20 Greatest Hits

20 Greatest Hits

Bobby Bare was one of the most popular country stars of the '60s, and experienced a notable resurgence in the mid-'70s that saw him making the charts with some of the finest original compositions of his career. Yet despite his appealing, rough-worn baritone and his unquestionable skills as a songwriter, Bare’s albums were often plagued by difficulties. This makes a compilation like the smartly assembled 20 Greatest Hits ideal for listeners leery of Bare’s somewhat cheesy countrypolitan reputation, but interested in exploring the career of a man who wrote classics like “The Streets of Baltimore” (later covered by Gram Parsons), “Detroit City”, and “Ride Me Down Easy.” The selections here are uniformly excellent, but ignore the rich string of singles that Bare cut for Mercury in the early '70s', particularly the essential road ballad “How I Got To Memphis. Caveats aside, 20 Greatest Hits serves as a fine introduction to the work of this influential and sadly overlooked artist.

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