The Marty Party Hit Pack


BMG Music Service Country Weekly
Chart Technologies Creative Loafing Record Reviews
Columbia House Modern Screen's Country Music
Country Fever Unknown
Country Music USA

BMG Music Service

"Every man and woman ought to have a place to lay their burdens down," sings Marty Stuart on Now That's Country, just one of the good-time rockers featured on his new greatest hits album The Marty Party Hit Pack. And when this two-time Grammy winner takes hold of his 1954 Fender Telecaster and lets it rip, you'll forget all about your blues! The Marty Party Hit Pack features the cream of the crop from Marty's catalog plus 3 songs that have never appeared on any of his albums--and 2 completely new recordings. From the fell-good, get-up-and-dance scorcher, If I Ain't Got You, to the pure honky-tonk of The Whiskey Ain't Workin' (featuring Travis Tritt on vocals) to Marty's favorite tune, Tempted, there are songs about having a good time an doing what you want to do--dashboard-slappin' music that combines the whomp of Rock 'n' Roll with the heartfelt emotions of Country. It's a Saturday night record for any night of the week. So lay your burdens right down at the're in good hands with "The Marty Party Hit Pack"!

Chart Technologies

Packed full of Marty Stuart favorites, this compilation album is a perfect overview of Stuart’s talent.
From “This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time)” with Travis Tritt to “The Weight” with The Staple Sisters, it is just what the title implies — a hit pack.

The compilation includes singles from all of Stuart’s previous MCA albums as well as his Warner Bros. album and his recent tribute endeavors. The Hit Pack also includes two new releases, “If I Ain’t Got You” and “The Likes of Me,” the last of which was recorded for Conway Twitty’s last album. The album rocks song after song. Of particular interest for trivia buffs is the liner notes. For each track, Stuart shares stories and interesting tidbits.

This party pack just might land Stuart a platinum party.

By Jayme Calhoun

Columbia House

Starting out as a 13-year-old mandolin playing prodigy with Lester Flatt, Marty Stuart has gone on to become a major phenomenon in Nashville, proving his talents in bluegrass, country-rock and rockabilly. Now the rhinestone singer/guitarist takes a long overdue look back on his career with the rousing collection The Marty Party Hit Pack.

Chock full of chart-toppers, The Marty Party Hit Pack is a dash-slapping pleasure, mixing the kick of rock 'n' roll with the ache of the high lonesomes. From his breakthrough smash, Hillbilly Rock, to his high-energy duet with Travis Tritt, The Whiskey Ain't Workin', no song on this platter is less than memorable. In fact, with hits like the rootsy Burn Me Down and the Buddy Holly-influenced Tempted, you may not put anything else on your stereo for weeks!

A while back Stuart wrote a song about how he received Hank Williams, Sr's blessing in a dream. Maybe it wasn't just a dream. Hank's blessing echo in this dynamic spirit and innovation throughout The Marty Party Hit Pack.

Country Fever

The king of hillbilly rock has put together a package guaranteed to please his fans old and new. All of his top hits are here, including "Hillbilly Rock," "Burn Me Down," Now That's Country," "Tempted" and "Western Girls." Sweetening the mix are Marty's dynamite Top 10 duets with buddy Travis Tritt, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin" and "This One's Gonna Hurt You." Marty gets together with the Staple Singers on "The Weight," from the Rhythm, Country and Blues compilation and reprises his version of "Don't Be Cruel" from It's Now or Never--The Tribute to Elvis.

Hearing so many of Marty's best cuts back-to-back makes me ask again what I've been wondering for years: Why isn't this guy a superstar already? When I met and heard him for the first time in 1986, I thought, This guy's got it! He has the looks, the hooks, the threads and the songs and he should be topping the charts and headlining arenas.

So why isn't he? Maybe resistance at country radio, which tends to go for the most homogenized product. No one has done more to bring country into the '90s while honoring his roots than Marty Stuart, and I hope that this album (and this year) will finally bring him the stardom he deserves.

Crank this one up loud! All these hot rockin' tunes put together could make a hit out of even a dull party!

By L.F.C.

Country Music USA

May 1995
Five of the 12 cuts on The Marty Party Hit Pack have never been available on a Marty Stuart album. Two are newly recorded, one was on a Travis Tritt album, one on Rhythm, Country and Blues and one on It's Now or Never--The Tribute to Elvis.

