Discussion: Country Stuffing

What can I say? After two helpings of Thanksgiving dinner, I’m stuffed.    Bursting at the seams.   I squeezed as much as I could possibly squeeze in to one meal and on to one plate.

Now it’s time for our daily discussion topic, and all I’m thinking about is all the stuffing in my system.   How can you make a topic out of that?

Easy.  Some artist compilations, whether they’re one disc or more, manage to squeeze in as much music as possible.   You could say they’ve been thoroughly stuffed.

Two obvious examples are Dolly Parton’s Essential collections from RCA in the mid-nineties.  Volume 1 contains twenty tracks from the eighties, and the superior Volume 2 contains twenty tracks from the seventies.  Both are available for only ten bucks each on iTunes.    They remain the most efficient way to get a handle on the deep and varied catalog of the country music legend, who ranked #1 among our 100 Greatest Women earlier this year.

But even better bang for your buck can be found in the catalog of the runner-up, #2-ranked Loretta Lynn.   Far more so than Parton, Loretta Lynn was a singles artist, and there’s no deeper collection of her best work than Honky Tonk Girl, her mid-nineties box set.  While Parton has yet to receive the deluxe box set treatment, Lynn’s career was perfectly encapsulated on three discs that span three decades and include seventy tracks.  You can get it on iTunes for a steal at $29.99.  That’s less than 43 cents a track!

What do you think are the best-stuffed country music collections?


  1. Compared to other recent artists’ collecions, Matina McBride and Shania Twain have very good greatest hits packages.

    Reba’s 50 Greatest Hits is also a good one.

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