Friday, April 25, 2014
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: GLEN CAMPBELL - 20th CENTURY MASTERS THE MILLENNIUM COLLECTION
Of course, there are decades of hits too, and his music has been re-examined of late, as younger generations turn back to more melodic times, less inclined to dismiss pop, country and string-accompanied productions. Even the glossier 70's hits, led by Rhinestone Cowboy, are better appreciated than they have been for years. This new, budget collection is as bare-boned as it gets, but as good a place to start as any, containing the biggest songs of his career among its ten cuts.
The glory days will always be the Jimmy Webb-written cuts from the late 60's, represented here by Wichita Lineman, Galveston, and By The Time I Get To Phoenix, certainly three of the best pop songs written in the 60's. But Campbell had a pretty good knack of hearing cuts that would suit his honeyed voice. Gentle On My Mind was a John Hartford tune, just as successful and poignant as well, somewhere between folk and country. Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife and Try A Little Kindness were huge hits as well. Rhinestone Cowboy as a huge comeback for him in 1975, in fact it was a bigger hit than any of the 60's numbers. Country Boy is a good inclusion here, a minor hit from then but another well-produced and sung number, and not found on all Campbell compilations. With a nod to his last recordings, also very well received, the final cut here is These Days, the track from his 2008 comeback album, Meet Glen Campbell, a fine Jackson Browne number.
Campbell was one of my early heroes, the first radio star I took a liking to after embracing pop music via The Monkees. I moved on to The Beatles and others, but the beauty and mystery of those early cuts, especially Galveston, has stayed with me my entire life. A soft spot? For sure, but I'll argue his place in the pantheon anytime.