20 Greatest Hits

20 Greatest Hits

Like Mickey Newbury or Kris Kristofferson, Don Williams was someone who helped change the sound of country in the 1970s. Where Newbury played the heartstrings and Kristofferson influenced his influences, Williams was a hit machine. He had 17 number ones during his career, 14 of which surface here in chronological order. ("Til The Rivers All Run Dry," "Stay Young" and "Heartbeat In Darkness" are absent.) Williams crossed into the pop charts by infusing his countrypolitan sound with timely trends of pop. 1973's "Amanda" boasts a Beach Boys inspired vocal harmony and a wah-wah guitar. And with its four on the floor rock strut, handclaps, and Rhodes jazz piano, "Tulsa Time" was going for the Urban Cowboy sound that guys like Mickey Gilley and Eddie Rabbitt were making popular. "Love Is On A Roll" surfs on the beachy country style that Jimmy Buffett forged and 1984's "That's The Thing About Love" has a sax that sounds so indicative of New York in the '80s that you can almost picture the saxophonist wearing a blazer with his sleeves rolled up and a skinny Keith Haring necktie.

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