Judging an artist on the basis of what hit the top of the charts can occasionally be a risky business, since it's not always true that the best material is the most popular. In the case of Conway Twitty
, however, it's an excellent criteria, since over the course of nearly 30 years, the great majority of his singles did indeed reach the top of the chart, so winnowing down his catalog to just number one singles still gives an excellent overview of the scope and quality of Twitty
's music, even if it leaves behind such classic sides as "I Wonder What She'll Think About Me Leaving," which peaked at a mere four. In fact, even though MCA Nashville/Decca's double-disc collection The #1 Hits Collection
has 33 tracks, it doesn't even have all of his number one hits, largely because it cuts off in 1981, the last year he recorded for MCA, so even though this is quite extensive, it doesn't even have all
of his chart-toppers! That said, it does have all the number ones from his late-'60s/'70s peak, when he was produced by Owen Bradley
and dominated the country charts with his lush romantic ballads and duets with Loretta Lynn
, four of which are included here. Yes, 1994's four-disc box set The Conway Twitty Collection fills in some gaps this leaves behind, but those are minor. All the major hits and songs are here, providing both an excellent summary and introduction to this country giant.