Compilation producer: Cary E. Mansfield
Includes liner notes by Laurence Zwisohn.
Digitally remastered by Dan Hersch (DigiPrep, Hollywood, California).
Liner Note Author: Austin Powell.
Tommy Overstreet is not especially well-remembered -- as of this writing, none of his original recordings for ABC and Dot were in print -- but during the '70s, he had a steady string of hits for Dot and ABC, including 11 country Top Ten singles. All of those songs are here, along with five other smaller hits, on Varese's comprehensive 1998 summary, The Very Best of Tommy Overstreet. Overstreet's baritone, as well as his selection of material, was reminiscent of Don Williams. Occasionally, he sounded strained where Williams let the words roll easy, but he had a similar laid-back Western warmth and walked a similar musical path; where a traditional country sound was given pop overtones in the song selection and the lush production, heavy on layers of vocals and guitars. Although he had no classics, he did have a good ear for songs, often relying on tunes written by his producer Ricci Mareno, often with the assistance of either Jerry W. Gillespie and Charlie Black. They were good genre numbers -- as Overstreet puts it in Laurence Zwisohn's liner notes, songs about "the heartaches, the heartbreaks, the success, the failure, the booze, the blues" -- and they're delivered in a commercial, straightforward manner and sung with conviction by Overstreet. It's generic music, but in the best possible sense; it's good mainstream '70s country, not gutsy enough for outlaw, but too country to be called countrypolitain, and it's all the better for it. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine