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The Essential Joe Diffie

Joe Diffie

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Album Review

Epic/Legacy's 2003 collection The Essential Joe Diffie weighs in at 14 tracks, just two less than the 2002 collection 16 Biggest Hits, with which it shares a whopping 12 tracks. Given that considerable overlap, it's not surprising that the two collections are essentially interchangeable, but 16 Biggest Hits has the edge, not just because it has two more tracks, but because the four songs unique to that collection are stronger than the two unique songs here (for the record, they are the Mary Chapin Carpenter duet "Not Too Much to Ask," which has never appeared on a Joe Diffie album, and the modest hit "This Is Your Brain"). That said, The Essential Joe Diffie is hardly a bad album — after, it's pretty much the same album, down to identical sequencing for the first three cuts — and it is also an effective overview of the peak of Diffie's career. 16 Biggest Hits may be slightly stronger, but that's all it is: a slight difference. On its own terms, The Essential Joe Diffie is a first-rate collection.

Biography

Born: December 28, 1958 in Tulsa, OK

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Joe Diffie was regarded by many of his peers as one of the better vocalists in contemporary country, and lent his traditional sensibilities to humorous, rock-tinged novelties and plaintive ballads. Diffie was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1958 and grew up in a musical family, first performing in public at age four with his aunt's country band. He played in a rock band during high school, and later moved on to a gospel quartet and, during college, a bluegrass band called the Special Edition. He worked...
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The Essential Joe Diffie, Joe Diffie
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