Tuesday, August 19, 2008

But it Don't Look Like Rain

Today in America Glen Campbell released his new album "Meet Glen Campbell". The album, which is his 59th, is a collection of covers of songs from the 1960's to this decade. The project is similar to Johnny Cash's recording of "Hurt" and other great covers that he did during that great period of his life. The 10 songs on "Meet Glen Campbell" are; "Jesus" (Velvet Underground), "Sing" (Travis), "Angel Dreams" and "Walls" (Tom Petty), "These Days" by (Jackson Browne), "Times Like These" (Foo Fighters), "All I want is You" (U2), "Good Riddance (Time of my life)" (Green Day), "Sadly Beautiful" (The Replacements) and "Grow Old With Me" (John Lennon). The musicians featuring on the album include some of America's finest and most respected such as Chris Chaney on bass guitar, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, Rick Nielsen (the founder of the band, Cheap Trick) and also Wendy Melvoin, of Wendy & Lisa, on electric guitar. He is also touring with this new album. Those tour dates as well as audio of three of the songs on the album can be found on Glen's website which is here. Glen Campbell has been in the music business for over 50 years, he was 72 last April. He has sang some of the most memorable songs in country music and also covered some of the most beautiful songs such as the song below, Jim Croce's "Time In a Bottle". The performance is of one which he recorded for the BBC in 1975. Glen was a touring member of The Beach Boys, where he played as a temporary replacement for Brian Wilson. Like a lot of music stars in the 1970's Glen had his own TV show. The clip below features someone else who also had one of the most famous TV shows in the US around the same time; Cher. They sing a melody, completely live, which includes two of Glen's most well known songs; "Country Boy" and "Rhinestone Cowboy". A song that would easily be in the top ten of my favourite songs of all time is "Wichita Lineman" which Glen recorded first 40 years ago this year. It is a song that both beautiful and sad at the very same time. The line; "I know I need a small vacation but it don't look like rain" just brings me back to childhood in the 1970's and the memory that it was all those pop country songs that I heard growing up made me realise that a love of music has been with me since I can remember. The "Wichita Lineman" album also included songs like "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife", "Reason To Believe", The Bee Gees "Words" and a gorgeous version of Jacques Brel's "If You Go Away". There are many performances of "Wichita Lineman" on the net but the one below is recent, only a few years old, I'm not sure exactly when. Like many other stars Glen Campbell's private life has sometimes had it's share of controversy but as a singer and guitarist throughout the history of country music, he is still simply one of the best.