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on August 3, 2006
This two-disc set contains the original versions of 39 country hits that Ronnie Milsap recorded for RCA between 1974 and 1989. During that 15-year period, no one else hit the top of the charts as often as Milsap - or even came close. It's a testament to the diversity of his vocal and song-selecting talents.

Those diverse classics include pure pop ("Pure Love," "Smokey Mountain Rain"), polished honkytonkers ("Daydreams About Night Things," "I'm A Stand By My Woman Man,"), stone country weepers ("Please Don't Tell Me How The Story Ends," "Nobody Likes Sad Songs"), bluesy tributes ("What A Difference You've Made In My Life"), and adult contemporary fare ("It Was Almost Like A Song"). Toward the end of his hit-making tenure, Milsap dwelled on nostalgia with a successful remake of the `50s favorites "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," as well as the vintage sounding "Lost In The Fifties Tonight." Milsap also proved to be an excellent collaborator, pairing up with Kenny Rogers on the Grammy winning chart-topper "Make No Mistake She's Mine."

In addition to the original hits, we get a live version of "Let My Love Be Your Pillow" (the studio version is available on 2004's Ultimate Ronnie Milsap). The vast majority of these recordings are also included on Milsap's 40 # 1 Hits from 2000. That one is a slightly stronger set that is currently out of print, but worth seeking out.
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on June 23, 2007
Ronnie Milsap had 59 hits that reached the Top 40 of the Country charts between 1973 and 1993. Six of his hits also crossed over and hit the Top 40 of the Pop charts. This 2 CD set has forty of those hits, and is the most complete collection currently available. Unfortunately, the mastering of this set is not as good as the mastering of the single CD "Ultimate Ronnie Milsap". The "Ultimate" CD has better-defined bass and brighter highs--the "Essential" set is dull by comparison. If you need all forty songs, then "Essential" is truly that, but "Ultimate" is the better choice for the casual fan. For the true fanatic, get both.
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on August 4, 2006
This set of Ronnie's recordings is similar to the Virgin 40 #1's released a few years ago and I'd say the mastering of this set rivals the Virgin release. The difference here is this set is sequenced by style rather that chronology which keeps the music fresh. Ronnie's work with his post RCA association with Libery, Virgin, and Image are mentioned in the liner notes but sadly not one track from those projects is included on this set which would have made the whole thing a tad stronger and certainly more comprehensive; what is here however is a fine collection of his 70's and 80's radio staples and it's well worth the money.
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on October 29, 2013
I bought this cd along with other country stars for my mother in law. She loved it so much she played it over and over. Now the end of it is corrupted, but she wont let me send it back for a return.

She can't bear to be without it for the time it would take for a replacement!

She is a diehard country fan, so I was surprised she wanted it, but she will probably play it until it is completely ruined.
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on October 18, 2015
This 2-disc set is missing the hit songs 'Since I Don't Have You' and 'Don't You Know How Much I Love You.' Aside from these glaring omissions, "The Essential" has excellent sound quality with each song mastered from the original master tapes. If not for the exclusion of those two songs, I would give this set a 5-star rating. Until this problem is rectified, I give this set a 4-star rating.
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on May 25, 2015
Real traditional country music. Country music in the past came from the heart. Today's country music does not. Modern artists like Taylor Swift, Leanne Rimes, Carrie Underwood, Faith Hill, and some others cater to the young crowd. They pushed aside the old classics that made country music what it is; it took a nose dive and now is no longer country music but only pop music. What a joke. Country music in the past came from the heart but not anymore.
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on July 31, 2013
I know this will show my age but who cares, Ronnie gave us some great songs. you baby boomers should order this on it really brings back the good ol days. this verdor is fast to ship and has the best products, so get on line and get ya some.
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on September 5, 2015
Oh my. Being a child of the 80's. I have listened to this CD (CD and via my Amazon music app) about four times in the last three weeks. An amazing artist! Song after song is great. I'm even liking the non-hits I've never heard until now.
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on March 21, 2015
I love the music on this 2 disc set of Ronnie Milsap. I have loved Ronnie Milsap since I saw his concert in December 2011. There are a lot of songs on these CDs. I liked Any Day Now, I also heard this song by Elvis Presley. I love these CDs on Ronnie Milsap. Keep up the good work Ronnie Milsap.
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on October 16, 2014
Ronnie Milsap was one of the most prolific hit-makers of the 70's and 80's, putting literally dozens of songs into the top 10 on the country charts (many of them going to #1) not to mention notable success on the pop and adult contemporary charts as well. Ronnie had so many hits that not even this 2-disc, 40 track is room enough to cover all of them, but it's a good starting place. (a 3rd disc or even a box set seems appropriate).

Many of his most well-known hits are here, but, as with every greatest hits compilation, there are notable omissions. One of the most glaring is the #1 "Don't You Know How Much I Love You?". There are others. But still, this is a terrific sampler of the man's many talents, wide vocal range and chart successes.
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