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Diamond Rio

Greatest Hits – 1997 (Arista)

Reviewed by Jon Weisberger

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CDs by Diamond Rio

Diamond Rio blasted onto the country charts in 1991 with "Meet In The Middle," starting a run of achievement that shows no sign of slowing down. While labels today sometimes seem to be assembling "greatest hits" packages after a couple of charting singles, Arista had plenty of material to choose from in putting this one together.

Interestingly, "Greatest Hits" skips some obvious numbers fitting that category, though it does include all five number ones. A couple of numbers that cracked the Top 5 are missing, while several that didn't are included. Fans only interested in radio success may find this disappointing, but it makes for a stronger collection; songs like "Night Is Fallin' In My Heart" and "It's All In Your Head" give the album a depth it might have lacked with an exclusive focus on the highest reaches of the charts. As for the music itself, the hits (and the two new songs included) show a versatile band that has synthesized an unusually wide range of influences, from country-rock to hard-core bluegrass, into a distinctive sound built around one of the best vocal trios in country music today. It's not surprising that they've been able to reach large audiences while winning critical acclaim, and "Greatest Hits" shows why.