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Through The Years: A Retrospective
Kenny Rogers
Through The Years: A Retrospective
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #4

Chicken notwithstanding, the dealin' is done for Kenny Rogers, who in 1999 has got time enough for countin' his myriad number one hits. Rogers was country music's brightest star during its darkest night. His hook-laden pop...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Kenny Rogers
Title: Through The Years: A Retrospective
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Original Release Date: 1/26/1999
Release Date: 1/26/1999
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Cowboy, Adult Contemporary, Soft Rock
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaCD Credits: 4
UPC: 724383318322

Synopsis essential recording
Chicken notwithstanding, the dealin' is done for Kenny Rogers, who in 1999 has got time enough for countin' his myriad number one hits. Rogers was country music's brightest star during its darkest night. His hook-laden pop songs had just enough dust and his voice just enough Texas twang to earn him country credibility, but in reality, he was and always will be an adult contemporary pop singer. These four CDs comprehensively follow Rogers's chameleon-like career--from the vocal-pop of the Scholars to the light jazz of the Bobby Doyle Three to the acid-folk of the First Edition to the country-crossover sound of the mid-1970s to the full-blown pop stylings of 1980 forward. Rogers always had a knack for choosing material with mass appeal--in the notes he calls it "the simple song that has a great hook that everybody can sing, where everybody joins in with you on the second verse"--and he knew what would best suit his easy-flowing, thready voice. And there was always a duet partner--Dottie West, Sheena Easton, Kim Carnes, Dolly Parton--waiting to liven things up. These 80 songs (along with the detailed notes and interviews) will bring tears of joy to the diehards, but even the cynics might find themselves singing along with a couple of the most memorable ones. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Comprehensive Kenny
James E. Bagley | Sanatoga, PA USA | 02/13/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Here's a box set that finally gets it right. 80 tracks covering Rogers' entire career back to the '50s (except for his short stint with the New Christy Minstrels in the mid-60s). Disc one spotlights the formative years through his hit-filled years with the First Edition. Discs two through four cover his solo career with every charted single Rogers made since 1976. Especially noteworthy are Rogers' duets as collaborations with Kim Carnes, Sheena Easton, Dolly Parton, and especially, the late Dottie West, show off his immense ability to harmonize. There's a ton of Rogers' collections out there. This is the only one you'll ever need. Run don't walk and get it today."
Plenty of variety in Kenny's music
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 12/22/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This box traces Kenny's music from its beginnings, long before he was famous, up to 1997. At that point, it looked as though Kenny's years of success were well and truly past. Radio stations, while content to play his golden oldies, ignored his new material. Of course, there was a revival, with the album She rides wild horses and the comeback hit Buy me a rose. Apart from the hits from that album, all Kenny's major hits can be found on the four CD's in this box.

The first CD covers the early years, but only the last eight tracks represent his music with the First Edition, The first twelve tracks form a fascinating historical record, demonstrating that Kenny's roots were many and varied, but with plenty of jazz. The First Edition tracks are the original recordings. Kenny later re-recorded some of these songs, but although those re-recordings are often used on compilations of his music, EMI decided on this occasion to license the originals. The best known of these tracks is Ruby don't take your love to town, but Something's burning was also a big hit. Dolly revived But you know I love you in 1981 and actually had a bigger hit with the song than Kenny had.

The second CD contains all Kenny's American number one country hits of the seventies and eighties. These include three duets with Dottie West (a vastly under-appreciated singer), two duets with Dolly Parton (including Islands in the stream) and one each with Sheena Easton (We've got tonight) and Ronnie Milsap. Among his solo tracks on this CD, you will have your own favorites. Lucille is the song that turned me on to Kenny's music and I still think it's his best - but not by much. Tomb of the unknown love is much less well known than the earlier classics, but it is a wonderful song.

The third and fourth CD's cover the same period as the second CD, but they cover the hits that didn't reach number one. Again, there are three duets with Dottie and two with Dolly. Other duets feature Anne Murray, Holly Dunn and Nickie Ryder. Kim Carnes features twice - once in a duet with Kenny on Don't fall in love with a dreamer, and once singing with James Ingram and Kenny on What about me? My favorite solo tracks from these two CD's are Scarlet fever, Evening star and Blaze of glory, but there are many other brilliant songs here and your favorite may be different. Looking at other compilations, the obvious omission being The long arm of the law. It isn't essential, but it's a pity that anything got left out in a collection of this nature.

So, this is a very interesting collection that covers Kenny's career up to 1997 in depth. I still get immense pleasure from listening to him, even though I've heard some of the songs hundreds of times."
A Thoroughly Enjoyable Retrospective
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 03/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Four-and-a-half hours is probably more Kenny Rogers than the average fan needs, but this 4-disc retrospective is the most comprehensive collection available to date. Disc-1: All but the die-hard fans will be unfamiliar with the first twelve tracks recorded between 1956-66. These tracks are mostly of historical value and show Rogers working in a variety of styles (doo-wop, jazz, big band) both as a solo and with The Scholars and The Bobby Doyle Three. It is with "Just Dropped In"--The First Edition's quasi-psychedelic 1968 hit--that the material becomes more familiar. The rest of the disc includes the rest of that group's hits with the glaring omission of 1970's "Heed the Call." [Also worth noting is that these are all original recordings. Capitol Records has negotiated licensing agreements with Reprise, United Artists and Liberty, something that was NOT done with earlier compilations like Ten Years of Gold, Twenty Greatest Hits, and 20 Great Years which occasionally resorted to rerecording some of these songs.]Disc-2: Rogers achieved superstar status in the Seventies. Each one of these songs peaked at No. 1 on the country chart. All but seven of them also placed in the Top 40 on the pop charts--including two No. 1 pop hits: "Lady" and his duet with Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream."Disc 3: While not packed with hits like disc-2, all but two of the songs on this third disc ("While the Feeling's Good" and "The Greatest Gift of All") charted in the Top 40 on the country and/or pop chart, including one of Rogers' rare songwriting credits on "Sweet Music Man."Disc-4: By the mid-Eighties, Rogers was no longer the guaranteed hit machine that he had been for the past decade. Only four of these songs went Top 10--all on the country chart--but these are all solid performances. And despite 1991's "If You Want To Find Love" being the most recent charting single on this box set, the final chapter on Rogers' career is yet to be written. While this box is a bit pricey, it's the only way to show the breadth and depth of his career. RECOMMENDED"