When It All Goes South, the ambitious 23rd album from genre giants Alabama, tops the list of country albums due Tuesday (January 16). Collections from Kenny Rogers, Ersel Hickey and Johnny Bond and reissues from Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers also hit shelves this week.
Alabama lead vocalist Randy Owen said last month that the group which has broken sales records, sold out countless shows and scored more than 40 #1 hits during a career that has lasted more than 20 years is shooting for a Grammy with When It All Goes South.
"If I never did another CD, this is one I will always point to as the one that I was happy with the most," Owen said.
The 15-song album features the hit title track (RealAudio excerpt) a love letter to the band's homeland released as a single last year a duet with Jann Arden ("Will You Marry Me") and guest vocals from Christopher Cross on "Love Remains." A specially packaged version of the album, available only from KMart, will feature the bonus track "Second Chances."
Also on Tuesday, Curb Records will release a new collection for Kenny Rogers fans. Greatest Country Hits: Volume Two compiles some of Rogers' best-known work, opening with "Islands in the Stream" (RealAudio excerpt), his hit duet with Dolly Parton. The 10-song retrospective also includes "What About Me," "Crazy" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Twenty Years Ago."
Two LPs from country family hitmakers Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers Greatest Hits and Straight Ahead are re-released this week on one CD by reissue maverick label Collectables Records. The 21-track collection includes the 1979 country hit "All the Gold in California" (RealAudio excerpt) and the Gatlin classic "Broken Lady" (RealAudio excerpt).
Collectables is also dusting off some vintage rockabilly sleeves for Rockin' Bluebird, a retrospective set from oft-covered country crooner Ersel Hickey. The album includes Hickey's biggest hit, "Bluebirds Over the Mountain," which was later recorded by the Beach Boys and Richie Havens. On Rockin', Hickey is backed by guitarist Al Caiola and the Ray Charles Singers.
Finally, Bloodshot Records continues its successful Revivals series with Johnny Bond: Country and Western. The late hillbilly-western pioneer penned such country stalwarts as "Tomorrow Never Comes" and "I'll Step Aside," as well as other 1940s country ballads now highlighted on the new release.