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THE VAULTS / CD REISSUES

Various artists, "The Nashville Sound . . . Owen Bradley," Decca. ***

February 09, 1996|ROBERT HILBURN

This is a rarity in the world of CD retrospectives. Instead of trying to pick up extra profits by selling us a three- or four-disc box set of an artist whose work really only deserves a single-disc greatest-hits package, Decca actually leaves us wanting more in its one-disc salute to the legendary Nashville record producer Owen Bradley.

In the 1950s and '60s, Bradley worked with such extraordinary singers as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty and Webb Pierce. Bradley's taste in material and talent is so respected in Nashville that k.d. lang coaxed the Country Music Hall of Fame member out of retirement in 1988 to produce her "Shadowland" album.

There are so many Bradley-produced gems that this 10-song sampler--from Lynn's "Don't Come Home A Drinkin' " to Cline's "Crazy"--seems frustratingly incomplete. The reality, however, is that most of the remaining recordings that would fill out a Bradley box set are already available in the box sets devoted to the various artists represented here.

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent).

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