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The Very Best of Billy Dean

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Billy Dean 3/29/2005

Review

Billy Dean enjoyed his commercial peak in the early '90s, scoring seven consecutive Top Ten hits in the country charts between 1991 and 1993. But he managed a considerable comeback in 2004 when he returned to the Top Ten for the first time in eight years with "Let Them Be Little." Capitol Records Nashville, for which Dean recorded from 1990 to 1998, took advantage of that return to form (or attempted to dampen it) by releasing its compilation The Very Best of Billy Dean on the same day that Curb Records issued his first new album in seven years, also titled Let Them Be Little. One might be inclined to ascribe a certain cynicism to this action, especially since Capitol previously issued no less than four Dean retrospectives: 1994's incomplete Greatest Hits; 2000's ballad set Love Songs; 2002's Certified Hits; and the 2003 budget disc The Best of Billy Dean. But to be fair, all of those albums, in tried-and-true Nashville tradition, are skimpy, each of them containing only ten tracks. The Very Best of Billy Dean, on the other hand, has 17 tracks and runs nearly an hour, an exhaustive retrospective by Music Row standards. Among those 17 tracks are all 14 of Dean's Top 40 country hits on Capitol, plus a couple of minor chart entries and a 1994 cover of the Beatles' "Yesterday." Even in his heyday, Dean never quite measured up to competitors like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, and George Strait. But after that heyday passed, he managed to hang on in Nashville, making his revival in 2004 a gratifying reward for persistence. Those new fans just discovering him through "Let Them Be Little" would do well to pick up The Very Best of Billy Dean to find out what the first part of his career was like, and that's exactly what Capitol hopes they will do. ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Only Here for a Little While Billy Dean 3:31
  3. 2 Somewhere in My Broken Heart Billy Dean 3:18
  4. 3 You Don't Count the Cost Billy Dean 3:14
  5. 4 Only the Wind Billy Dean 3:36
  6. 5 Billy the Kid Billy Dean 3:6
  7. 6 If There Hadn't Been You Billy Dean 3:17
  8. 7 Tryin' to Hide a Fire in the Dark Billy Dean 3:35
  9. 8 I Wanna Take Care of You Billy Dean 3:50
  10. 9 I'm Not Built That Way Billy Dean 2:51
  11. 10 We Just Disagree Billy Dean 3:23
  12. 11 Once in Awhile Billy Dean 3:52
  13. 12 Cowboy Band Billy Dean 3:36
  14. 13 Yesterday Billy Dean 3:35
  15. 14 It's What I Do Billy Dean 3:20
  16. 15 That Girl's Been Spying on Me Billy Dean 3:42
  17. 16 Real Man Billy Dean 3:42
  18. 17 Innocent Bystander Billy Dean 2:55

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