Recording information: Gwinnett Center, Atlanta, GA (04/05/2006).
So this is what it comes to in the 21st century music business. It's where an artist like Gretchen Wilson comes out of nowhere, skyrockets to the top of the charts with her first single "Redneck Woman," which becomes an anthem, sells millions and millions of copies of her debut album, Here for the Party, releases two more fine offerings -- All Jacked Up and One of the Boys (her best) -- and then gets dropped by her label because she can't duplicate her initial success. To be fair, Wilson never had a chance to sell as many records as her debut again; it was an anomaly that plenty of acts have been party to. (Remember the Counting Crows?). Her final Columbia album is this Greatest Hits package. As a compilation, Wilson's hits offering succeeds because it contains all the singles -- all of which were very successful videos played in heavy rotation on CMT and GAC, too. It contains ten studio cuts that include "Redneck Woman," "All Jacked Up," "Come to Bed," "When I Think About Cheatin'," "Homewrecker," "California Girls," and "Politically Incorrect" (with a fine duet appearance by Merle Haggard), and "One of the Boys." In other words, it has everything the more casual listener would ever want on a best-of set. Hardcore fans already have these tracks, but this makes for a great mixtape. As a bonus, there's an eleventh track: her own killer live rendition of Heart's "Barracuda." Wilson began her own imprint, Redneck Records, where she continues to record and tour very successfully. ~ Thom Jurek