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Country - Released August 23, 2019 | MCA Nashville

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Reclaiming a derogatory Dust Bowl-era term, Okie is loosely a concept album about human struggle in the Sooner State. But dealing with issues of divisiveness, faith and heartache, it's also pure Americana. Taking a break from the bluegrass that has largely defined his later career, Gill turns to his gentle country singer-songwriter roots: Opener "I Don't Wanna Ride the Rails No More" has echoes of his days in Pure Prairie League. As a lyricist, he pulls no punches, looking at how pro-choice is still not an easy choice on the sweet-toned "What Choice Will You Make" and embracing his Christianity on the gently shuffling "The Red Words" and "When My Amy Prays," which finds Gill hitting the spine-shivering high notes. "Forever Changed" is a frank warning to abusers, while the hymn-like "The Price of Regret" is a plea for kindness. Gill also pays tribute to his heroes on "Nothin' Like a Guy Clark Song" and "A World Without Haggard," offering up what he learned from each. The music is mellow, but the messages are deep. © Qobuz
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Country - Released January 1, 2006 | MCA Nashville

As 2006 nears its end, no one can argue that the world of country music isn't, at this moment, the most adventurous in the mainstream pop music industry and that Nash Vegas is taking more chances on its acts as the rest of the biz relies more on narrowing things into smaller and smaller niches that can easily be hyped and digested. Sure, as always, artist's images and many recordings are calculated to score big as in any pop industry. The difference is in approach. The country-listening audience/demographic has widened considerably; therefore, there is a need -- as well as an opportunity -- for experimentation to see what sticks. This is the most exciting the music's been since Willie and Waylon hit the charts in the '70s, or perhaps to be a bit more fair, when Garth Brooks turned them upside down in the early '90s. Country music's fan base is growing because it still relies largely on radio, and video channels like CMT and GAC, both of which are very supportive of directors and artists taking artistic chances in the way they choose to dramatize, animate, and portray songs -- check the work of the brilliant director Trey Fanjoy just for starters. Country's latest audience grew up on rock & roll, MTV (when it still played videos), soul, blues, funk, early rap, and in some cases even punk. And while the marketing approach is still singles-driven, country music artists and producers, as well as the labels that house them, are still concerned with the "album" either as a whole, or as a completely crafted collection of varying singles (in this case meaning "good songs"). What's more, these folks still buy CDs (titles are readily available at the local in mega-marts and department stores) and don't rely on the internet as much as pop and rock fans do for information. Given the long run of the Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way at number one on the country and Billboard charts, one can't simply dismiss the music as being the religious right's stronghold or pop culture front for "traditional family values" anymore, either, though admittedly there's plenty of that around. In the 21st century it's country music and hip hop -- not rock -- that have been taking on the topics of race, class, basic human dignity and diversity, more than any other popular (chart measured) American musics. This current mindset in both the Nash Vegas offices and in the fan base is what makes Vince Gill's These Days, a 43-song, four-disc set, possible. Gill had been planning on making a standard single-disc record in 2006. He wanted it to be musically diverse. Given his long career as songwriter, picker, producer, singer, recording and performing artist, he had a right to expect his label MCA Nashville to go along with his choices. What he didn't count on was recording 31 songs with various groups of musicians and not knowing what to do with them. He approached Luke Lewis, the label's president, with an idea he got from the Beatles multi-release-per-year tactic (the same one everybody used in the '60s), which was to issue three albums approximately three months apart in a single calendar year. Lewis, visionary