Album ReviewsGREATEST HITS: VOCAL GROUP OF THE YEAR
Here we have a very different and interesting record. This record was released to commemorate the Oak Ridge Boys being awarded 'Vocal Group Of The Year'. They tried to cram as many songs on this album as possible, and in order to do so, they decided to make this a medley-type album. That is to say that the majority of these songs are only partial songs. They may come in at the first verse, or maybe the chorus, and then fade out after the second chorus.
The one distinction that this greatest hits package has over all others is that it is the only one that contains songs from the rare 1977 Live album. That alone makes this a very cool and collectable record, despite the fact that it is rather hard to come by, anyway.
Richard Sterban does a spoken introduction on this album setting the stage for what is to come, and what this record is all about.
For the collector, this is a real gem of a record. For the casual fan, there's not much here, especially considering most songs are just partials. There are any number of greatest hits packages to get many of these songs in their entirety. But, alongside the Live album, this has become one of the more hard-to-find Oak Ridge Boys vinyl records.
Outstanding Cuts: all
Cut Outs: none...however, all the songs being partials tends to get annoying
Ok people...I do not have this compilation, nor have I ever heard it. So I have little that I can really add to this review. However, from what I understand, this album was done in conjunction with a songbook that was released on Hansen House Publishing in 1979 called “Oak Ridge Boys: Greatest Hits”. This album was also to commemorate the Oaks winning Vocal Group of the Year at the ACMs and the CMAs.
However, on this album, all of the ABC songs on this album are edited down to “medley” form, as, from what I understand, Richard explains to us in the introduction. Apparently, ABC only gave permission to Hansen to use pieces of the songs on this LP. However, a lot of songs’ pieces are used on this album. Plus, this is the only compilation to ever include songs from the 1977 Live album. And from what I understand, those songs are in full, since the album was owned outright by the Oak Ridge Boys.
It appears Harvest House made it a point to only use the country and gospel songs from the 1977 Live album, and they left the pop songs from that album out. This is likely because the Oaks had established themselves as a country group, winning Vocal Group of the Year.
This album is quite a collector’s item if you find it, so be sure to pick it up if you see it in a record store or flea market. However, since the songs are just in partials, I don’t think it is something I’d want, unless I can get it for cheap.
My Favorite Tracks: Can’t say, as I’ve never heard
this album. I doubt I would care for the partials of many of the songs,
Tracks I Didn’t Care for Much: There don’t appear to be any tracks on this compilation that I don’t like, just the fact that many of these songs are not in their entirety.
---John Vairin (email@example.com)
In 1979, Hansen House Publishing released a songbook called "Oak Ridge Boys:
Greatest Hits." It featured piano & vocal arrangements for 17 Oaks songs. The
funny thing is, up to that point, the Oaks hadn't even released 17 country
singles (they would reach 10 singles the following year for their "official" GH
package). Instead, Hansen House compiled 17 songs taken from their first two ABC
albums and the ultra-rare 1977 "Live" album, creating an odd mix of hits, album
cuts, and live songs, the majority of which were never considered to be "hits."
In conjunction with the songbook, Hansen also released an LP that included all of the songs in the book. To add to the oddity, however, all of the ABC songs were edited down to a "medley form" (and described by Richard in an extended introduction track), while the "Live" cuts were left intact. The "official" reason given by Richard during his intro is so the songs would all fit on one LP, but I'm guessing ABC only gave permission to use segments of the songs. The segments, however, are not just fade-in-fade-out samples, but actual engineered edits, designed to make the songs sound as if they were originally recorded in this fashion. Some edits work better than others, though ("Saloon" gets a four bar intro, then immediately cuts to the last verse, for example). If I remember correctly, these edits were done by Les Ladd, a long-time engineer for the Oaks.
The "Live" album was owned outright by the Oaks, so they probably could use all they wanted from that recording (and only have to pay royalties). In this case, they went for the obvious country songs ("Rocky Top," "Good Hearted Woman," and "Faded Love"), as well as the two gospel songs, "LIfe's Railway To Heaven" and "Just A Little Talk With Jesus"), leaving the pop songs alone. This makes sense, since by this time, the Oaks were known as a country act anyway (and the album totes the Oaks' 1978 ACM win for Vocal Group Of The Year).
Since this was released to coincide with a songbook, not many copies of this album still exist. If you happen to come across it, though, I would suggest grabbing it. You'll get a truly unique recording featuring cuts you won't hear anywhere else.