Randy Travis - "I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis"
By: Matt Bjorke
Country music was in a similar musical place when Randy Travis came out with his first single in 1985. For many years prior to signing with Warner Brothers Records, Randy Travis had to deal with, much like Jamey Johnson is running into in 2009, that his songs are too country for the current radio climate. But then he released "Diggin' Up Bones" and the rest, as they say, was history. Travis went on to sell millions of albums and score seventeen #1 hits. His first two hits came on his 1986 release "Storms of Life." "Diggin' Up Bones" and "On The Other Hand" were joined by two other Top 5 hits in "1982" and "No Place Like Home." The album was a remarkable success and found Randy becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry and winning multiple CMA Awards, including "Song of the Year" honors for "On The Other Hand."
Randy's career rolled along at a remarkable pace with "Forever and Ever, Amen leading a streak of eight Number One singles in a row, all of them included in this remarkable compilation album. "I Told You So: The Ultimate Hits of Randy Travis" truly feels like the only essential Randy Travis album anybody would need. The title track, self-penned by Randy in the early 1980s, has been revived by Carrie Underwood while "Deeper Than The Holler" and "He Walked On Water" still get airplay on country radio nowadays. He continued to rack up awards with "Forever And Ever "Amen" scoring another "Song of the Year" and "Single of the Year" honors. As the 1980s turned into the 1990s, Randy Travis faced stiff competition from more than just George Strait as the king of the charts in the form of the fabled class of 1989.
Randy released "Heroes & Friends" in 1990 and while only the title track and a duet with George Jones, "A Few Ole Country Boys" were major hits, his duet with the late Tammy Wynette, the Merle Haggard gem "We're Strangers Again," was and is one of the better performances of Randy's career and as such, it's included in this collection. Some of Randy's strong 90s hits include "Look Heart, No Hands," "Before You Kill Us All," "Forever Together" and "Whisper My Name." The album also includes Randy's 2002 comeback hit "Three Wooden Crosses" and two tracks from his 2008 album "Around the Bend;" The single (but not a hit) "Faith In You" and the first single from this collection, "Turn It Around." Two new tracks (probably future singles), “Love’s Alive and Well" and “You Ain’t Right” are also included on the compilation.
Like any two-disc compilation of a legendary star's hits, this collection isn't perfect for while "King of the Road" was an expert remake of a classic hit, it was hardly a smash hit and neither was "Are We In Trouble Now" or even "Faith in You." Warner Brothers passed over the hit "Hard Rock Bottom of Your Heart" and a couple of other hits, including Randy's entire DreamWorks output. Still, while missing a few gems (that can probably be compiled into a companion disc later on), "I Told You So: The Ultimate hits of Randy Travis" is still a great introduction into one of the most influential Country singers of the last 30 years and he, not George Strait or Garth Brooks, was the first multi-platinum Country star. So it's fair to say that without Randy Travis we'd not have Country music as we now know it, an equally popular music format.
If you'd like a chance to win the CD, please enter our contest where three lucky fans will win this album (click here).