that he is, went one better. He encouraged Gill to go back into the studio and cut enough quality material for a fourth disc and release them all as a box set. Unlike most boxes on the shelf, this one retails for a fairly modest $29.98 -- less than eight dollars a disc -- an attractive package in time for the holidays. However, adventurous Nashville music industry or not, it all eventually comes down to the quality of the music after all, right? Yes. These four discs are thematically arranged: there's an acoustic bluegrass-flavored record called "Little Brother" (disc four), a rock record called "Workin' on a Big Chill" (disc one), a trad country & western album called "Some Things Never Get Old" (disc three), and a modern soul and jazz-inflected disc of ballads and more gentle pieces called "The Reason Why" (disc two). What's more, though Gill wrote or co-wrote everything here, he called in numerous guests to help him out. These include Gretchen Wilson, his wife Amy Grant, daugher Jenny Gill, Bonnie Raitt, Rodney Crowell, Sheryl Crow, Diana Krall, pedal steel guitar boss Buddy Emmons, Phil Everly, Rebecca Lynn Howard, the Del McCoury Band, Patty Loveless, Emmylou Harris, John Anderson, Katrina Elam, Lee Ann Womack, LeAnn Rimes, Guy Clark, Trisha Yearwood, Bekka Bramlett, and Michael McDonald. The end result is a magical mystery tour through Gill's own wildly varying aesthetic interests and his uncanny ability to pull off his diverse ideas on tape. These Days is not only a showcase of Gill's multidimensional musical persona, but a virtual treatise on the expansive, open-minded, under the umbrella viewpoint that has taken over Nashville in the current era. "Workin' on a Big Chill" lives up to its name as a rock record as reflected in the tunes, the beats, and the instrumentation. The title track alone, with Gill's own considerable bluesed-out guitar-slinging skills burning down the house, punches a hole in expectations; the track also includes a Wurlitzer, a B-3 and Bramlett's killer backing vocals. "Love's Standin'" was written with co-producer John Hobbs (Justin Niebank and Gill, of course, also inhabit these chairs), and the wonderfully iconoclastic songwriter and producer Joe Henry (it could have been a smash for Fleetwood Mac), and showcases the sheer white soul backing chorus of Bramlett (who was a member of the latter day Fleetwood Mac), Gene Miller, and Gill. Wilson guests on "Cowboy Up," is more an upscale blues tune than a country song and proves Wilson can sing anything she wants and belongs where she is -- at the top. While there isn't a weak moment on this set, some of the other standouts include the popping "Sweet Thing," with a full-on horn section, the Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired "Nothin for a Broken Heart," with Crowell, and the utterly sexy and soulful country rocker "The Rhythm of the Pourin' Rain," with Bramlett. The only complaint here is that there isn't more of this material: four CDs of rock & roll tracks would have been welcome, and if rock radio were worth a damn Gill would easily crossover with a couple of these songs. With its subdued tone, and generally slicker productions that include strings, some muted synthesizers, jazzy arrangements, and pop music stylistic tropes, one might think that "The Reason Why: The Groovy Record" would be the least desirable here. Not so. From the opening cut, "What You Don't Say," with Rimes and a full-on string section with ringing pedal steel, Gill proves he is an American pop songwriter par excellence. If all the music on the charts was done this well, with this much passion and soul and pomp, radio would never have lost its appeal. This is the album in the set that reveals the depth of Gill's craft as a songwriter. The early rock & roll waltz trappings and vibes, as well as distorted piano on the title cut with Krauss, is a gorgeous love song with some of Gill's finest vocals on tape. Period. "Rock of Your Love" could have been featured on any of Raitt's latter recordings, and that's a compliment. The slow, dirty guitar line and Raitt's R&B slow burning voice carry it home. Where Gill uses guest vocalists -- female vocalists have always provided a wise counterpoint to his own husky tenor -- the tunes work so well most could be singles. Check "What You Give Away," with Crow, and "The Memory of You," with Yearwood. They're solid; full of honest emotion and pop brilliance. The