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iTunes Review

Chet Atkins was a tremendously influential session man whose distinctive playing defined the sound of an entire genre. His instrumental and production talents graced countless Nashville releases in the '50s and '60s, and the solo sides that he cut during this period at RCA are remarkable not only for their instrumental virtuosity, but also for their honey-sweet country sound and unexpected musical inventiveness. The tersely titled Classics generously collects thirty-four of Atkins’ finest solo sides. It's geared towards highlighting Atkins eclectic musical taste, and his top-notch sidemen rather than merely recapitulating Atkins highest charting numbers. While his hits were often novelty numbers like “Mr. Sandman,” Classics smartly concentrates on more musically ambitious though lesser known Atkins numbers, like the strident, countrified ragtime of “Pig Leaf Blues” or the aggressively bluesy “Oh By Jingo.” Atkins’ playing is as forceful as Chuck Berry’s, as precise as Les Paul’s and as soulful as Merle Travis’, making this compilation essential for anyone with an interest in the origins of the Nashville sound.

Customer Reviews

great album, great deal

if you like classic guitar then you must have this album. i am amazed about the price of it. this is a great collection of chet atkins's music. i would totally recomend that you buy it


If you want to hear a true "guitar hero", buy this album. I can't believe the price for the material. I miss Chet and this is a great way to remember him.

The Best of Guitar

Who knew a guitar could talk like this? I ran into Mr. Atkins once in Nashville, and, being like most out of touch youth, had no idea who he was. I didn't even know one song he played, or played on. But I did know that he had a guitar named after him - the Chet Atkins "Country Gentleman". Well, this album has demonstrated why he is revered! The songs on here are reminiscent of the best country/swing 30s and 40s, (maybe 50s) instrumentals available. Yes, they do to some extent sound somewhat like other music of the period (think, Les Paul and Mary Ford). This album does not disappoint. All of the tunes are upbeat, and have great, sing-able, hum-able melodies to keep you entertained whether you are listening while you work, play, or relax. What a creative, inventive way to present the guitar - with the highlight truly on the guitar - with minimal backing accompaniment. Plus, all this for $6? So cheap, just buy it! A great compilation/retrospective of what made Mr. Atkins famous.


Born: June 20, 1924 in Luttrell, TN

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Without Chet Atkins, country music may never have crossed over into the pop charts in the '50s and '60s. Although he recorded hundreds of solo records, Atkins' largest influence came as a session musician and a record producer. During the '50s and '60s, he helped create the Nashville sound, a style of country music that owed nearly as much to pop as it did to honky tonks. And as a guitarist, he was without parallel. Atkins' style grew out of his admiration for Merle Travis, expanding Travis' signature...
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