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4.4 out of 5 stars57
4.4 out of 5 stars
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This compilation of Alison Krauss's music samples 7 original albums, a live album, and 2 previous collections, so Rounder Records are certainly cashing in on her current, if well-earned and deserved popularity. Most tracks feature the stellar Union Station, with Jerry Douglas, so the musicianship is flawless throughout. Added to that, Alison and the people she works with have an unerring knack of finding (or writing) great songs, from Sarah Siskind's lovely opener Simple Love, to Ron Block's A Living Prayer, and including a couple from the Cox Family.

It may be useful to indicate where the tracks here were first released, so here we go.

1. Simple Love - from: A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection (2007)
2. Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us (with Robert Plant) - from: Raising Sand (2007)
3. Let Me Touch You For Awhile - from: New Favourite (2001)
4. The Lucky One - from: New Favourite (2001)
5. So Long, So Wrong - from: So Long, So Wrong (1997)
6. Empty Hearts - Forget About It (1999)
7. Every Time You Say Goodbye - from: Every Time You Say Goodbye (1992)
8. Wish I Still Had You - from: I've Got That Old Feeling (1990)
9. Broadway - from: Now That I've Found You: A Collection (1995)
10. Baby, Now That I've Found You - from: Live (2002)
11. Sawing On The Strings - from: A Hundred Miles Or More: A Collection (2007)
12. Restless - from: Lonely Runs Both Ways (2004)
13. When You Say Nothing At All - from: Live (2002) - and also on: Keith Whitley: A Tribute Album (1994)
14. A Living Prayer - from: Lonely Runs Both Ways (2004)

The enhanced version of this CD also includes a short bonus video

As can be seen, the tracks cover a development period of 17 years, from 1990's I've Got That Old Feeling, recorded when Alison was just 19, to her seemingly unlikely but critically and commercially successful pairing with Robert Plant in 2007 (though they had worked together previously).

This collection should serve as a great introduction to and overview of Alison's (and Union Station's) music, or maybe fill in a few gaps. The music is always 5-star, but as there's nothing new here (unlike the A Hundred Miles Or More collection) an overall 4 stars from me.
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on 25 July 2009
I'm just starting to get into country/bluegrass music a little bit (Nickel Creek, K T Oslin, Dixie Chicks), and this is the first Alison Krauss album I have bought on the strength of having heard some tracks on Ken Bruce's Radio 2 show a couple of weeks ago. Pre-ordered it on Amazon and it arrived today (Saturday 25th July), two days ahead of its release date!

I was already familiar with some of the tracks e.g. "Restless", "The Lucky One", "Baby, now that I've found you", "When you say nothing at all" having heard them on the radio in the past, and those tracks helped me to decide to buy this CD.

Not disappointed with the remaining tracks, and the first track on the album, "Simple Love" is probably already my favourite - moves me to tears.

Alison Krauss has a beautiful voice and I'm sure this CD will inspire me to buy other albums of hers.
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on 13 October 2009
Along with many who have been aware of Alisons gifts for many years I already own all of these tracks on the original CD's - it would be a good introduction but you will do yourself a favour by getting some of the back catalogue albums too. The 'New Favourite' album is my favourite, but in all honesty it doesn't matter which album you choose as it will be full of gems and superlative musicianship from Alison and the boys in Union Station.

I would also recommend getting the live DVD - just brilliant! My wife and I saw them in Birmingham on their last tour (2005 if I recall correctly!) and the only thing I can say about that is that it was an absolute privilege to have been there.

I hope that the release of this Essential album is the prelude to an upcoming UK tour. Come back Alison and Union Station - it's been far, far too long. And whilst you're at it have a word with the Dixie's as well please ...
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on 19 August 2009
This is a must have in anyone's record collection.Anyone who appreciates
music on a higher level,that is.Alison Krauss has an effortlessly
stunning voice,she has brought bluegrass music to the masses,so to speak.

I loved this album.My particular favourites are A Simple Love,
Sister Rosetta Goes Before Us and the best track of all,A Living Prayer,
which made me cry.

This album will convert the listener to bluegrass,which is a special genre of music and not to be missed.

A heavenly listen.
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on 23 August 2009
I do not, and never will, understand why Alison Krauss has been recording with geriatric rock-stars, and this compendium shows the quality that is her solo performing and that Union Station still provide the best accompaniement for her lovely voice. Most potential buyers will already have most tracks, but it is still a very enjoyable compilation but unique singer and performer of the highest quality.
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on 10 August 2009
Ok I am very biased, not remotely impartial, and although I have not listened to this particular album, I don't need to to know it is brilliant as I have all the tracks on other albums, along with everything else she has ever recorded! So I hold my hand up to being a huge fan of all her work, occassionally it can get a bit dull and maybe even a bit repetive, but I don't really care as her singing and her playing as well as that of her backing muscians is always impeccable. So that is why I consider calling this the essential collection to be an impossible task, I could compile three or four others just as good, but you have to start somewhere!
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on 29 January 2010
This album has some of my favourite Alison Krauss tracks. I especially like Simple Love and When You Say Nothing At All. Great album.
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on 2 October 2009
Only knew of Alison Krauss because of the C.D. she did with Robert Plant, loved that but this brings out her voice even better. Now thinking of getting more of her music ... and me an old Beatles fan. If you have never heard her before you really are missing out. BUY IT ... LISTEN TO IT ... ENJOY IT.
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on 4 May 2011
This is the perfect album for someone who has heard an Alisson kraus track and wants to find out more about this grammy winning singers style. The tracks give a complete cross section of her work. Only four stars as I don't like the cover tracks. if I wanted to listen to Take That I would buy one of their albums.This aside the rest of the albumis pure magic. Her voice is considered by some to be too sickly sweet but it suits the Blue Grass country for which she is famous perfectly. You don't have to be a country fan to apprechiate her music. This album is a perfect companion for a quiet evening in reading a book or simply chilling out with a glass of wine. This is even betterLonely Runs Both Ways

A wonderful voice soothing music.
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on 28 August 2009
love this cd listen to it every day travelling to and from work . The lyrics and the music cann't help but make you feel good such easy listening .buy it and see for yourself
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