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The Best of the Gatlins: All the Gold In California

Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

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Album Review

This 18-track compilation, Best of the Gatlins: All the Gold in California, traces the work of Larry Gatlin, his brothers, family, and friends (as the various billings on the records had it) from 1975 to 1988. A greatest-hits collection, it slightly favors Gatlin's early work, including "Sweet Becky Walker" and "Delta Dirt," which were among his first chart singles, while skipping "Night Time Magic" and "Nothing But Your Love Matters," which were bigger hits. Otherwise, it's all country Top Ten singles, including the number ones "I've Done Enough Dyin' Today," "All the Gold in California," and "Houston (Means I'm One Day Closer to You)." Gatlin, who wrote all the songs and sings all the lead vocals, has a traditionalist bent, though the productions are not as lush as the '60s Nashville sound, the romantic lyrics are more erotic (it was the '70s, after all), and the best songs, such as "All the Gold in California," are unique efforts thematically and musically. (The unnecessarily brief 55-minute CD running time is probably due to song publishing royalties: all the albums in Columbia/Legacy's Country Classics series have only 18 tracks.)

The Best of the Gatlins: All the Gold In California, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers
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