The Ultimate Collection: Patsy Cline by Patsy Cline
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Poor Patsy has been gussied up and repackaged so many times that only Elvis
and Hank Williams
can rival her for Most Popular Dead Star. This collection of 32 tracks on two CDs doesn't really live up to its name--it's hard to imagine an "ultimate" anthology that omits "There He Goes" and "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray" over such inclusions as "Bill Bailey, Won't You Please Come Home." But for fans who want more than a single CD and less than a box set, there's plenty here that thrills, and not just the major hits. Listen, for example, to Cline's pinpoint intonation on "I Love You So Much It Hurts," or how she nails the stratospheric last note on ol' Hank's "Lovesick Blues." Production-wise, some of Owen Bradley's Nashville Sound seems dated, of course, but emotionally, it all sounds so intimate as to have been piped in from the grave. Lord knows there's no contemporary Nashville singer wielding this kind of artistry. Or, for that matter, moxie. --Alanna Nash