Alan Jackson: The Greatest Hits Collection
This Alan Jackson collection has a little something for both longtime fans and curious newcomers. Comprising his early material up to 1994’s Who I Am, the compilation is a time capsule harking back to the new traditional craze that was ignited (but not pioneered) by Garth Brooks. Unlike many “hat acts” of that era, Jackson kept one boot deeply rooted in honky-tonk, while the other foot toed the contemporary line of (then) modern radio-friendly production. Though he’s since become a seasoned balladeer, the crux of this material is upbeat and uplifting, especially the opening “Chattahoochee,” which moves with a fast roadhouse shuffle over a watery pedal steel, old-timey fiddles, and twangy Telecasters. “Gone Country” is a witty, razor-tongued jab at failed pop singers trying to make it in country music. He reworks covers to sound like his own songs, giving George Jones’ “Tall, Tall Trees” a contemporary remodel, while retaining the original beer-joint boot-scoot boogie. And his version of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” sounds like it was born in a Bakersfield saloon.