I would hate to have to be the person responsible for compiling the best tunes for a "definitive" collection of the Statler Brothers' music. How tough must that be? This album, definitely worth five stars due to the songs it does contain, manages to do an excellent job of giving the listener many of the best Statler tunes, but a twenty-five song set just doesn't do them justice. From reminiscent tales to hokey comic tunes to love songs to great Southern Gospel, the Statlers sang just about anything you put in front of them and sang it well. This collection does fairly well with representing their bigger hits, but it's still rather lacking.
As stated before, the songs that this album does have on it are worth five stars. Long before Quentin Tarantino introduced Gen-X to "Flowers On The Wall" via the "Pulp Fiction" soundtrack, it was the first big hit for the Statlers. It's also the first tune on this chronologically listed album. The rest of the album is dotted with other greats such as "Elizabeth," "Don't Wait On Me," "I Was There" and "Guilty." Also included is the awesome tearjerker (and my favorite Jimmy Fortune-era tune), "More Than A Name On A Wall." If you're looking for proof that the Statlers were ahead of their time, look no further than "Do You Remember These?" Years before R.E.M. told us that "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" and Billy Joel declared that "We Didn't Start The Fire," the Statlers were rattling off names and events in quick succession in that tune.
This album does well in giving a new listener a wonderful starting point in an exploration of the Statlers. It also gives the older, more experienced listener a handy compilation of the Statlers' best songs. It is a solid representation of a band that might come across as "old fashioned" but were true rebels in popular Country music by doing things their own way and managing to stay successful until they retired from the music scene.