beautiful love song and gospel tune, "Tell Me One Time About Jesus," with Grant, and "Time To Carry On," with Jenny Gill, are excellent album tracks and give depth, dimension and warmth to this set and are indispensable to it. The duet with Krall is the greatest chance Gill could take. He works in her idiom -- and, of course, she plays that wonderful piano of hers -- and pulls it off with grace and aplomb in the same way Tom Waits pulled off his duets with Crystal Gayle on the soundtrack for One from the Heart. "Some Things Never Get Old" is subtitled "The Country & Western Record." This is an important distinction because what Gill has assembled here is nothing short of a honky tonk set. Though Gill's voice is a little smooth and high, it hardly matters because he's got the two things that count most on an old-school C&W set: the songs and the band. With Emmons on pedal steel (he's one of the great sonic and stylistic innovators on the instrument) guitarist Billy Joe Walker, Jr., fiddle boss Stuart Duncan, and a slew of backing vocalists who include Dawn Sears, Liana Manis, Jon Randall, Andrea Zonn, and Wes Hightower, as well as his core band, he's in the pocket. The music here collects styles from hardcore honky tonk, countrypolitan, late-night loving and torch songs done as only country singers can, and of course, hillbilly anthems. Some of the top-notch tracks here include "Out of My Mind," with Patty Loveless, the title cut, "Sweet Little Corrina" with Everly (which harks back to those classic Warner Brothers Everly sides), "If I Can Make Mississippi" with Womack, the rowdy good ole boy outlaw anthem, "Take This Country Back," a duet with the truly incomparable John Anderson. This leaves, finally, "Little Brother, The Acoustic Record." True; some fans of country -- especially modern country, may have a harder time with this disc because it is both a bluegrass record full of banjos, dobros, mandolins, white Southern gospel, and mountain music -- and simply recorded country ballads. Fans of Gill's shouldn't be surprised; his membership in the Grand Ole Opry, his deep reverence for this tradition, and his ability to write, play, and sing in it like an old master, -- and his previous recordings featuring these qualities -- qualify him to indulge that Muse. But Gill's approach, as old-school in thinking as it may be, uses both the music's early reliance on blues and folk styles of the British Isles as a way of expressing the mountain tradition and also the modern scholarship and musical innovations informing it. He is accompanied by the Del McCoury Band on a couple of selections here -- "Cold Gray Light of Gone," "A River Like You," with Jenny Gill, "Ace Up Your Pretty Sleeve," co-written with the great and criminally under-noticed Mark Germino, and "Give Me the Highway" -- but his own takes on country are actually quite creative in his interpretation on the form. But the chiller here is "Girl" with Rebecca Lynn Howard. Here, the deep, high lonesome sound is informed by all of the early folk musics that came before it, and Gill gives them all free reign as this tune wafts from the Appalachian mountain country to Celtic, Irish, and Scottish meadows and coastlines. And although the set's final cut, "Almost Home," with Guy Clark, has no commercial potential, it's a fitting way to close an album; it's a storyteller's tune, one where Clark speaks in that age-old wizened rogue manner of his, and helps to create a myth of near-epic proportion. What it all adds up to is that this is Gill's masterwork. It's an exhaustive, profound, fun and fulfilling set that not only gives fans something to delight in, but goes wide and if given half a chance could and would attract many new ones. It is one of the major recordings not only of 2006, but of the decade so far -- in any genre. This is the treatment a seasoned artist like Gill deserves, and along with the benefit and support of being able to indulge in such a project, it lives up to the responsibility of delivering the goods in abundance. This is yet another example that the new media-savvy form of country music introduced by Brooks in the '90s has yielded something far more interesting and exciting than some folks are willing to accept, and yet still others are able to believe. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released February 12, 2016 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 1994 | Geffen*

