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Essential [Original recording remastered]

AlabamaAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Price: $11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon's Alabama Store


Image of album by Alabama


Image of Alabama


It's been 40 years since a trio of young cousins left Fort Payne, Alabama, to
spend the summer playing in a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, bar called The Bowery. It
took Randy Owen, Teddy Gentry and Jeff Cook six long years of tip jars and word of
mouth to earn the major label deal they'd been dreaming of, but then seemingly no
time at all to change the face of country ... Read more in Amazon's Alabama Store

Visit Amazon's Alabama Store
for 76 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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Essential + Ultimate Alabama:  20 #1 Hits
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 17, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: RCA
  • ASIN: B0009A3ZH6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,998 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Five O'Clock 500 [#]
2. Keepin' Up [#]
3. How Do You Fall in Love [#]
4. Tennessee River
5. Why Lady Why
6. Old Flame
7. Feels So Right
8. Love in the First Degree
9. Mountain Music
10. Take Me Down
See all 22 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Touch Me When We're Dancing
2. You've Got the Touch
3. Face to Face
4. Fallin' Again
5. Song of the South
6. If I Had You
7. High Cotton
8. Southern Star
9. Jukebox in My Mind
10. Forever's as Far as I'll Go
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

With 65 million albums sold, Alabama is the best country group of all time, & one of the 20 best selling acts of all time. This 2 CD set features 44 classic songs including 42 # 1 smash hits. BMG. 2005.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, but a little lacking July 9, 2005
By Jon
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This compilation is great, except for the fact that half a dozen of some of the most popular songs are the shorter radio versions, not their extended album versions that most people are probably familiar with.

Here's a run-down of the differences that I've noticed:

1. Removed from the beginning of Mountain Music the harmonica solo and the old man talking about climbing the mountain. Drum solo also removed.
2. Removed the truck sounds from the start and finish of Roll On (Eighteen Wheeler).
3. Cut the two fiddle solos from Dixieland Delight and the fadeout is much shorter, cutting off much of the chorus at the end.
4. Cut the fiddle solo from If You Wanna Play in Texas.
5. Almost two whole minutes stripped from the end of She and I.

There may be more, but these were the most obvious for me.

While including the original radio versions may seem fine to some, others of us are most familiar with the extended-length album versions and the short versions just don't sound right. Also, I feel that a career compilation ought to include the full versions of songs. There's just something that feels less "complete" about this set, at least to this picky listener.

The reason for including the shorter, radio versions is obvious: it's so that RCA could fit three new songs in (new, at least, in '98, when this compilation was first released). Those three songs are quite good and enjoyable, but they put them on to sell the compilation, at the expense of some of the more popular classics.

Aside from the half-dozen shortened songs, this is an otherwise great CD set. As stated, this is a re-release of 98's For the Record set that was available until recently. It may've been digitally remastered; I'm not sure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding compilation July 14, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Please note that this is a straight re-issue of a previous compilation (For the record - 41 number one hits) with a different title and packaging.

41 number one hits (and they've had a 42nd since then) on the American country charts is an impressive record by any standards. They've also had a lot of other hits which came close. One of my favorite Alabama songs, Pass it on down, peaked at number two, therefore didn't make this collection. Their debut single, My home's in Alabama, only peaked at number 16 and also misses out. I'm not complaining really, but it would be nice to see another compilation - perhaps it could be called Not the number one hits (it would contain a lot of quality songs, and would be better than most Greatest hits collections).

What you get here is three songs recorded especially for this album, one of which made number one when eventually released as singles, together with all those 41 hits.

Alabama were always the champions of the blue collar workers, most clearly illustrated on Forty hour week, in which they pay tribute to all those who keep America going. It's a great song, but there are several others I like even better. One of my favorites, In pictures, is a cover of a song first recorded by Linda Davis. It is about being so busy working that you don't see much of your family except in pictures. Tennessee River, another of my favorites, was Alabama's first number one. Hank Williams Junior did a great cover of it for his Rowdy album, which is one of his best albums. My favorites also include Old flame, Feels so right, Mountain music, Song of the south and Hometown honeymoon - but most of the other songs are not far behind.

