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Old 10-06-2009, 07:29 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Do as many reviews as you want, Bulldog. Love reading them, and they add a nice variety to the thread.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:40 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Coolness I'll make this my last one until a few more albums have been chipped in - wouldn't wanna hijack this thread or anything. I've got the day off tomorrow, so keep an eye peeled for it then eh.
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:13 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Go ahead and review another whenever you want! Hell, do it for my sake, cause I love reading them, and I don't have anything lined up yet.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:58 AM   #44 (permalink)
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With pleasure Sorry I'm a bit behind with this one - my internet was cut off yesterday from a mix-up with the bills I paid for my flat, so it kinda derailed that little notion. Should get it done tomorrow at the very latest.
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Old 10-09-2009, 09:22 AM   #45 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's right, I just spent the last hour reviewing a Ringo Starr solo album

Ringo Starr
Beaucoups Of Blues
1970

1. Beaucoups Of Blues [Rabin]
2. Love Don't Last Long [Howard]
3. Fastest Growing Heartache In The West [Kingston/Dycus]
4. Without Her [Pickard]
5. Woman Of The Night [Pickard]
6. I'd Be Talking All The Time [Howard/Kingston]
7. $15 Draw [Pickard]
8. Wine, Women and Loud Happy Songs [Kingston]
9. I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way [Howard]
10. Loser's Lounge [Pierce]
11. Waiting [Howard]
12. Silent Homecoming [Pickard]

Ok, so I know what you're thinking and, funnily enough, I agree with you. Yes, Ringo Starr is a bit of a joke of a human being, especially after his hilarious youtube plea for fans to stop appreciating him ('I am warning you with peace and love' - always makes me giggle). Yes, he's as far behind the times as a stopped clock too. But, lest we forget, a stopped clock is right twice a day, which is basically a very pretentious way of saying there is some merit to Ringo's singing career. While it's true that Liverpool 8 is very probably the worst song of the decade and, not only that, but also, Back Off Boogaloo and It Don't Come Easy aside, I do despise the rest of the guy's solo career. On the other hand, though, I do like a good number of songs Ringo sang with the Beatles (Boys, Don't Pass Me By, Octopus's Garden and With a Little Help From My Friends are favourites of mine) and, more importantly (and relevantly), I'm quite the fan of this album.

This album being Ringo's second solo effort, his first being the pretty bland Sentimental Journey - released earlier in 1970 while the Beatles were (technically) still going. In the May of that same year, during the recording sessions for George Harrison's monolithic solo debut, Ringo met the session steel guitarist Pete Drake. Upon finding out about Drake's connections with country music in Nashville Ringo, himself a long-time country lover, asked if he was up for a collaboration. Seeing as this was a Beatle he was dealing with, it probably didn't take a lot of thinking for Drake to come up with an answer. After laying down 12 instrumental and backing vocal tracks, Ringo arrived in Nashville about a month later to overdub all his vocals.

From the offset, the title cut of Beaucoups Of Blues in this case, it's plain to see that Ringo's vocal style worked so much better over the top of country songs than the old standards he'd recorded for Sentimental Journey, as from start to finish his soft, soothing voice really gives a very miserable bunch of lyrics a strangely uplifting and warm vibe about them. This is the case even on a song about a triple suicide like Love Don't Last Long, to the extent that it's rendered as one of the highlights of the album. Fastest Growing Heartache In the West keeps the thread of very faithful and traditional-sounding country and western music going, in this case being a slightly livelier cut, propelled by very neat fiddle that punctuates it.

As I started to prepare this review, I was frantically looking for a video of Without Her and, to my dismay, couldn't find one, simply because the opening two lines in particular are a couple of the most gorgeously-sung that I've ever heard and really goes to show that Ringo's strength as a performer was much more obvious in his singing than drumming and songwriting. I've probably scared a few of you off just by mentioning the guy's name but, I implore you, find a way of listening to this song as it's fantastic.

Therein lies the strength of this album... kinda. The fact that Ringo sings with the confidence of someone who knows he's not the most talented musician in the world and is simply doing it for the love. It's there for all to see on the cute, lively little love-song Woman Of the Night. From there there's the effective, pedal steel-tinged cut I'd Be Talking All the Time, which boasts both another wonderful fiddle track and the cutely dumb opening lines 'if I talked about the good times, there wouldn't be much to say'. $15 Draw serves as another pretty miserable lyric being given an uplifting kind of life by Ringo's vocal style and the almost jovial musical backing, while the hilariously-titled Wine, Women and Loud Happy Songs (story of my life there ) tones the pace down a little bit but has yet another oddly happy vibe about it despite the concerns of the lyric.

The ballad made out of I Wouldn't Have You Any Other Way, despite another gorgeous lead vocal track, does nevertheless come across as a lot less interesting than a few of the cuts we've already gone through. Loser's Lounge, on the other hand, is a billious knees-up of a honky tonk number and another album highlight. Waiting makes for another tempo-related U-turn, being another simply marvellous country ballad that gets by like that on the back of another sweet-as-honey lead vocal. Rounding it all off is the anti-war song Silent Homecoming which, despite being a fairly evocative lyric, is another number that's not so interesting as others here.

