Simply put, this 20-track import compilation of Carlene Carter's Warner Bros. and Giant years issues one track each from 1979's Two Sides to Every Woman and 1980's classic Musical Shapes, skips 1981's Blue Nun and 1983's C'Est C Bon, and moves right into her hit records seven years later, beginning with 1990's I Fell in Love, when she'd reconciled herself to Nash Vegas. There are a whopping nine of that album's 11 tracks on this disc. The rest is split between three from Little Love Letters (1993) and four from 1995's Little Acts of Treason. What's interesting about this grab bag is it reveals some very interesting things about Carter: she's a terrific songwriter when she wants to be, her long sojourn in England put the rockabilly snarl in her swagger for good (it's even there on the later records), and she is a hell of a singer. One does wish that Blue Nun and C'Est C Bon would have been represented; Warner passed on issuing them here in the States, and they were generally slagged back in the day, but in retrospect they have utterly sublime moments. The other glaring omission is the single greatest song Carter ever wrote, "Easy from Now On," which appeared on I Fell in Love (and was a hit for Emmylou Harris). This set is a close replica of Giant's own 1996 21-cut disc called Hindsight 20/20, which included that number and some different choices. It's cheap, the sound is terrific, but The Platinum Collection only whets the appetite. ~ Thom Jurek
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