Live In Japan
Aug 08, 2012 Web Exclusive
The last few years have been bittersweet for the 76-year-old Glen Campbell, who really is the godfather of the country-pop crossover hit. He's made 70 albums, sold more than 45 million of them worldwide, and had 27 of his singles land in the country music Top 10. After two pretty-darn-good and unexpectedly successful cover albums, 2008's Meet Glen Campbell and last year's Ghost On The Canvas, Campbell's enjoyed a renaissance of sorts and has been, more or less, on the road since 2008. His legacy was cemented at this year's 54th Grammy Awards where he was paid tribute and given a Lifetime Achievement Award. So where's the bitter? Last summer, Campbell announced he had Alzheimer's and would embark on a final "Goodbye Tour," which means retirement is being forced upon him.
After 37 years as a Japanese, import-only vinyl rarity, the 1975 concert album, Live In Japan, has been given its first release on American CD, thanks to Real Gone Music. The live album features a string of Campbell's heavy-hitters, including, of course, wonderfully executed versions of the Jimmy Webb-penned classics "Galveston," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman," which appear in a "hits medley" that gets rounded out by Campbell's enduring classic, "Gentle On My Mind," written by John Hartford. "It's Only Make Believe," co-written and first popularized by Conway Twitty, and John Denver's "Annie's Song" also make appearances on Live In Japan, which, above all else, is a perfectly preserved artifact of Glen Campbell's consummate abilities as a polished vocalist, a precise and brilliant guitarist, and an incredibly gracious performer.
Because Campbell's never been an album-artist, one could really get everything they need with a couple of his compilations. And, honestly, Live In Japan isn't a must-buy, or even a must-hear, so much as a long overdue release for completists and anyone else interested hearing one of the last century's most popular and accomplished performers at the very top of his game and height of his success. (www.glencampbellmusic.com)
Author rating: 6/10
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