The Greatest Greatest Hits of 2007

Gary Allan, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Keith Urban Release Career Retrospectives

I’ve been making a list (and checking it twice) of some of the Greatest Hits albums in country music this year. Now you can see why Santa never forgets about Nashville. Slide this article beside the milk and cookies and hope for the best.

Trace Adkins, American Man: Greatest Hits, Volume II (Capitol Nashville)
Rather than finish a new album right now, Adkins opted to raise a ton of money for charity by appearing on TV’s Celebrity Apprentice. Five years of hits and three new songs are included here.

Gary Allan, Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville)
It took 10 years to build a catalog of hits, starting with “Her Man” in 1996. Highlights include “Smoke Rings in the Dark” and “Best I Ever Had,” plus two new songs.

Garth Brooks, The Ultimate Hits (Pearl)
This latest repackaging includes his instant No. 1 hit, “More Than a Memory,” all the fan favorites (“Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance”) and a DVD full of music videos.

Sara Evans, Greatest Hits (RCA)
If you only know her from Dancing With the Stars, this collection is a real fine place to start, spanning from 1998′s “No Place That Far,” to her current single, “As If.”

Crystal Gayle, Greatest Hits (EMI)
This collection dips into several label vaults for No. 1 hits like “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” and her duet with Eddie Rabbitt, “You and I.”

Faith Hill, The Hits (Warner Bros.)
The mega-hit “Breathe” is the powerful centerpiece, but other choice cuts from her early career include “Wild One,” “It Matters to Me,” “This Kiss” and “Let Me Let Go.”

Tracy Lawrence, The Very Best of Tracy Lawrence (Rhino)
If you listened to country in the 1990s, you’ll recognize “Sticks and Stones,” “Time Marches On” and many more. Find out why his friends at radio supported his comeback.

George Strait, 22 More Hits (MCA Nashville)
A companion to 50 Number Ones, this disc picks up several classics that didn’t quite top the chart, including “Amarillo by Morning,” “The Cowboy Rides Away” and “Desperately.” It also features his latest single, “How ‘Bout Them Cowgirls.”

Travis Tritt, The Very Best of Travis Tritt (Rhino)
Often tagged as rowdy, Travis Tritt can write tender songs, too, from “Help Me Hold On” to “Best of Intentions.” When he sang “I’m Gonna Be Somebody,” the fans sure agreed.

Keith Urban, Greatest Hits: 18 Kids (Capitol Nashville)
In 2000, he finally broke through — and hasn’t looked back. “But for the Grace of God,” “Somebody Like You” and “Days Go By” (all No. 1 singles) are still fun to sing along with.

Trisha Yearwood, Greatest Hits (MCA Nashville)
From “She’s in Love With the Boy” to “I Would Have Loved You Anyway,” she has a knack for hearing a hit when she selects songs. For the first time, they’re all in one place — with two new songs.

In addition, with the Sony/BMG merger, a number of artists are now represented in the 16 Biggest Hits series. These budget-priced discs are an ideal way to discover an artist’s catalog. In 2007, new volumes featured Alabama, Bobby Bare, Diamond Rio, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson (Vol. 2) and Dolly Parton. Meanwhile, the Essential series (also on the Sony/BMG imprint) revisited the careers of Chet Atkins, Waylon Jennings and Ray Price.

Craig Shelburne has been writing for CMT.com since 2002. He is also a producer for CMT Edge, Concrete Country and Live @ CMT.