletcher (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Keith Hinton (guitar), Sonny Garrish (steel guitar), The Costo Davis Orchestra (synthesizer), Barton Stevens, Clyde Carr, Joe Scaife (background vocals).
Recorded at Music Mill Recording Studios, Nashville, Tennessee.
All songs written by Billy Ray Cyrus except "Could've Been Me" (Reed Nielson/Monty Powell), "Achy Breaky Heart" (Don Von Tress), "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" (Lee Hazelwood) and "Never Though I'd Fall In Love With You" (Jim McKnight/Mike Murphy).
One of the most explosive debuts in music history, SOME GAVE ALL catapulted Billy Ray Cyrus to the top of the charts on the strength of a catchy little ditty called "Achy Breaky Heart." The song turned out to be one of the biggest selling records of all time.
Throughout the rest of the album, the Kentucky-bred singer steamrolls through his country-styled rock 'n' roll with rough-and-tumble vocals and a swagger that's hard to match. The material ranges from ballads to country-fried rock, with themes touching upon everything from divorce ("Wher'm I Gonna Live") to patriotism ("Some Gave All").
Some Gave All became the first debut album by a country artist to enter the pop charts at number one (it hit number one on the country charts as well). The album's sales were fueled by the breakout single "Achy Breaky Heart," which offered Southern-fried Rolling Stones rhythms and a goofy chorus with a hook so big it demanded a reaction. Not one to eschew the obvious, Cyrus pumped his songs full of as much rock & roll as the market would bear, so songs like "Could've Been Me" and "Never Thought I'd Fall in Love with You" appealed to young fans who had just discovered the possibilities (both musical and sexual) of country music. ~ Brian Mansfield