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John Conlee - Blue Highway (1984)  

2012-02-29 20:36:27|  分类: John Conlee |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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John Conlee - Blue Highway (1984) - 高老头 - 高老头
 

 John Conlee - Blue Highway (1984) - 高老头 - 高老头

 

Greetings from Asheville, where good music is found on the turntable, in the CD player, and in the MP3 player. Today’s Classic Album Review is a 1984 piece from John Conlee. The MCA release Blue Highway entered the market in October, peaking at fourteen, and was his eighth album. Three singles came from the album, including the title cut, as well as two top ten singles, “Years After You” and “Working Man”.

“Years After You” is the opening track to this album, and deservedly so, as it is one of John’s best pieces of work. His final single of 1984, it would prove to be the album’s biggest hit, peaking at two. Thom Schuyler, who later found fame as part of S-K-O/S-K-B, wrote the song, and were you to say it’s his best composition, it would be hard to argue. No doubt in his top five. Great melody, great lyrics, and fits John Conlee’s style perfectly.

The next track is one that George Jones fans are familiar with, “Radio Lover”. First appearing on his 1983 Jones Country release, where it quickly became a popular album cut. In fact, his fans wanted it as a single, which did eventually happen in 1989, but failed to become a big hit. But what about
“De Island” is a track that has a distinctive Jimmy Buffett-styled sound. Catchy tune, I especially like the refrain, here.John Conlee’s version? The overall sound isn’t much different, just a little style difference. Good version, though.

The album’s title track is next. “Blue Highway” is a medium-slow ballad that actually has a more Adult Contemporary sound to it, as opposed to Country, which (and this is merely speculation) is why it may have only peaked at fifteen. Can’t be the song, it’s a very strong compositio

n that anyone who travels for a living can relate to. It also can’t be the performance, as John’s work, here, is nothing short of stellar.

Slowest track on side one is the side’s final cut, “Down To Me”. While the arrangement falls a little too far into the lush area of things, the song, itself, has a Jazz/Blues feel to it, and because of that, I think it actually shows how well John Conlee’s range as a vocalist is. His work is excellent, here.

Side two opens with a Rafe VanHoy/Deborah Allen work, “A Little Bit Of Lovin’”, which features a Calypso-inspired rhythm. I like this one, though I think it is overproduced. I think it would have sounded better with

out the brass section.

“Arthur And Alice”. The track didn’t do a whole lot for me. That said, lyrically, it’s a song that so well describes the lives of thousands of retired couples over the past thirty or so years.

“Working Man” was the album’s second single, peaking at seven during the early Summer of 1985. A song that rang so true, then, and perha

ps even more so, now. Not sure who couldn’t relate to this one, outside say Donald Trump or Warren Buffett.

Out of print, but used copies seem to be easy to find, most under $10, in both vinyl and cassette formats.

“But She Loves Me” is the album’s best non-single track. Simply a great love song, performed outstandingly by John Conlee. This might well be the best non-single track from any of his albums. Certainly in the top five.

The album wraps with the very pop-sounding “Is There An
The album’s Standout Track is “Years After You”, one of John Conlee’s best recordings. As for the Hidden Gem, “But She Loves Me”, a great love song. The Weakest Track for me, “Arthur And Alice”. Just didn’t do it for me.ything I Can Do”. Despite it’s strong pop-leanings, the track comes off well, with it’s minor-keyed sound that adds a certain aura to the track. This is a very good composition, and frankly, the pop style works, well, here. Good ending to the album.

Overall, an album that, while possessing the standard country-pop sounds of the era, is still a very good work. Chart performance on his albums, compared to his singles, would put John Conlee in the category of a “singles artist”, which in this case, is unfortunate, because I’m thinking that many listeners may well have missed out on a pretty decent set of music, with this disc. Could it have been more Country? Sure, but again, remember the time of it’s release and how the format, in general, was sounding, as this was still about a year and a half from the beginning of the shift back to the traditional styling that Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam, George Strait, and Patty Loveless started the process of forging. This is an album well worth listening to, especially if you look back at that era of Country music with any level of fondness. I rate it a 4 out of 5.(http://ultimatetwang.com/blog/?cat=7)

 

01 - Years After You

02 - Radio Lover

03 - De Island

04 - Blue Highway

05 - Down To Me

06 - A Little Bit Of Lovin'

07 - Arthur And Alice

08 - Working Man

09 - But She Loves Me

10 - Is There Anything I Can Do

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