By 1994, Vince Gill was a bona fide country superstar. His recordings had sold into the millions and his tours were sellouts around the globe. He was ubiquitous on the radio as well. Producer Tony Brown took an even heavier hand on Gill's recordings, even though Gill's own songs dominated his records. The tightrope walk between a handsome tender country-pop balladeer and the rootsy rocking honky tonk guitar picker was beginning to fall on the side of the ballads. It was working on the charts, but some of Gill's older fans -- those familiar with his multifaceted talent -- began to grow weary of him playing it so safe. There are only three uptempo cuts on When Love Finds You: the tough rockabilly swagger that is at the heart of "South Side of Dixie," the honky tonk shuffle "What the Cowgirls Do," and the midtempo country-rocker "You Better Think Twice." The rest are ballads -- every last one of them -- but there are a few real gems, including the opener, "Whenever You Come Around," and the stunning title track. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released January 1, 1992 | Geffen*

Vince Gill had already enjoyed country success before 1992's I Still Believe in You, but it was the album's four number one singles and almost immediate platinum status that assured the honey-voiced performer's fame and staying power. Gill's delivery is as smooth as the glass surface of a secluded mountain swimming hole, shifting from promise and pain to love and loneliness with easy charm and the occasional touch of his high lonesome background ("No Future in the Past," "Say Hello"). The title track fairly glows with slow-cooked soul, while "Don't Let Our Love Slip Away" nods along on a late-'70s contemporary country vibe. The whole affair is so gosh darn flawless it's impossible not to like. After all, how can you fault a guy with mainstream marketability who's also a talented session guitar player, songwriter, and the owner of one of Nashville's best voices? ~ Johnny Loftus
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Country - Released January 1, 1991 | Geffen*

Pocket Full of Gold is one of Vince Gill's straighter country recordings. Produced by Tony Brown, it is steeped in bluegrass, country balladry from the '60s, and smoothed-out honky tonk, all done in Gill's own chameleon-like yet trademark manner. The lineup speaks volumes about what's on the recording: Herb Pedersen, Richard Bennett, Mac McAnally, Barry Beckett, Hargus "Pig" Robbins, Willie Weeks, Patty Loveless, Billy Joe Walker, and Larrie Londin are a few of the names offering this very distinct blend of styles that is all Gill. The opener, "I Quit," is an uptempo shuffling honky tonk number, with stuttering Telecasters, and it's followed with "Just Look at Us," a gorgeous pedal steel whining love song. Andrea Zonn's fiddle and John Hughey's steel fuel another broken love song, but this one is a late-night barroom two-stepper. "Liza Jane" walks the line between hard country and rockabilly and features some smoking guitar work by Gill, who also provides some of his flatpicking swagger in "A Little Left Over." Gill wrote only about half the tunes on this set, which is unusual, but it was also fairly early in his career. Hit songwriter Max D. Barnes offered another three and maverick Jim Lauderdale provided the burning Cajun-cum-rockabilly closer, "Sparkle." The set was a hit for Gill, and deserved to be, because of its brilliant and sometimes dazzling mix of traditional styles. Records like this are what make him one of the music's most enduring artists. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released January 1, 2003 | MCA Nashville

Vince Gill's studio offering following his paean to his new bride, Let's Make Sure We Kiss When We Say Goodbye, is one of his strongest recordings in a decade. Perhaps it's the freedom from the usual Nashville production bullsh*t -- Gill produced the album himself. His cast of players and singers is a veritable list of stars, including Emmylou Harris, Lee Ann Womack, the Doobie Brothers' Michael McDonald, life partner Amy Grant, Kim Keyes, Andrea Zonn, and Leslie Satcher. Famed producer and engineer Justin Niebank is at the mixing desk, and Gill's regular band propels a mixed bag of pop, boogie, swing, and neo-trad country tunes -- and odd for a Nash Vegas album, there are 17 of them, not ten or 12. Standout tracks are the rollicking title with its booming guitars; the mariachi-tinged "We Had It All"; the slow country stroll of "Young Man's Town," despite its sweeping strings and electric violin moan; and the stunning ballad "These Broken Hearts," with McDonald adding a depth of emotion rarely matched on Gill's records. There is also the Merle Haggard tribute "Real Mean Bottle" that features the opening guitar lines to "Mama Tried." But it's far from syrupy -- it's a tough song about a tougher, more visionary man than the singer could ever hope to be, sung in an unflinching manner. All of this said, there are the now-requisite Gill saccharine tracks such as "Whippoorwill River," an insufferable homage to his father that drowns in syrup. The hardcore honky tonk rock of "The Sun's Gonna Shine on You" is one of the strongest cuts on any Gill album, full of shuffling blues and rockabilly swagger. "Old Time Fiddle" is a cross-pollination of Cajun music and bluegrass that works surprisingly well considering how slick it is -- perhaps it's the layered accordions and the organic-sounding percussion. The album closes with "In These Last Few Days," another ballad; Gill always makes records that are at least 60/40 ballads to up-tempo tunes, and this track is that forlorn, bittersweet ballad that seems to close every record of his. But lyrically it's so strong and vulnerable that it works, leaving the listener haunted with the notion that something special has occurred, that he or she has born witness to a man becoming aware of the preciousness of his own life. In all, it's a strong effort. It's nice to see established artists reclaim control of their careers -- especially when the results are so rewarding. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released August 31, 2010 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2013 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released August 11, 1998 | MCA Nashville