To sum all this up, I won't pretend this album is an absolute classic like a few country-influenced albums I've mentioned around the boards before (and, seeing as it was released to a fairly unimpressed reception in 1970, not a lot of others did at the time either), and I know that kinda goes against this thread, but there is a very simple reason that you see me posting this review here. It's because, simply, this is one of the first truly traditional country and western album I ever bought and, seeing as it's an area I'm delving deeper into these days, it's therefore a massively important album in my music collection. There's that and the fact that, while it isn't an end-to-end classic, it is still a very very good album, boasting some truly wonderful vocal performances and capable musical backings to give a very miserable bunch of country lyrics a real warmth and friendly kind of vibe.

Basically, whether you're not sure where to start on the road to appreciating traditional country and western music or you're just curious about the genre, this is a vital album to turn to, as it's one that did me a world of good. It's an album I can empathise with too, seeing as (owing to who's singing it) it has a kind of outsider looking in feel about it, a bit like me and traditional country music as a whole. It's an album you need to simply kick back to and just not take that seriously to enjoy it, if that makes any sense.





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Old 10-12-2009, 10:29 AM   #46 (permalink)
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Wonderful review as usual, Bulldog. Very interesting and brave choice I must say. But you backed it up wonderfully. Loved reading it, very thorough! I have yet to listen to it though, as my school has the youtube videos blocked-- but I will tell you what I think when I get the chance. I'm tremendously curious! Especially about Without Her.
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:59 PM   #47 (permalink)
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As I say, everyone needs to hear Without Her, no matter what their preconceptions of Mr. Starr here are. I'll get it on mediafire for you in a minute or two.

Thanks for the feedback as well Muchly looking forward to your next review!
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:00 PM   #48 (permalink)
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hank thompson's 1952 - Wild Side Of Life

I didnt know god made honky tonk angels
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:18 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Honeysuckle Rose

Willie Nelson & Family
1980


This album may not be Willie's finest cut of all of his albums, but it is one of his funnest and most special to listen to, mainly because of the camaraderie you hear shine through from one end of the album to the other. Willie has never been short on friends throughout his years, and the duets on this album are some of the most genuine and dynamic in classic country history.

As you already may have guessed, this album is the soundtrack to Willie Nelson's movie of the same name. As for a quick and painless synopsis of Nelson's movie- I would say that its a good thing he can sing and play guitar because the man is no actor! Anyway and more importantly, the music from the movie was golden and made up for the lack of acting skills. Because when Willie plays his music, their is not one ounce of acting involved- partly because in the movie, he played in front of a live crowd of hundreds of people which helped.

Some of my more favorite pieces from the albums are the two performances by he and Emmylou Harris. I was very dissapointed with the choice of Willie's on-screen wife, Dyan Cannon, because I am not a fan of her voice whatsoever and she had to do quite a bit of singing on the movie. But I couldn't have asked more from the band, Willie, and his guest appearances. A few of these songs you guys may recognize and a few may be new to you, but overall this album had some very memorable performances that were made during this album and I hope you guys enjoy them.

On the Road Again (Willie Nelson)
Pick Up the Tempo (Willie Nelson)
Heaven or Hell (Willie Nelson)
Fiddlin' Around (Johnny Gimble)
Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain (Willie Nelson)
Working Man Blues (Jody Payne)
Jumpin' Cotton Eyed Joe (Johnny Gimble)
Whiskey River (Willie Nelson)
Bloody Mary Morning (Willie Nelson)
Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again) (Dyan Cannon, Willie Nelson)
I Don't Want to Do Windows (Hank Cochran)
Coming Back to Texas (Kenneth Threadgill)
It's Not Supposed to Be That Way (Willie Nelson)
You Show Me Yours (And I'll Show You Mine) (Willie Nelson)
If You Could Touch Her at All (Willie Nelson)
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground (Willie Nelson)
I Guess I've Come to Live Here in Your Eyes (Willie Nelson)
Angel Eyes (Emmylou Harris)

So You Think You're a Cowboy (Emmylou Harris) I would like to point out this song in particular on the album, just because of its pure brilliance. One thing I did like about the film was that it showed Nelson messing around his guitar contructing this song while at home while watching his son, and then the next thing you know its up on the stage with Emmylou Harris singing it and making it a hit with Willie on guitar. The lyrics really are great and very much worth listening to.
Make the World Go Away (Hank Cochran, Jeannie Sealy)
Two Sides to Every Story (Dyan Cannon)
A Song for You (Willie Nelson)
Uncloudy Day (Dyan Cannon, Willie Nelson)


I would also like to point out that almost all of these, whether Willie is singing or not, include him in the background on guitar with his band.

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Old 10-18-2009, 09:31 AM   #50 (permalink)
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Ah, so that's where that Emmylou song you told me about comes from! I've been on the lookout for some good more good soundtracks lately, so I may just have to give this one a go. Especially with Emmylou being on it (hers being far and away one of my favourite in country music and all). All of which reminds me, I should probably talk up one of her albums in this 'ere thread sometime soon.

Funny you should mention Willie being no actor, as I can't remember any musician who's consistently as spellbinding on the silver screen as they are behind a pair of stereo speakers. Tom Waits' performance as Renfield in Dracula was quite good (unfortunately the rest of the film was awful), and David Bowie did so well in his lead role in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence (one of my favourite ever war movies that). As for most of the rest of the films I've seen him in, it was like watching a chair giving the odd monologue every now and then.

Anyway, nice short 'n' sweet review that. As soon as I'm over the Dead Can Dance bender I'm on now, I'll have a look for it
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