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Faith Hill - The Hits  
By: George Peden, CSO Staff Journalist 

“Well, it's a long way from Star, Mississippi 
To the big stage I'm singing on tonight 
And sometimes the butterflies still get me 
When I'm in the spotlight 
 
And some people seem to think that I've changed 
That I'm different than I was back then 
But in my soul, I know that I'm the same way 
That I've really always been…”

Mississippi Girl: Faith Hill

Some say a Greatest Hits package marks the end of a career. Often when an artist can no longer pull the crowds or make the registers ring, the label will throw a compilation of chart successes together in the hope of one last hurrah.

Faith Hill has just released The Hits. It’s out on Warner Bros Records.

But rather than a farewell, Hill, voted one of the 30 most powerful women in America by Ladies Home Journal in 2001, has put together a package proving her resume is anything but complete. For the singer who left small town Star, Mississippi to become one in Nashville, the album is a collection of memories and chart-toppers. 

The breakthrough tune, “Wild One” is included. Crashing onto the charts in 1994, for the singer born Audrey Faith Perry, it created history. It enjoys the envy of being a chart-topper for a whole four weeks; the album, Take Me As I Am, eventually soared into the stratosphere with triple platinum sales. From there Hill slowly, but surely, established herself as a country music star – proof, if needed, can be seen in her five Grammy awards, her million selling albums and the very successful Soul 2 Soul tour with hubby, Tim McGraw. That tour, one of the most dollar-pulling events in music, in 2006 set a single year box office gross record. 

While I’m a puzzled to see “Let’s Go To Vegas” (among others) not on the list, The Hits comes with enough energy to push over this minor grumble. There are new songs (2): the already at radio “Red Umbrella”, and “Lost”, and of course, there are the hits. And there are plenty.

Tracks like the disclosing “Mississippi Girl”, 1995’s chart-climber “It Matters To Me”, “I Need You” (duet with Tim McGraw), “Breathe” (the video…remember Faith and those sheets?) and “This Kiss” all offer value for money. But with so many hits to her career, a two CD outing may have been more fan friendly. Across her career of six albums, and I won’t play favorites, there are tunes that might have been included. 

If there is to be a downside, apart from the absence of some wished for inclusions, it’s the lack of liner notes. Faith has a history, an impressive one, and across these 15 tracks a backdrop to the tunes would have been good. It’s a notable loss for the fans, something that when Volume 2 arrives (there has to be one) I, for one, hope something is included. The cheesy promo shots of Hill – there are 11 in the liner – should have been possibly scaled down to allow for some words on her achievements. After all, hers is a story with all the hallmarks of what she sings about – struggle, love and loss, and eventual triumph. 

Overall, this album will keep the faithful interested. It also shows rather than over the hill, Faith is, like The Hits proves, anything but a package to be stuffed into a bargain bin of yesterday’s heroes. 


Click on the CD cover to order from Amazon.com.

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