When Marty debuted on MCA in 1989, he paid his tributes to the masters of country music as he set about mastering a musical style of his own. His music came from somewhere out on the dangerous edges of country music, from bluegrass, rockabilly and honky tonk styles, from places where emotions--whether rowdy fun or painful heartaches--are just barely kept under control. He worked long and hard to bring all these elements together in a pure and natural way and to blend in his own considerable talents as a songwriter and musician. The result, as showcased on The Marty Party Hit Pack, is an honest and engaging body of work. "This music rings true to me," Marty says. "It rocks. It'll make you feel good and it can cause you to dance. It will help you in tough times and inspire you to keep going. I know."

"If I Ain't Got You," one of two new cuts on The Marty Party Hit Pack, is one of those feel-good dancing tunes, straight out of the honky tonk scene. "Look close enough and you can see my redneck in this record," Marty says. It marks his debut with producer Don Cook (Mark Collie, Lee Roy Parnell, Brooks & Dunn). "The Likes of Me," also a new cut produced by Don Cook, shows Marty with an air of hard-edged self-confidence in a romantic situation.

"Hillbilly Rock," written by Paul Kennerley (writer of several Judd hits) was the title of Marty's first MCA album in 1989 and with it he took an independent stance while showing a reverence for country tradition. Marty: "The songwriter most responsible for helping me find a style is Paul Kennerley. The thing that I love the most about this song is that the title is a perfect description of my music and I'll always be grateful to Kennerley for letting me have this song instead of the Judds. What a friend." "Western Girls," also from Hillbilly Rock, put Marty and Paul Kennerley together as songwriters and they pushed the volume limit of country music.

"Tempted," the title cut of Marty's second MCA album and yet another co-write with Paul Kennerley, is Marty's favorite song so far. Its Buddy Holly sound won the approval of an important crowd at an important time in his career. Marty: "The first time that I ever felt accepted in Texas was a show that we played in Buddy Holly's home town, Lubbock. We had 10,000 people at the show. The song went over and the review in the paper commented that "Tempted" would have made Buddy proud."

"Little Things," from Tempted was Marty's highest-charted single to date, and it almost didn't make it on record. In the middle of the writing, Paul Kennerley had to take to his bed with a back problem. Marty recalls: "He literally finished it in bed an hour before the session and sent it to the studio. I had changes that I wanted made still, so we drove some courier crazy going back and forth."

"Burn Me Down," from Tempted, exemplified how Marty's music brings old and new together to form a unique style. The hot emotions of the lyrics and the music suggest a contemporary song (and Marty did write the second verse), but the tune was written by Eddie Miller ("Release Me") back in the '60s.

"The Whiskey Ain't Workin" was originally released on a Travis Tritt album and had originally been a Travis Tritt solo. Marty had written the song (with Ronny Scaife) and was asked to play guitar on Tritt's session. As he was leaving, the producer suggested Marty sing the second verse. Marty: "I didn't want to because I thought Travis had nailed the song, but I did and I'm glad because this one was a hit. I mean a hit."

"This One's Gonna Hurt You (For A Long, Long Time)," his second duet with Travis Tritt, was a milestone in Marty's career. It was the title tune of his first gold-selling album. But to him, the song is a reminder of his friend Roger Miller. He wrote the song at an airport after visiting Miller. Marty remembers: "I called Roger and told him that I had written a song that I wasn't ashamed to sing to him. This album went gold. It was my first one and I wanted Roger to have the first gold copy. He died two days before I was able to give it to him."

"Now That's Country," written by Marty alone, was a typical Stuart mix of bluesy music and stone country imagery. The fond memories couldn't have had a sadder inspiration. Marty was playing in Ohio when he was told of his grandmother's death, and he was unable to get home to Mississippi. "I just had to do two shows and live with it. I went to the back of the bus and started writing down all the things I loved about my Grandpa's farm where my family was. I had the blues so I just put those words and that Delta rhythm together."

"The Weight" teamed Marty with one of the all-time great gospel/soul acts, the Staple Singers. Their stirring performance was released on MCA's Rhythm, Country and Blues. The album was, in Marty's words, "one of the most valid projects ever done in Nashville."

