12 Greatest Hits (1988) – Patsy Cline

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Yee-haw!

Cline’s intense vocal paired with a slick arrangement ensured “Crazy” as the song to tower over all else she recorded, but casual listeners may well revel in the other 1960-1963 material collected here. More instant-familiarity is found in “Walkin’ After Midnight” which wisely kicks off the set, but most of the other titles are no lesser in sincerity and hook. “Strange” is memorable, as is “Back in my Baby’s Arms”, but the slower numbers can be more affecting because they can catch a listener off guard. The four Hank Cochran numbers, including “She’s Got You” and “Why Can’t He be You” do a fine job of this. Cline’s grasp of vocal intonation is at times so bewildering it’s palpable; giving even the affecting yet archaic string arrangements a run for their money. Her voice is a real heart-breaker, and without a single bad track, 12 Greatest Hits is a concise yet satisfying testament to a rare genuineness of that quality. Patsy Cline was one of the most successful country artists to crossover to the international mainstream and rightly so.

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