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Country - Released September 21, 2018 | CMCapNash (N91)

Released in 2018, Best of Kenny Rogers: Through the Years focuses squarely on Rogers' golden era of the late 1970s and early '80s, letting 20 hits pile up in chronological order. The set begins with "Lucille," his Top Ten breakthrough from 1977, and draws to a conclusion with the 1987 Ronnie Milsap duet "Make No Mistake, She's Mine," adding the 2006 single "I Can't Unlove You" as a coda. In between, there are a bunch of big hits -- "Daytime Friends," "Love or Something Like It," "The Gambler," "Coward of the County," "You Decorated My Life," "Lady," "Love Will Turn You Around," plus duets with Kim Carnes, Dottie West, and Sheena Easton -- but not all of them. Notably, there is nothing from the First Edition and "Islands in the Stream," his smash duet with Dolly Parton, is nowhere to be found. Their absence makes Through the Years somewhat less than definitive, yet it's still a fine roundup of his prime hitmaking period. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2008 | EMI Gold

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Country - Released January 1, 2014 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released August 30, 1983 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

This is a masterpiece of a pop recording from Kenny Rogers. It is clear that Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb, and co-producers Karl Richardson and Albhy Galuten remembered Rogers' pop roots with the First Edition and, despite the country twang of "Buried Treasure," the slick musicianship and modulation are not your typical country & western. There are four tracks written by Barry and Maurice and five more by Barry, Maurice, and brother Robin Gibb, including the stunning number one hit from September 1983, "Islands in the Stream." It hit number one across the board on adult contemporary, country, and the Top 40, and deservedly so -- the melody is infectious, impeccable, and perfectly recorded. Keep in mind this was five years after they created Frankie Valli's biggest-selling solo record, "Grease" -- the pairing of Dolly Parton with Rogers makes for an amazing vocal sound to carry the melody. "Living With You" features the Bee Gees -- it is Rogers fronting the Bee Gees, and why they didn't seek out more artists, new as well as established, to work their magic on is a pity. It's a lush setting for the country superstar, and as Barbara Streisand and Dionne Warwick enjoyed success thanks to this creative team, Eyes That See in the Dark stands as an important piece of the Rogers catalog and a really timeless recording. The Gatlin Brothers add their magic to "Evening Star" and "Buried Treasure," and these elements bring the Barry Gibb/Richardson/Galuten thousand-tracks production down to earth. "Evening Star" doesn't have the complexities of Samantha Sang's "Emotion," the producers being very careful to keep it simple, something they just weren't doing on all their other records. There are only ten tracks on Eyes That See in the Dark, Jimmie Haskell's strings the major instrument next to Rogers' sympathetic vocal performance. "Midsummer Nights" is co-authored by Barry Gibb and Galuten, making Barry the catalyst and driving force, as he is the only person with a hand in every tune. "Midsummer Nights" brings things back up after "Hold Me," and it is more adult contemporary than country. It would have made a great single but, as it was, the opening track, "This Woman," went Top 25 in early 1984, and by the end of that year Rogers would post his 27th Top 40 hit, ending a string started 16 years earlier in 1968. It isn't clear why they didn't, but the pretty Barry and Maurice Gibb tune "I Will Always Love You" (not to be confused with Parton's hit of the same name) and the title track certainly should have found some chart action as well. Eyes That See in the Dark is not the definitive Kenny Rogers album but, outside of greatest-hits packages, it is absolutely one of his most consistent and one of his best. © Joe Viglione /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1999 | Capitol Nashville

MCA Special Products' Love Songs collects ten romantic tunes Kenny Rogers & the First Edition recorded in their short time together. It's hardly a definitive collection or a greatest-hits, and some of the tunes are marginally "love songs," but it's an enjoyable sampler thanks to such highlights as "For the Good Times," "Sunshine," "Are My Thoughts With You," "Last Few Threads of Love" and "She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye." Those songs make the compilation worth its budget price, at least for casual listeners. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1978 | Capitol Nashville

Kenny Rogers took a bit of a chance in releasing this loosly based concept album at the time, but boy, did it pay off! Sales for the album went through the roof, as the title track and "She Believes In Me" became pop crossover hits, with the latter reaching the pop Top 10. Later, "The Gambler" was turned into a string of made-for-television movies. © James Chrispell /TiVo
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Country - Released August 8, 2005 | EMI Gold

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Country - Released October 8, 2013 | Warner Records

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Country - Released January 1, 1998 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Nashville

