Personnel: Marty Roe (vocals, acoustic guitar); Gene Johnson (tenor, guitar, mandolin, fiddle); Dana Williams (baritone, bass guitar); Jimmy Olander (guitar, dobro, banjo); Dan Truman (keyboards); Brian Prout (drums).
Audio Remasterer: Maria Triana.
Liner Note Author: Bill Kopp.
Prior to Real Gone Music's 2016 double-disc set The Definitive Hits Collection -- itself a physical version of the 2015 digital collection The Essential Diamond Rio -- the longest Diamond Rio compilation was 2007's 16 Biggest Hits. The Definitive Hits Collection trumps that set by 24 songs, for a grand total of 40 tracks, which is enough space to march through all 29 charting hits the group had between 1991's "Meet in the Middle" and 2003's "Wrinkles," adding a few album tracks along the way and featuring "God Only Cries," the new track added to 2006's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, near the conclusion. Such comprehensiveness certainly means this collection lives up to the promise of its title, and even if it may run a little long for some casual fans, Diamond Rio nevertheless did have 19 country Top Ten hits during their run, so it's hard to call 40 tracks overkill. Rather, it's an exhaustive -- and, yes, definitive -- look at one of the most popular country-pop bands of the '90s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine