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Any Eddy Raven CD is a welcomed addition to my country record collection, but this disc is not something I plan to give repeated listens. "20 Favorites" is a collection featuring recordings Eddy Raven made for Universal and Capitol Nashville, including hits such as "Sooner or Later," "Bayou Boys," "In a Lettter to You," "Island," "Rock Me in the Rhythm of Your Love," "Too Much Candy for a Dime," and "Zydeco Lady." At least one of the songs has been re-recorded and differs from the original hit version, but the production isn't bad. The main problem with this compilation is that it fails to include Eddy's hits from RCA and Elektra. Eddy Raven is an extraordinary songwriter and performer, but most fans would prefer to hear the numerous early hits which made him famous.
If you want a better collection of music, Eddy Raven has since released a live greatest hits collection entitled "Live In Concert." In all truth, it is one of the best live albums I own and my record collection contains over 35,000 titles. "Live In Concert" includes many of the essential songs found on "20 Favorites," such as "Bayou Boys," "In A Letter To You" and "Island."
The definitive 22-song live concert album includes live versions of Eddy Raven's biggest charting hits, which were originally released as singles by RCA and Universal/Capitol Nashville. Longtime fans might view this concert CD as a greatest hits collection, as it is the only Eddy Raven CD currently in print, which includes the hit singles and key album cuts. Live In Concert is a big-budget multi track recording, which was professionally mixed and mastered. Fans new and old will be impressed by the diverse setlist, which showcases Eddy Raven's best material and songs which combine melodic rock and country with Cajun elements tracing back to his Louisiana roots.
The performance on Live In Concert clocks in at just under 80:00 minutes and the entire show is full band electric. Eddy sings and plays acoustic guitar and is backed by a tight band consisting of drums, electric guitar, bass guitar and an impressive keyboardist who has an uncanny ability to re-create the keyboard and synthesizer parts just as they are heard on the original studio recordings from the 1980s and early 1990s. Vocally, Eddy is a 10 out of 10 on this performance and fans will appreciate the fact he has aged well.
Most fans of Cajun country artist Eddy Raven are aware that his career can be divided into two parts, 1) traditional country songwriter/recording artist and 2) singer/performer/solo recording artist. He originally entered the music business as a songwriter and made some traditional country recordings, working for Roy Acuff and penning countless songs which were recorded by other artists.
Most of the material Raven has recorded and performed on his own as a solo artist could be classified as country-rock or Cajun-flavored rock, rather than the traditional country styles which launched his career in music.
Raven has written songs for a diverse roster of country and rock artists including George Jones, Elvis Costello, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Conway Twitty, Lefty Frizzell, Toby Keith, Heather Myles, Jerry Reed, Charlie Louvin, Connie Smith, Don Gibson, Faron Young, Jack Greene, Brenda Lee, Jerry Jeff Walker, Lorrie Morgan and Jeannie C. Riley. His hit song 'Thank God For Kids' was recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys and later by newer artists such as Kenny Chesney.
Eddy Raven started the second phase of his career as a solo recording artist during the early 1970s and began experiencing hits as a recording artist around ten years later. At the age of 40 in 1984, Raven had his first Number One country hit in 1984 with "I Got Mexico.