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Country - Released May 24, 2019 | Broken Bow Records

Billy Ray Cyrus delivered The SnakeDoctor Circus, his 16th studio album, hot on the heels of his unexpected return to the top of the charts via his guest appearance on the remix of "Old Town Road" by Lil Nas X. "Old Town Road (Remix)" blew up in April 2019 and The SnakeDoctor Circus arrived in May, so the album was set in stone, untouched by the pop culture phenomenon of 2019. Instead, the album bears all the hallmarks of the 1960s, specifically the sociopolitical folk-rock of Bob Dylan. All through its long 39 minutes, The SnakeDoctor Circus alternates between grumbly romantic dirges ("The Reckoning") and ponderous political statements ("Goddess of Democracy," "Guns, Gold & Guitars"), stopping for the occasional shuffle ("I Think Your Time's Come") or jangle ("The Reckoning"). Cyrus occasionally cracks a joke, but they're hard to discern among the mumbles and murk that make the record feel like a portentous slog even when the tempos threaten to cut loose. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | Mercury Nashville

Some Gave All became the first debut album by a country artist to enter the pop charts at number one (it hit number one on the country charts as well). The album's sales were fueled by the breakout single "Achy Breaky Heart," which offered Southern-fried Rolling Stones rhythms and a goofy chorus with a hook so big it demanded a reaction. Not one to eschew the obvious, Cyrus pumped his songs full of as much rock & roll as the market would bear, so songs like "Could've Been Me" and "Never Thought I'd Fall in Love with You" appealed to young fans who had just discovered the possibilities (both musical and sexual) of country music. © Brian Mansfield /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1997 | Island Mercury

Billy Ray Cyrus recorded only four albums before releasing The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus, which indicates his status as a one-hit wonder. "Achy Breaky Heart" was the hit that made his career, but it also ruined it, since its jokey refrain and his good looks meant that no one took him seriously. There's not much evidence on The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus that those critics were wrong, but there are more enjoyable songs here than you might expect, especially since it whittles all four albums down to just the highlights. For every casual fan, this is the one Cyrus disc they'll want to own, even if Some Gave All functions fairly well as an album itself. © Thom Owens /TiVo
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Country - Released January 31, 2020 | Broken Bow Records

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Country - Released January 1, 1993 | PSM

Cyrus's followup to his smash debut, Some Gave All, offers more of the same -- country injected with a healthy dose of rock & roll. It won't win him any new fans, but those who loved Some Gave All will enjoy It Won't Be the Last. © All Music Guide /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2004 | Mercury Nashville

This is the third hits compilation released of Billy Ray Cyrus, and it is by far the best. 1997's 12-track The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus: Cover to Cover has been made obsolete by hits Cyrus scored after its release. The 2003 Cyrus entry in the discount-priced 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection, with ten tracks, is only a sampler. The Definitive Collection lives up to its title by including all 19 country hits Cyrus scored from 1992 to early 2000, starting with "Achy Breaky Heart" and concluding with "You Won't Be Lonely Now," licensed from Monument Records, the label to which Cyrus moved after his Mercury tenure. The set is brought up to a CD-filling 80-minute length by the inclusion of two album tracks: "Truth Is I Lied," co-written by Cyrus with Don Von Tress, who wrote "Achy Breaky Heart," and rockabilly great Carl Perkins; and a revival of the Jeannie C. Riley hit "Harper Valley PTA." Due to the massive crossover success of his debut single, "Achy Breaky Heart," which hit number four on the Hot 100 and pushed his first album, Some Gave All, to sales of nine million copies, Cyrus is viewed as a one-hit wonder by the pop market, where none of his subsequent efforts did nearly as well. "Achy Breaky Heart" is his biggest country hit, too, of course, but, as documented here, he continued to score on the country charts with a variety of material, including the veterans' anthem "Some Gave All." While some of his singles echoed the novelty appeal of "Achy Breaky Heart," others were sturdy country ballads, while "Time for Letting Go," for instance, was a song written by Jude Cole that easily could have been at least an adult contemporary hit if it had been marketed as such. Country fans don't need to be told that there's more to Billy Ray Cyrus than "Achy Breaky Heart," and this modestly priced collection demonstrates that fact. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Country - Released May 24, 2019 | Broken Bow Records

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Country - Released October 9, 2007 | Walt Disney Records

Seizing the opportunity for a comeback opened by his daughter's success as Hannah Montana -- and his accompanying role as Hannah's father -- Billy Ray Cyrus gives it his all on Home at Last, his tenth solo album but the first one to really seem to count since the glory days of "Achy Breaky Heart." Smartly, he avoids any boot-scooting shuffles and pitches the record directly toward the housewives who danced the night away to his big hit and now raise daughters who watch Hannah Montana. This means there's not much of the lean country that marked his very good 2006 set Wanna Be Your Joe but instead a lot of earnest midtempo tunes and ballads, along with covers of such standards as "Brown Eyed Girl" and "You've Got a Friend." It's modern-day adult contemporary music, but it's not given the drippy, saccharine, and synthesized arrangements that made AC music stultifying in the late '90s. Instead, it's stripped-down and direct, never sounding too slick but never sounding like something that could be mistaken for anything other than commercial adult pop, either. If the album suffers a little bit from a sense of sleepy sameness -- it sure could use more numbers like the working-class anthem "The Buffalo" or the mildly driving anthemic rocker "You Can't Lose Me" -- on a track-by-track basis, it's sturdy and Cyrus is always likeable, never pushing too hard and always sounding like a warmer, more genuine singer than he did at the peak of his fame in 1992. Make no mistake about it, Home at Last is as safe and comforting as its title suggests (which may indeed be a let-down for those that liked the sly, wily nature of Wanna Be Your Joe), but it's to Cyrus' credit that he pulls it off like an old pro, which is what makes this not only a handsome commercial comeback but a deserved one. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 31, 2020 | Broken Bow Records

