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Four classic albums by The Dixie Chicks have just been released on vinyl. Wide Open Spaces (1998), Fly (1999), Home (2002), and Taking The Long Way (2006) collectively have sold 30,000,000 copies and earned the group 13 Grammy Awards. The music has now been remastered and issued on high-resolution 150-gram vinyl.

Emily Robinson, Martie McGuire, and Natalie Maines have always been able to fuse traditional country with modern pop and rock. Now their albums return in a new form with a pristine sound. Properly produced and played on the right equipment, vinyl can provide a stunning listening experience.

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Wide Open Spaces remains the best selling album by a country group ever. Propelled by the number one singles “There’s Your Trouble,” “Wide Open Spaces,” and “You Were Mine;” the music is a smooth blend of American music at its best. Selling 12 million copies in the United States, it introduced the Dixie Chicks to the world and remains one of the better debut albums in American music history.

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Fly was an extension of their first release and just as commercially successful, topping both the Country and Pop Charts and selling 10 million copies in the United States. It was a formula that helped them remain one of the leading vocal groups in the world.

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Home found the Dixie Chicks moving in a new direction. They shelved some of their pop influences and returned to a more classic country sound. Now firmly entrenched on the pop and country charts; the album produced their first top ten pop single, a cover of Fleetwood mac’s “Landslide.”

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Taking The Long Way Home was a statement that The Dixie Chicks had grown up and were now producing mature music. The lyrics had an edge and there was a cohesiveness to the message. It won five Grammy Awards and became the first country album to win Album Of The Year. It remains their most powerful release.

The music of the Dixie Chicks has retained its wide appeal. The music is readily available on CD and download, so people will have to decide whether they would like it in a vinyl format as well. Whatever the decision, the music remains some of the best country music of the last 20 years.

Ratings: ****

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