"Don't Be Cruel (To A Heart That's True)" showcased Marty at the Pyramid in Memphis with the Jordanaires, the vocal group that backed Elvis on his original recording. By the time the final touches were put on the track, Marty had flown from San Antonio to Memphis to Little Rock to Nashville to Los Angeles and finally back to Nashville, all in the space of three days.

The Marty Party Hit Pack is a collection of important performances, but it's hardly a retrospective. It's more like a career-in-progress. Marty tells of stopping at a gypsy fortune teller's booth at a fair in Colorado. "I paid her to tell me about my future," he says. "She took one look at my hand and gave me my money back. It shakes me sometimes when I think about it. She said the job was too big for her to handle." As The Marty Party Hit Pack shows, the future of country music is in good hands with Marty Stuart.

Country Weekly

August 1, 1995
Dan: "The Marty Party Hit Pack will pick you up and drop you off on the Marty Stuart bandwagon! How can I not enjoy a guy who has better hair than Sammy! This party kicks off with a new release, "If I Ain't Got You," a fun, rowdy rocker and a future country classic. Hit Pack is pure Marty with the drive of "Western Girls," "Little Things" and my favorite, "Burn Me Down." The duets with Travis Tritt are a brilliant match. A big thumbs up!"

Sammy: "I liked it! It's all of Marty's chart-busters plus a couple of new songs. My fave: "The Weight," sung with The Staple Singers. What a great combo of country and rhythm and blues! My thoughts on "If I Ain't Got You"--it's got a great beat and I can dance to it! Even Dan can really kick it up with any Marty Stuart song."

By KNOX-FM DJ's Dan Terhaar and Samantha Bakken

Creative Loafing

April 29, 1995

The current state of country music is grim, with only a few bright spots that keep the radio waves from being completely intolerable. One of these bright spots is Marty Stuart, and this collection of his hits is a fine introduction for the new fan, and a thrilling trip down memory lane for the hard core devotee. Marty Stuart is an anomaly in country music. He is outspoken, honest, and divides his style evenly between the classic traditions of the Grand Ole Opry and rock 'n' roll. He dares to be different in a field where conformity is rewarded, and no doubt he has lost an opportunity or two in the process of maintaining his integrity. As with most recent greatest-hits packages, there are a couple of "hooks" thrown in here, so that even if you have all of Stuart's albums, you have to get the extra tracks that are only available here. The two new songs, "The Likes Of Me," and "If I Ain't Got You," are logical extensions of the older material on the disc. Both tunes have that borderline rock edge surrounding a pure country theme, and both are worthy inclusions. Stuart has mastered his formula, and even after 10 years it works effectively. Also included are two songs from other projects: "The Weight," a duet with the Staple Singers from the Rhythm, Country, and Blues album, and "Don't Be Cruel" from It's Now Or Never -- The Tribute To Elvis. Of course, his double pairings with buddy Travis Tritt are here, and they fit right in with the "Party" concept. Overall, this is a tasty collection of tunes, a must-have for the real C&W fans, and a decent prop for all the "wanna-be"s.

By James Kelly

Modern Screen's Country Music

September 1995
Five years of Marty on one too-short 12-track Party: It's a gas, and five of the 12 can't be had on any of Marty's four albums. Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" is from the Elvis tribute; "The Whiskey Ain't Workin" is off a Travis Tritt album; The Band's "The Weight," with the gospel/soul/pop Staple Singers is from Rhythm, Country and Blues, and the rollicking "If I Ain't Got You" is new as is "The Likes of Me."

In between are eight Stuartbusters that get it good from "Hillbilly Rock" and "Tempted" to "Now That's Country" and "Little Things." It's all Marty and it's perfection.


April 4, 1995
Generally speaking, greatest-hits discs are a sign of an artist resting on his laurels. But if you don't own anything else by Marty Stuart, this one is worth adding to your collection. Stuart represents everything that is good and exciting about the country-rock explosion of the 1990s. His sizzling guitar give songs like "Burn Me Down," "Tempted" and "Hillbilly Rock" an edge you seldom hear in country these days. And this collection includes a nice bonus--five of the 12 cuts, including two of his popular hit singles with Travis Tritt, have never appeared on a Stuart album before. Rating * * * *

By Dan Herbeck

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