To get an idea of exactly how many Ronnie Milsap collections are on the market, just turn to the back page of the booklet for RCA
's 2006 double-disc set The Essential Ronnie Milsap, where it lists other Ronnie albums you might also enjoy. There are ten listed, all but one of them a compilation (that would be his very, very good 2006 comeback, My Life). Which begs the natural question, is The Essential Ronnie Milsap needed? Especially since there is already another compilation called The Essential Ronnie Milsap (dating from 1995), and there already was an excellent double-disc set called 40 #1 Hits released six years earlier? The answer is, yes it is, particularly since 40 #1 Hits has fallen out of print. Of course, it also helps that Essential is an expertly chosen and sequenced collection of Milsap's best work, from 1973's "(All Together Now) Let's Fall Apart" and running all the way to 1989's "A Woman in Love." Most of this material was on 40 #1 Hits, so if you already own that, there's not much need for this, but this has a slight edge over the previous comp because it has a greater concentration of his prime material and is very listenable; its non-chronological sequencing works for it, since it emphasizes the consistently high quality of his hits singles. So, even if there is a surplus of Milsap collections out on the market, this superb set indeed proves that there's always room for another good one.