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Ambient/New Age - Released October 16, 2015 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released April 18, 2000 | MCA Nashville

The black-and-white cover photograph and the title of Vince Gill's Let's Make Sure We Kiss Goodbye offer a story that unfolds as the recording itself plays. The album was written in the months preceding his marriage to singer Amy Grant, and if there was ever a record drenched in the kind of transformative rush of new love, this is the one. Yes, it is sappy at times, but the songwriting, as usual, is top-notch, and so are the performances here; mostly they're just really mellow and warm. That doesn't mean that sparks don't fly from some tracks: "Baby Please Don't Go" is drenched in choogling rockabilly swagger, "Shoot Straight from Your Heart is solid -- if softer -- contemporary country, and "Feels Like Love" is a midtempo country-pop tune that has that trademark wonderful rousing Gill vocal in the refrain. The rest are mostly love songs but inspired ones. Grant was clearly his muse on this set, and nowhere is it more clear than on the lilting title cut and "When I Look into Your Heart," where Gill and Grant perform a duet. Tony Brown's production is pristine and everywhere, but the craft and arrangements in these songs are all Gill's. This is a beautiful and sincere recording, one that not everyone will taker a shine to because of its tenderness, but that doesn't make it any less of a quality endeavor. You only make a record like this once in a lifetime; Vince Gill should be proud of this one. ~ Thom Jurek
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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1998 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released August 23, 2019 | MCA Nashville

Reclaiming a derogatory Dust Bowl-era term, Okie is loosely a concept album about human struggle in the Sooner State. But dealing with issues of divisiveness, faith and heartache, it's also pure Americana. Taking a break from the bluegrass that has largely defined his later career, Gill turns to his gentle country singer-songwriter roots: Opener "I Don't Wanna Ride the Rails No More" has echoes of his days in Pure Prairie League. As a lyricist, he pulls no punches, looking at how pro-choice is still not an easy choice on the sweet-toned "What Choice Will You Make" and embracing his Christianity on the gently shuffling "The Red Words" and "When My Amy Prays," which finds Gill hitting the spine-shivering high notes. "Forever Changed" is a frank warning to abusers, while the hymn-like "The Price of Regret" is a plea for kindness. Gill also pays tribute to his heroes on "Nothin' Like a Guy Clark Song" and "A World Without Haggard," offering up what he learned from each. The music is mellow, but the messages are deep. © Qobuz
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Country - Released May 10, 2019 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released April 1, 2016 | RCA Records Label Nashville

This is one of the mini-LPs RCA, and several other labels, experimented with. While Gill had been on the musical scene for several years, including a stint with Pure Prairie League, this is a nice sampler to display Gill's skills as both a performer and a writer. ~ Jim Worbois
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Country - Released January 1, 2007 | MCA Nashville

