Album Info

August 21, 2007
Country, Country-Pop, Contemporary Country, New Traditionalist

Album Review

In a way, it's like Garth Brooks never retired. He may have stopped touring and releasing new music, but he kept repackaging and reissuing his older albums, striking up an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart highlighted by a second box set called The Limited Series in 2006. That exclusivity contract expired in the summer of 2007, leaving Brooks a free agent, and he capitalized on his freedom almost immediately, delivering the double-disc singles collection The Ultimate Hits just in time for the holiday season of 2007. Where previous Garth repackagings could seem a little unnecessary -- it's not quite clear just how many of his fans needed that second Limited Series anyway -- The Ultimate Hits actually fills in a needed gap within his catalog, as Brooks hasn't had a hit compilation since his first, the 1994 The Hits. That disc was a "limited edition" at least in theory -- there were so many copies pressed it wasn't exactly rare -- and out of print since the mid-'90s, so it wasn't available in most retail stores, plus it didn't cover all the hits he had between its release and his retirement. The Ultimate Hits does exactly that, containing all 18 tracks from The Hits (albeit not in the same sequencing), adding 12 hits that he had in the last half of the '90s, along with four new songs highlighted by a cover of Huey Lewis & the News' "Workin' for a Livin'." The new songs are a nice touch, but the real purpose of this set is to offer casual fans a way to get all of Brooks' best-known hits in one package, and in that regard The Ultimate Hits not only succeeds, it's long overdue.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up)
  2. Friends in Low Places
  3. Shameless
  4. Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House
  5. The Beaches of Cheyenne
  6. If Tomorrow Never Comes
  7. Papa Loved Mama
  8. More Than a Memory
  9. Good Ride Cowboy
  10. In Another's Eyes
  11. The Fever
  12. Midnight Sun
  13. Learning to Live Again
  14. Longneck Bottle
  15. To Make You Feel My Love
  16. We Shall Be Free
  17. The Dance
  18. Callin' Baton Rouge
  19. Two Piña Coladas
  20. The Thunder Rolls
  21. That Summer
  22. The River
  23. Beer Run
  24. Unanswered Prayers
  25. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)
  26. Workin' for a Livin'
  27. What She's Doing Now
  28. When You Come Back to Me Again [From Frequency]
  29. Standing Outside the Fire
  30. American Honky-Tonk Bar Association
  31. The Change
  32. Rodeo
  33. Wrapped Up in You
  34. [Untitled]
  35. [Untitled]
  36. Leave a Light On [*]
  37. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) [DVD]
  38. If Tomorrow Never Comes [DVD]
  39. The Dance [DVD]
  40. Friends in Low Places [DVD]
  41. Unanswered Prayers [DVD]
  42. Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House [DVD]
  43. The Thunder Rolls [DVD]
  44. Rodeo [DVD]
  45. Shameless [DVD]
  46. Papa Loved Mama [DVD]
  47. What She's Doing Now [DVD]
  48. The River [DVD]
  49. We Shall Be Free [DVD]
  50. Learning to Live Again [DVD]
  51. That Summer [DVD]
  52. Standing Outside the Fire [DVD]
  53. Ain't Going Down ('Til the Sun Comes Up) [DVD]
  54. Callin' Baton Rouge [DVD]
  55. American Honky-Tonk Bar Association [DVD]
  56. The Fever [DVD]
  57. To Make You Feel My Love [DVD]
  58. The Beaches of Cheyenne [DVD]
  59. The Change [DVD]
  60. Two Piña Coladas [DVD]
  61. Longneck Bottle [DVD]
  62. In Another's Eyes [DVD]
  63. Wrapped Up in You [DVD]
  64. Beer Run [DVD]
  65. When You Come Back to Me Again [DVD]
  66. Good Ride Cowboy [DVD]
  67. More Than a Memory [DVD]
  68. Workin' for a Livin' [DVD]
  69. Midnight Sun [DVD]