Album Details

August 12, 2003
Varèse Sarabande
Country, Vocal Pop, Nashville Sound/Countrypolitan, Early Pop/Rock

Album Review

Sue Thompson had two distinct phases in her career: the first as a teen pop vocalist, singing light, cutesy tunes (often written by John D. Loudermilk) perfect for a prom, the second as a lush country crooner, singing songs for housewives. Since Thompson had a thin, light voice, it was perfectly suited for the pop material, but tended to cut against the burnished countrypolitan productions, which is why her duets with Don Gibson work so well -- she provides a good counterpoint to his rich, warm voice. It can't quite be said that the teen pop and country-pop material function as good counterpoints to each other on Varese's 2003 collection The Very Best of Sue Thompson, however. They have very different tones and they're not complimentary. Nevertheless, this approach does mean that it has nearly all of Thompson's hits from throughout her career -- the few that are missing scraped the bottom of the charts -- and therefore provides a thorough retrospective (the only collection to come close to The Very Best of Sue Thompson is Collectables' 1995 release Golden Classics, which contained two more songs, but wasn't as well-produced and nicely assembled as this). But country fans take note: Although the back cover touts that all songs were produced by Wesley Rose, a good 11 songs are all trifling, lightweight pop and the five country tunes are pleasantly generic, mainstream, early-'70s country. Finally, it has to be said that a little of Thompson's light, nasal voice goes a long, long way, particularly when it's squeaking out silly, cutesy, contrived teen novelties. That's where Thompson's biggest hits lie, and that's what fuels this compilation, and though they're interesting as period pieces or nostalgia trips, they're hard to listen to all in a row.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Norman
  2. My Hero
  3. Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)
  4. Angel, Angel
  5. If the Boy Only Knew
  6. James (Hold the Ladder Steady)
  7. Have a Good Time
  8. Two of a Kind
  9. Bad Boy
  10. Paper Tiger
  11. Language of Love
  12. The Two of Us Together
  13. I Think They Call It Love
  14. Big Mable Murphy
  15. Good Old Fashioned Country Love
  16. Oh How Love Changes
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