Vince Gill's volume in the ultra-stripped down 20th Century Masters series (you have to go to a website to get credits and liner notes) places 11 of his best cuts on a single super-budget disc. While it's a reissue of the same disc released in 2003, it hardly matters. The irritating packaging is designed to be thrown away, but the music certainly isn't. Gill's longevity at the forefront of country music is remarkable. His love and respect for the tradition, his ability to write hit after hit, his virtuosity as a guitarist, and his all around nice guy appeal; but these qualities don't really count for the range of his abilities as delivered here. Form the opening "I Still Believe In You" through his duets with Alison Krauss ("High Lonesome Sound") and Patty Loveless ("My Kind of Woman/My Kind of Man"), and on to "Feels Like Love," and "Next Big Thing," there isn't a dud in the bunch. Certainly longtime fans might have had alternates they'd like to see, but as an introduction to the man -- many just got interested with his masterpiece four-disc box These Days in 2006 -- this is nearly indispensable, particularly for the price. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | MCA Nashville

Vince Gill received one of the greatest gifts of his professional life when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2011. One listen to Guitar Slinger, his first record in five years, makes it easy to comprehend why: he has carried the genre forward to embrace the rest of popular music without sacrificing its tradition. Gill can be forgiven for not recording for so long; after all, These Days was a four-disc set of all-new material. Guitar Slinger, co-produced by Gill with Justin Niebank and John Hobbs, compresses everything he displayed on These Days and more. Gill wrote or co-wrote all 12 of these songs. His astonishing musical range is readily on display, the diversity inseparable from his creative identity. You'd be forgiven for thinking, given its title, that Guitar Slinger primarily showcases Gill's enviable instrumental skills, but it's only a small part of the album's appeal. Though he plays plenty, this is a singer's and a songwriter's album. Gill moves effortlessly from place to place beginning with the slamming, '50s-styled rock & roll of the title track that opens the album and pays homage to everyone from Paul Burlison to Scotty Moore and Luther Perkins. From here, he does a modern Nashvillian take on blue-eyed country soul with "Tell Me Fool," which features gorgeous backing vocals by Bekka Bramlett, daughter Jenny Gill, Billy Thomas, and Chris Stapleton (some version of this foursome is everywhere present here). The album's first single, "Threaten Me with Heaven," co-written with wife Amy Grant (who appears on backing vocals) and Will Owsley, is a gorgeous pop-country love song delivered in Gill's silky yet impassioned voice. The kicker is in the gospel-inflected refrain that defies any listener to remain unmoved. "When the Lady Sings the Blues," with its hip Rhodes piano and electric blues guitar licks, digs deep into Southern R&B traditions. Guitar Slinger also looks at mortality squarely in a number of tracks here; something Gill hasn't done much of before. It's in the single's refrain to be sure, but there's also the honky tonk swinger "If I Die," the uptempo Bakersfield-styled country of "Billy Paul" (which details a murder-suicide), and the closing back country waltz "Buttermilk John." "True Love," the album's second single, is a beautiful duet with Grant; it's a breezy, bluesy paean to marital commitment, with tastefully arranged strings that underscore the lyrics and vocal deliveries without robbing them of their emotional power. "Bread and Water" is a 21st century country-gospel number that stays far afield from the saccharine nature of most efforts in this arena. "The Old Lucky Diamond Motel" is a retro-country waltz whose roots lie in the era before countrypolitain. Ultimately, with its ambitious range of music, Guitar Slinger proves that Gill just gets better with age. The album is not just the best country has to offer (if the genre were modeled on his standard, its radio stations would be difficult to turn off), but more: it's the best that pop music has to offer, too. ~ Thom Jurek
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Country - Released January 1, 2014 | MCA Nashville

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Country - Released March 28, 1995 | RCA Records Label Nashville

The Essential Vince Gill collects highlights from the singer's pop-inflected material for RCA in the early '80s. While Gill didn't have as many hits during this era, the best songs stand up well next to his better-known songs. ~ Thom Owens

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Vince Gill in the magazine