Alabama wrote nearly all their own material, but they did occasionally record covers.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deceptive entry on Amazon May 19, 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is a double CD with 44 cuts - not a single as listed in Amazon

This is a reissue of a previously released Alabama CD "For The Record:41 Number One Hits"

Great CD - but know what you are buying
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hey, it's Alabama, right? February 14, 2007
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
What I wanted was a strong assortment of Alabama hits. I got it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No regrets March 8, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I'm a huge Alabama follower and have no regrets with buying this album.

Excellent group, awesome music and lyrics and enjoyable listening.

I'd resommend this album for any country fan.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country Delight November 10, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This Alabama music collection is definitely handy to own if you or someone else close to you enjoys Alabama. My husband is a fan of Alabama's music, and this was one of the reasons for me to have purchased this cd. Many of the songs on the Alabama cd are gems that grow on you each listen. I can personally attest to this. I normally am prone to listen to alot of music from the pop, dance, and rock genres. However, I am open to listen to other musical genres when many of the songs on the cd are great. This is one such cd that has many great songs. My husband's favorite song is "Born Country". My favorite song on the cd is "She and I". If you are a country music fan then definitely get this cd. If you are open minded to good music from many musical genres, then this cd is also for you. What I also love is that there are songs in this collection to appeal to different moods. If you are in a romantic mood some of the songs to listen to are "Dixieland Delight", "Take Me Down", and "There's a Fire In the Night". If you want to listen to happiness booster songs there are songs such as "Forty Hour Week (For a Livin')" and "Down Home". There are other good songs to appeal to the various moods from this wonderful collection, but I wanted to give a sampler from some of their classics. Last but not least, this is definitely one of the musical collections that give you your money's worth.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD.
I am a huge Alabama fan and this is one of my favorite albums by the group. It is great to listen to.
Published 3 months ago by Billy Lewis Sr.
5.0 out of 5 stars Alabama
There are a LOT of songs on this 2 disc CD package and some of my favorite of all time songs. I don't know why I never owned any of their music before, but really, really love... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Judith M. Hartman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Dose of Southern feel Good Music That Is Unbeatable
Back in 1981, I was a young Volvo driving mom in Texas who was NOT a real country music fan ( with the exception of Patsy Cline ) and rarely set my dial to a country station. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Jennifer Geddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Alabama
EXCELLENT CD.. I have seen these fellows perform.. The are absolutely FABULOUS..This CD has great songs. They are essentially GREAT. Get it..
Published 8 months ago by LL
5.0 out of 5 stars I heart Alabama
Essential is the word. This is a collection every Alabama lover needs. So many great songs! We enjoy listening as a family, even my two year old is enjoying Alabama!
Published 12 months ago by saracourtneyw
4.0 out of 5 stars Alabama CD
I use to go to alabama conserts and I really enjoy their songs. I listen to the cd while I am on the computer. I recomend this cd to any one.
Published 18 months ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great buy!
Alabama touches my heart when they sing. Their love songs are great and so are the toe-tapping upbeat songs. My mood changed with each song to match the song. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mari in CT
5.0 out of 5 stars HDCD recording plays on regular players
Not in Amazon's description as of Sept 2012, this RCA/Legacy 82876-68635-2 recording is encoded in HDCD format (using 20 bits instead of 16 and other possible recording... Read more
Published 23 months ago by G. GUNNELL
5.0 out of 5 stars A best buy
This is a collection of 44 tracks on two discs in a trifold jewel case. There are a lot of Alabama collections floating around. Read more
Published on February 18, 2012 by Fred Camfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Alabama
Alabama is the best country band ever,period. 'Nuff said. Can't make it any plainer and this is ALL of their hits. Country with a little rock built in. THE best country band EVER.
Published on June 21, 2010 by Mark J. House
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