Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#875 in the Series) is Glen Campbell, See You There. (Surf Dog Records)
I’ve always felt that music is at its best when it reaches out and hits you hard, hard and right in the heart. Nothing can do that as well as a lyric. A lyric that makes you think, a lyric that brings you closer to the song, and closer to the artist.
This happens during the seventh track on Glen Campbell’s latest release See You There where in the middle of his classic song “Galveston,” Glen sings “Galveston Oh Galveston .. I Am So Afraid of Dyin’.” Yes, we’ve heard that line countless times before, but it’s different now and I highlight it because it was the moment on the album that took the personal feeling of the recordings to another level. In fact, it actually made me stop the play at the end of the song and start the proceedings from the very beginning again. Everything was different now. I felt closer to him, I felt like I wanted to hear from the beginning all those words again to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I did indeed start it again from song number one.
This album is mostly recuts of many of the best songs that Glen Campbell has ever recorded. Not only are they recorded anew, but they’re recorded differently as well. They’re stripped down, a little less produced if you will. That’s another reason why “Galveston” hit me differently besides the obvious.
Jimmy Webb wrote “Galveston” and a couple of the Webb standards that Glen has been known for for many years are here. “Wichita Lineman” and “By the Time I Get To Phoenix” have never sounded better. John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind” is here as well.
Glen Campbell is in fine voice on what most probably will be his last studio release. Yes, he does toss in a slight clinker of a note every so often but who cares. They are minimal and don’t distract from the recordings in anyway. Maybe “enhance” is a word that could be used.
Most of these recordings were done during the Ghost on the Canvas sessions. They’re produced by Dave Darling and Dave Kaplan. Word is that some of the support musicians were changed for the better after the producers heard how wonderful Glen’s voice sounded on what was originally laid down. Mr. Campbell was quite pleased as his sentiments were shared by his wife Kim “”When Glen heard what they did in reinterpreting these songs, he lit up and was smiling from ear to ear. And I was too. This record is a more intimate and unique take on many of Glen s most popular songs as well as some other gems. The producers took the magic of his voice and showcased it in a whole new way for Glen.”
One more song needs to be mentioned. That song was the biggest surprise for me. I’m referring to “Rhinestone Cowboy.” I’ll admit, I’ve always considered that song more of a Glen Campbell novelty track than anything. (Does anyone remember the big deal that Johnny Carson made of it when it was current? If you do than you know what I mean.) Here however in the stripped down version if sounds completely different. Just man and a guitar on this version and it’s magnificent. I only hope country radio has as much guts to play it as Mr. Campbell had to record it.
Will these new versions make you forget the originals. No, you won’t forget them. But for me, I know I’ll be listening to these new versions much more frequently than the old.
The lead off track and first single is the redoux of 1968′s “Hey Little One.” You can hear it below along with an NPR interview from 2012. Last up is the 2011 Country Music Award’s tribute to Glen Campbell.
- “Hey Little One” (Dorsey Burnette, Barry De Vorzon) 2:37
- “Wichita Lineman” (Jimmy Webb) 3:36
- “Gentle on My Mind” (John Hartford) 3:02
- “Postcard from Paris” (Webb) 3:36
- “Waiting on the Comin’ of My Lord” (Glen Campbell, Julian Raymond) 3:06
- “What I Wouldn’t Give” (Campbell, Raymond) 2:44
- “Galveston” (Webb) 3:11
- “By the Time I Get to Phoenix” (Webb) 3:07
- “There’s No Me… Without You” (Campbell, Raymond) 3:24
- “True Grit” (Elmer Bernstein, Don Black) 2:39
- “Rhinestone Cowboy” (Larry Weiss) 3:49
- “Waiting on the Comin’ of My Lord” (feat.José Hernàndez & Mariachi Sol de Mexico) 3:10
- See our review of Glen Campbell, Ghost on the Canvas
- See our piece on Glen Campbell and Jimmy Webb, Reunion
- Glen Campbell Official Website, facebook, twitter
- Surfdog Records Website, facebook, twitter
- LISTEN To Samples via Amazon. You can purchase it there as well.
Here’s the full album
This is a quick press release
The great version of “Rhinestone Cowboy”
Here’s a fun Bonus video. REM covering “Wichita Lineman”