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Tracy Byrd

Greatest Hits – 2005 (BNA)

Reviewed by Robert Loy

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CDs by Tracy Byrd

At first glance, the title of this anthology seems peculiar. There's nothing to indicate, as all Tracy Byrd Watchers know, that this is his second greatest hits collection. This reticence can't be a nod to truth in advertising since adding on a couple of unreleased tracks (as T Byrd does here with "Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman" and "Johnny Cash") has become de rigueur in these situations.

Maybe it's because three of the tracks on this are also on "Keepers," his first GH package. Oh sure, these are "new" versions of "Watermelon Crawl" "I'm From the Country" and "Keeper of the Stars" - but they're essentially unchanged. It's probably just bad timing, but it adds an air of shoddiness to the package, slightly exacerbated by the fact that "Johnny Cash" has nothing to do with the Man in Black and appears to carry that title solely to trade on his legend.

It's unfortunate that the gun was jumped here, since Byrd is one of the most appealing and consistent singers around, with a great sense of humor (as evidenced here by "Drinkin' Bone" and "Revenge of a Middle-Aged Woman") and a sensitive side as well ("Just Let Me Be In Love" and "Put Your Hand In Mine"). And this is still a worthwhile package, especially if you don't already have "Keepers."