The youngest sister of country luminary Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle has had career that began at the age of 16 (as part of the Loretta Lynn Show) and which has lasted to this day, yielding no less than 18 number 1 singles. This cut-cost compilation (first issued by Curb in 1990) boasts a representative number of them along with songs that nearly topped the charts like “When I Dream” (a top 3 hit) and “I’ll Do It All Over Again” (which hit number 2 back in 1977).
I am glad that my two favorite songs by Crystal are included – the adorable “Talking In Your Sleep” and “Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For”. Both compositions were number 1 smashes – the former was the first song of hers I ever listened to, and the latter is one of the faster songs included here in terms of tempo, and one that provides a nice break from the overall mood of the album, which is mostly middle-paced. I am also very fond of the song “Somebody Loves You” – a top 10 hit, and one that melds a bouncy melody with a set of lyrics that are simple but incredibly effective, portraying attachment and loss very deftly indeed.
Of course, there are omissions that some will find a hard pill to swallow – “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye”, “Til I Gain Control Again”, “Our Love Is on the Faultline” and “Baby, What About You” are some of the number 1 hits not included here. There is a reason for that – the focus of this compilation is her work during the ‘70s. That means that her duets with Eddie Rabbit (“You And I”) and Gary Morris (“Makin’ Up For Lost Time”) are also missing. The latter was a song featured on the “Dallas” soundtrack – as a child of the ‘80s, I recall how much my mother adored the show.
However, I think it would be best not to focus on what is missing and emphasize the fact that some of her most accessible and likeable and characteristic songs are found here. In addition to what was mentioned above, the CD also includes her first-ever number 1 hit (“I’ll Get Over You”) along with “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, a song first issued in 1977 and which was chosen to open this particular compilation.
While some CDs that saw the light a little later on boast a higher number of tracks, this is a cost-effective way of dipping your feet before taking a full dive. It is a good, solid point of entry into her catalog and it shows Crystal in top form from start to finish. Casual fans and newcomers will be the ones that will maximize it for sure. And if they do like this album, they can give Rhino’s “The Best Of Crystal Gayle” (2002) a try, as all of the songs mentioned above that were omitted are included there.
Would I recommend purchase of this compilation: Yes
Do I feel like digging deeper into her catalog after listening to it: Yes