This European Kenny Rogers compilation boasts almost all of the legendary country-pop singer's biggest hits including the "Gambler," "She Believes in Me," "Coward of the County," "We've Got Tonight," and "Lucille." Daytime Friends: The Very Best of Kenny Rogers is more or less on par with other "greatest-hits" compilations, though "Ruby," "Reuben James," and "Something's Burning" are re-recordings of the versions he did with the First Edition, and his duet with Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream," is nowhere to be found. © James Christopher Monger /TiVo
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Country - Released June 17, 1981 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

Share Your Love began a downturn in Kenny Rogers' popularity. Comprised almost entirely of Lionel Richie songs, the album is pleasant, yet its adult contemporary pop direction was quite a departure at the time and was not greeted well with Kenny's country fans. A miss after a long string of hits. © James Chrispell /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 2003 | Universal Music Enterprises

There certainly has been no shortage of Kenny Rogers compilations over the years -- some might even say there's been a surplus -- all covering essentially the same territory, mixing up his solo hits from the late '70s and early '80s with cuts from the late '60s when he fronted the First Edition. Hip-O's 2004 collection 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection uses that same approach, but it's better than nearly all of the collections currently on the market since it contains nearly all the big hits -- "Lady," "She Believes in Me," "You Decorated My Life," "The Gambler," "Lucille," "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town," "Ruben James," "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Is In)" -- on an affordable single disc. Yes, the 1991 track "Crazy in Love" may be an odd opener even if it was a number one adult contemporary hit, key duets like "Don't Fall in Love With a Dreamer" and "Islands in the Stream" aren't here, "Coward of the County" is missed, and some may complain about the reverse chronological order of the set, but compared to all CD-era Kenny compilations outside of the 1999 four-disc box set Through the Years, this shines in terms of song selection and listenability, and upon its release was the best available single-disc Kenny Rogers compilation. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released December 2, 1983 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

When Kenny Rogers paired up with Scottish pop songstress Sheena Easton for "We've Got Tonight," the hit title track from this 1983 album, one could quibble about Easton's occasionally overwrought and bombastic performance, but there are a few moments of truly sublime vocal interplay. The album provides a little of Rogers' trademark storytelling with "Scarlet," and quite a bit of soaring balladry as heard on "All My Life," both of which were hits. You will be forgiven for thinking the album sounds a bit like Lionel Richie in places, since Richie contributes the song "How Long." Rogers ends the album with "You Are So Beautiful," a loving tribute to his legions of female fans, but male listeners may want to cut out early. © Greg Adams /TiVo
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Country - Released October 14, 2008 | KOCH RECORDS

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Country - Released August 7, 2015 | Warner Records

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Country - Released May 13, 1978 | EMI Music Nashville (ERN)

CEMA Special Markets' Every Time Two Fools Collide: The Best of Kenny Rogers & Dottie West is a terrific, affordable roundup of the duo's biggest hits. Every one of their charting singles -- "Every Time Two Fools Collide," "Anyone Who Isn't Me Tonight," "All I Ever Need Is You," "Til I Can Make It On My Own," "What Are We Doin' In Love," "Together Again" -- is here, along with some choice cuts from the albums. The end result is a near-definitive overview of the duo's best work -- and, of all things, it's available as a budget-line disc, which makes it all the more enticing. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released July 22, 2008 | eOne Music

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Country - Released January 1, 2012 | Capitol Nashville

If Eyes That See in the Dark represented a high watermark for Kenny Rogers, getting everything about a pop crossover right, its 1984 sequel, What About Me?, pretty much gets everything wrong. First of all, losing the writing talents of the Brothers Gibb is a major blow, since they not only gave Kenny indelible singles with "Islands in the Stream" and "Buried Treasure," they gave him a strong, consistent set of songs. This, released just a year later, is a return to singles 'n' filler, which is not unheard of in either country-pop or in Rogers' catalog, and sometimes it can even make for an enjoyable listen, provided that the singles are strong enough and that the overall sound of the record is appealing. Neither is the case here. The singles are not memorable -- the closest is the title track, featuring not just Kim Carnes but James Ingram in a song that doesn't quite make sense as a duet, let alone a trio -- and the production, which abandons any pretense at country, is too calculatingly adult contemporary; instead of having a nice, soothing, synth-heavy feel like Eyes That See in the Dark, this sounds cold and clean, typifying the worst in mid-'80s adult contemporary. And make no mistake, this is not a country album at all -- it may have charted on the country charts, but that was due to career momentum, because this is an adult contemporary album, and a bad one at that. It's a depressing comedown after the splendid Eyes That See in the Dark. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released April 3, 2020 | Dockland Music

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Country - Released January 1, 1982 | Capitol Nashville

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Kenny Rogers in the magazine
  • Kenny Rogers' musical legacy
    Kenny Rogers' musical legacy The star of country music passed away on the 20th of March 2020, leaving behind an enormous discography that included not only country music, but that spanned pop, rock, jazz and easy listening as ...