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Country - Released September 25, 2012 | Blue Cadillac Music, LLC

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Country - Released October 28, 2003 | Word

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Country - Released January 1, 1994 | Island Mercury

Although it didn't win him any new fans, Storm in the Heartland delivered what Billy Ray Cyrus' fans wanted to hear -- good-humored rockers and powerful ballads. In fact, it was a stronger, more assured effort than It Won't Be the Last, offering a catchier batch of songs, even though it doesn't have the goofy charm of Some Gave All. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | Mercury Nashville

The titles in the budget-priced Icon series issued by Universal Music Group are meant to be representative examples of individual artist or group careers packaged as no-frills collections for those seeking compilations that are, if not definitive, at least representative. Despite the fact that the Billy Ray Cyrus volume is culled (mostly) from three albums does appear to succeed in providing that sample. Five of the dozen cuts here are taken from his debut offering, Some Gave All from 1992, including the smash "Achy Breaky Heart" and subsequent singles from that album, including the title track and "She's Not Cryin' Anymore." The single "In the Heart of a Woman" and "Words by Heart" are collected from 1993's It Won't Be the Last, and the remainder are from 1996's Trail of Tears, including his cover of "Harper Valley P.T.A." and the album cuts "Three Little Words" and "Truth Is I Lied." © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2003 | Mercury Nashville

To some, Billy Ray Cyrus is merely a one-hit wonder, scoring nothing of note after "Achy Breaky Heart" ruled the airwaves. That, of course, is not true, and he continued to have hits throughout the '90s -- nothing as big as "Achy Breaky Heart," to be sure, but he had 14 other charting country singles that decade before leaving Mercury. His installment of 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection doesn't have all those hits, but neither did the previous Cyrus collection, 1997's The Best of Billy Ray Cyrus: Cover to Cover. In fact, even though this has only ten songs compared to that collection's 12, this has more hits. Every track here was a hit, and there's not a major tune missing, which makes this a far better bargain than the previous Cyrus collection, and one that's not likely to be bettered anytime soon. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2008 | Mercury Nashville

Isn't it awesome to have a Billy Ray Cyrus compilation without "Achy Breaky Heart" on it? Yes, and no. Yes, because some listeners need to hear that song again and again as long as they live, and no, because this collection of love songs doesn't really do much for the re-born Cyrus' reputation as a singer. There are good single titles here, like "She's Not Cryin' Anymore," which was actually the very best song on Some Gave All, the album that contained the aforementioned abomination. Other tracks such as "I Am Here Now," from Trail of Tears, and the title cut off It Won't Be the Last, also work quite well. The reason? Cyrus co-wrote these songs; he wasn't interpreting them. There's real heart in his performances. Some of the others included here, "Only God Could Stop Me Loving You," from Storm in the Heartland, and "Missing You," from "Shot Full of Love," are saccharine and flat. Lifeless. This may indeed be a production problem because Cyrus is capable of belting them when he wants to, with real soul as well as power. But three excellent songs a love song collection does not make. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released May 10, 2019 | Broken Bow Records

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Country - Released July 8, 2016 | Blue Cadillac Music, LLC

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Country - Released April 26, 2019 | Broken Bow Records

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Country - Released January 1, 2008 | Walt Disney Records

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Country - Released January 1, 2009 | Walt Disney Records

It's no coincidence that Billy Ray Cyrus' return to Tennessee happens the same week his daughter Miley leaves Hollywood for the homeland in the big-screen debut of Hannah Montana: taken together, the album and the film are a multimedia project about the Cyrus family's rejection of Hollywood for the heartland. Of course, this is all an act. The Cyruses aren't leaving Hollywood, not when Miley is one of the biggest stars in America, and Billy Ray isn't even from Tennessee, so this is all a charade. Then again, even at his prime, Billy Ray was never considered much more than a cartoon cowboy, scooting along with a near-novelty hit in "Achy Breaky Heart," so the studied calculation of Back to Tennessee doesn't necessarily ring false, even if his affected drawl certainly does on "He's Mine." That's not the only time that his exaggerated swagger strikes a sour note -- Cyrus never quite sounds right when he's raising hell as a "Thrillbilly," or when he's aping an outlaw on "Country as Country Can Be," or even when he's singing a syrupy, icky duet with Miley on "Butterfly Fly Away." Billy Ray sounds the best on Back to Tennessee when he doesn't dip too far in either direction, when he doesn't get too country or pop, when he does the kind of arena-country that made him a star back in 1992. This doesn't happen all that often -- it's on the minor-key shuffle "I Could Be the One" or the pumping "Love Is a Lesson" -- but when it does, the record serves up some goofy good times that nevertheless manage to puncture the entire conceit behind the album, not to mention its companion, Hannah Montana: The Movie. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo