November 28, 2008
Universal Music Group continues to lay claim to the strongest single-disc reissue series in country music, as Terri Clark’s The Definitive Collection plays to all of the strengths of this particular series.
The approach is simple: fit all of the definitive hits of a significant artist on one CD. For legends like Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, you get the cream of the crop. For artists like Sammy Kershaw and Billy Ray Cyrus, you get all of the hits from their career, all on one disc. Terri Clark’s hit run fits her neatly into the second category, as she scored more than a dozen hits from the time she arrived on the scene in the mid-nineties until the end of her run with Mercury Records.
While her excellent Greatest Hits 1994-2004 package compiled all of her big hits, The Definitive Collection goes deeper. Thankfully, all of the twelve tracks from that package are here, including then-new single “Girls Lie Too” and “One of The Guys”, the latter of which was not released as a single. This makes her first hits collection instantly obsolete, as you can find all of her signature hits like “Better Things To Do” and “I Just Wanna Be Mad” here, alongside some should’ve been hits like “Suddenly Single” and “She Didn’t Have Time.”
The chronological arrangement of the eighteen songs help demonstrate two things. One, that Terri Clark didn’t compromise her musical sound for more than a decade, despite how much things changed around her in country music. Two, even though her fortunes rose and fell more than once at country radio, the music itself was consistently good all along.
Best of all, since she was primarily a great singles artist, you can get just about all of the Terri Clark you need with this generous hits collection. If it leaves you wanting more, her two best studio albums – Pain to Kill and Fearless – are highly recommended.