Best Of Bobby Bare 0794

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    Best Of Bobby Bare 0794 Razor & Tie
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Review

Review Text Bobby Bare was a restless artist, pushing country music forward in the '60s by incorporating elements of folk and rock in equal measures on his recordings for RCA. His music could have an epic narrative sweep, or it could be intimate in its telling details. He could be a warm, sensitive singer and he also could be tougher than many other vocalists in the heyday of countrypolitan -- and he also could be wickedly funny when given half a chance. He was a fine songwriter and an even better judge of material, championing songwriters like Tom T. Hall, Tompall Glaser, and Waylon Jennings before they became country legends, finding songs from folkies like Ian Tyson, while also cherry-picking great tunes from Nashville stalwarts like Hank Cochran, Lee Hazlewood, and Jack Clement. This resulted in one of the richest bodies of work in the '60s (not to mention his '70s and early-'80s highlights), but its diversity and unpredictability meant that he wasn't always at the top of the charts -- instead, he continued to chart, occasionally finding the right tune to bring him back to the Top Ten. Nevertheless, his music stands as some of the finest of its time, and while Bear Family's comprehensive box set All-American Boy explores these '60s RCA recordings in thorough detail, Razor & Tie's 21-track The Best of Bobby Bare is the best summary of this time, functioning not only as a superb introduction, but as a great, compulsively listenable collection of highlights. This does not have all of his '60s hits -- singles like "Shame on Me" and "It's Alright" are left behind -- but it does have all the big tunes, along with a good cross-section of album tracks and B-sides that illustrate the range of his music. There's his first single, the Elvis send-up "The All-American Boy"; there's the heartbreaking lament "Detroit City," which proved he was no novelty; there's "500 Miles Away From Home" and "Miller's Cave"; one of the first versions of "Long Black Limousine"; excellent versions of Waylon Jennings' "Just to Satisfy You" and the Glaser Brothers' "The Streets of Baltimore"; a taboo-breaking tale of infidelity in Tom T. Hall's "(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn." These are the major moments, but they certainly aren't the only highlights on this essential collection. Bare released music as good as this, but he never bettered it, and everything on The Best of Bobby Bare stands among the very best and most adventurous country of the '60s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. All American Boy - 3:01
  2. 2. I'd Fight the World - 3:39
  3. 3. Detroit City - 3:48
  4. 4. 500 Miles Away from Home - 3:44
  5. 5. Miller's Cave - 3:54
  6. 6. Have I Stayed Away Too Long - 2:12
  7. 7. Long Black Limousine - 3:56
  8. 8. Four Strong Winds - 3:47
  9. 9. When the Wind Blows (In Chicago) - 2:22
  10. 10. Just to Satisfy You - 2:24
  11. 11. Long Black Veil - 3:44
  12. 12. Streets of Baltimore - 3:39
  13. 13. Houston - 3:39
  14. 14. Green, Green Grass of Home - 3:43
  15. 15. Game of Triangles - 3:43
  16. 16. Charleston Railroad Tavern - 2:15
  17. 17. Chicken Every Sunday - 3:40
  18. 18. (Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn - 3:20
  19. 19. God Bless America Again - 3:51
  20. 20. Your Husband, My Wife - 3:00
  21. 21. Come on Home (And Sing the Blues to Daddy) - 3:32

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