Charlie Rich: 25 All-Time Greatest Hits

CharlieRich_25AllTimeGreatestHitsCharlie Rich’s biggest country hits

Varese’s 25-track set collects Charlie Rich’s biggest hits from his decade on the Epic label, including all nine of his 1970s chart-toppers, and nearly all of his Top 40s. It also threads into the track list the mid-60s recordings for RCA that the label issued as singles in the 1970s in a successful effort to ride the coattails of Epic’s success. These sides represent Rich’s biggest hits, including the landmark “Behind Closed Doors” and the across-the-board smash “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World.” Missing is 1975’s “It’s All Over Now” (#23 Country), some lesser charting sides and singles released in the 1970s by Mercury, Elektra and United Artists.

Rich’s soulful delivery and musical range, exemplified by the jazz piano slipped into the pop “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” was unusual among his fellow Nashville hit makers. There’s some contrast between the earlier RCA sides and the Billy Sherrill-produced orchestrations on Epic, but they fit together surprisingly well. This is an excellent collection of Rich’s most commercially fertile years, but only scratches the surface of his artistic versatility. To get a broader view of the Charlie Rich story, supplement this set with collections of his work on Sun and Smash. [©2015 Hyperbolium]

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