REVIEW: Kenny Rogers – 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection

KENNY_0001KENNY ROGERS – 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection (2004 Universal)

A CD like this, at this price point (generally around 5 bucks) is perfect for the non-fan like me.

I’ve always liked Kenny’s songs, but I was not a fan. My mom bought me a copy of The Gambler when I was a kid (well, it was for my grandpa but he already had it, so she let me have it). I only listened to the title track. I like a handful of Kenny Rogers songs, the rest I find too sappy. So this CD is perfect for me. It’s all the Kenny I need.

I can only review this CD based on my own likes and dislikes, and stuff like “Crazy In Love” is just too sappy. But “Lady” is cool, it has some drama to it. It’ll never make it to one of my road trip CDs, but it’s cool. “She Believes In Me” is another softy, but there’s something schlocky about it that I enjoy.  Let’s be honest, I bought this CD for “The Gambler”, “Ruby”, “Lucille”, “Reuben James” and one of the greatest psychedelic funk rock songs ever written, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)”. They wisely sequenced the CD with this song last. Saving the best for last!

As with all 20th Century Masters CDs, there are some brief liner notes for the unitiated, and a brief running time. Good enough for me. I’m given to understand that “Someone Who Cares” is a non-album single, so that’s a bonus.  Unfortunately, it’s slower than molasses in January.  Thankfully, “Something’s Burning” by the First Edition has some upbeat parts to offset the ballads.

Normally I rank these 20th Century Masters discs no higher than 2 stars, but I’ll go higher this time, because I’ll never need to buy another Kenny Rogers CD.

3/5 stars

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44 comments

        1. I told my dad about this movie, I told him it was hilarious at the same time being completely nonsensical, kind of like a Cheech and Chong movie. He likes Jeff Bridges so he was game to watch. He had hernia surgery a week before and was just starting to get his strength back so I showed him the flick while he was still recuperating. Haven’t heard or seen the guy laugh so hard in years. Though he was going to bust his staples. Dad is a Vietnam Vet and he told me he knew tons of guys like Walter back in the day.

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        2. I hope he didn’t hurt himself laughing!

          That’s hard to do for this movie on first viewing. I liked it from first viewing, but so much of it was only funny on repeated viewings. You notice patterns…”Johnson”…funny lines you may have missed. Mannerisms. I laugh anew at the Jesus every time. Nobody fuck with the Jesus.

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      1. I was about to leave a separate comment mentioning “Coward Of The County” but I saw this comment & figured I’d jump in here instead. It might be my favorite Rogers song & I’m surprised it wasn’t included on this collection. I have an earlier CD collection that was originally a 2-LP set, 20 Greatest Hits, and that’s all the KR I need (although I was disappointed it didn’t include “Just Dropped In…”). I’m glad you mentioned “Lady,” which was written by Lionel Richie. Gotta love one hit-maker giving a song to another when neither really needed the others’ help.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, I’m liking this. It has a vibe similar to The Gambler but a bit brighter. This is the kind of song that is easy to sing in the car on the way to the cottage in the summer. (We have discovered the the deluxe version of Cash at San Quentin is pretty much exactly the length of the trip, so that one gets played frequently.)

          Liked by 1 person

  1. First, I love when you branch outside of metal for your music reviews. Your love and appreciation for other genres is evident and it makes your opinions all the more informed, worthy and fun to read.

    Second, the only 20th Century Masters album that I have found to be essential is the L.A. Guns compilation; it is the only pure compilation out there for L.A. Guns. Have you found any others?

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    1. Thanks Christopher! I appreciate that. I have a lot of love for all kinds of music, but I find it harder to write about the styles I am not “expert” in.

      The Buddy Holly 20th century masters was great. I also have a 2 CD set by Buddy now, but that single disc is all solid gold. Every song was terrific!

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    2. I’ve got the 20th Cent. “SUBLIME” CD, really great song selection, highly recommended “top down cruising” mix. Thought I had the Johnny “Guitar” Watson too, but I just checked and it’s the CHESS RECORDS 50th series.

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      1. I don’t think I like Sublime enough even for one CD. I did buy a Motley Crue one, I don’t know why because I have all the songs, but there it is in my collection.

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        1. No Sublime love? They were pretty all over the map, but generally solid.

          I’d wager you own that Motley because it is Motley. Is it something that I (who owns only Saints Of Los Angeles, and thanks to you) should be buying?

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  2. This takes me back to childhood. I grew up in farm country, and most folks in that area like both kinds of music: cvountry AND western. I heard a lot of Kenny. And Johnny. And Willie. And Hank. And Patsy. And… so on.

    So, I haven’t found too many 20th century sets worth it. I’m glad this one (and the Holly) is better. Given my druthers, I’d have this one:

    http://www.amazon.ca/42-Ultimate-Hits-Kenny-Rogers/dp/tracks/B0001XAQH8/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1

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    1. I wouldn’t get that, because I know that 42 tracks is too much for me. It wouldn’t hit the rotation that often. I prefer a single disc for a lot of these artists. Obviously with Buddy, I decided to upgrade to that very sweet 2 CD set that we both acquired on the same day!

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      1. Well, it’s all a matter of taste. Me, I know more Kenny, so I’d say that 42 track set is a minimum. If it wouldn’t fit your rotation, I get that too.

        But it definitely needs Coward. And there are so many duets that are essential, too… Again, that could just be me.

        Inspired by your post, I bought the 20 Greatest Hits on vinyl this morning, for $2. It has most of these tracks, and Coward, but not Just Dropped In. Go figure. Still, lots to love there.

        http://www.discogs.com/Kenny-Rogers-Twenty-Greatest-Hits/master/224276

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  3. The Value Village in Kingston has an overwhelming amount of Kenny Rogers on vinyl – not this compilation mind you, but it feels like the bulk of his catalogue is there!

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    1. My friend Ruth in Saskatoon (she’s a psychologist, so we call her Dr. Ruth) snapped a heel off a shoe one time while we were walking to Midtown. She says “you picked a fine time to leave me, loose heel.” Said she’d waited her whole life to be able to use that.

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