- Buy the CD
Reviewed by Red Rocker
Just shy of 30 years into his calling, Strait is not short on greatest hits compilations. In fact, the names of these collections alone are worth buying: Latest Greatest Straitest Hits and the massive box set Strait out of the Box. Not to mention, how many artists could even begin to fill an album entitled Fifty Number Ones?! And it’s just as it advertises -- 50 songs that each hit #1 on Billboard’s chart. Wow.
To be fair, 22 More Hits is not an extension of the Fifty Number Ones mission. These are more aptly described as fan favorites, lost gems that get brushed off frequently in live performances and requested on radio but never found huge chart success. The time span among these tracks is vast, indeed. Strait’s first Top 10, “Unwound,” is on board, as is “Amarillo by Morning,” from his second album, Strait from the Heart, released in 1982. Other notable throwbacks include “Marina Del Ray” and the jumpy honky-tonk classic “The Fireman.” More recent material like “Don’t Make Me Come Over There and Love You” and “Cowboys Like Us” was largely passed over by radio and CMT, yet rightfully finds its way past the final cut here.
A career like George Strait’s -- 39 albums in 26 years -- is difficult to ignore. Whether you’re a casual country music fan or someone who avoids the genre altogether, it’s impossible not to acknowledge his staying power or unrivaled influence. Even when he’s not churning out an album of his own, which is rarely, Strait is often collaborating (recently with powerhouses Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, and Alan Jackson), writing or touring in support of fellow country artists. He is the definition of a legend in his own time, and if he’s somehow gone unnoticed in your world, 22 More Hits is as good a place as any to fall in line.