Liner Note Author: Daniel Cooper.
Recording information: 02/28/1957; 03/01/1957; 04/07/1958; 04/09/1958; 04/10/1958; 04/20/1961; 04/26/1962; 06/08/1956; 09/17/1957; 09/20/1956; 10/28/1960; 10/29/1962; 10/30/1961; 11/02/1962.
Never mind the titular suggestion of cherry-picking: Omnivore's 2013 set The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles provides the A- and B-sides for the singles Wanda Jackson released on Capitol between 1956 and 1963 (her immortal 1960 45 "Let's Have a Party" was supported by "Cool Love," an A-side from 1957, which explains why this weighs in at an odd 29 tracks). These singles have been chronicled several times before -- Rhino released an excellent set called Rockin' in the Country in 1990, Ace focused on Wanda's rock and country on separate compilations -- but the closest antecedent to The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles is Capitol's 1996 Vintage Collections Series, which focused on the same time period and contains significant overlap with this disc, but Omnivore's collection is the superior compilation and the best single-disc Jackson collection that's ever been assembled. By progressing chronologically, this conveys Jackson's shift from country to rockabilly and back, along with illustrating how adept she was in both styles. Plus, at 29 tracks, The Best of the Classic Capitol Singles is exceptionally generous, providing an immersive introduction to Wanda Jackson's peak that also doubles as a definitive retrospective of this pioneering rocker. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine