Thursday, February 04, 2010

BIG AND RICH



Found a beautiful compilation of early Charlie Rich in a junk shop in Red Hook today (Songs for Beautiful Girls, Pickwick/33). I'll forgo the overstatement: maybe the most soulful white man ever recorded. As Mr. Poncho put it: sounds like Elvis, only smarter. Britt Daniels of Spoon weeps into his pillow at night wishing his band could achieve the sound in these songs. The production is pure late 50s Sun Records [Ed.: Well, sorta; see comments], but even more subtle and sophisticated than usual, pushing more into black music than others were willing to go, more jazz and gospel bits brightening the corners. And Rich's blues vibrato is a lost treasure of 20th Century music history. No wonder Peter Guralnick, the Elvis biographer, dug him back up in the early 90s and produced his last album.

YOU GOTTA LISTEN!

I Can't Go On - Charlie Rich

It Ain't Gonna Be That Way - Charlie Rich

A Field of Yellow Daisies - Charlie Rich



6 comments:

bigsteveno said...

Actually these productions are not "late 50s Sun Records." These are mid 60s tracks cut for Mercury/Smash, in other words the era when he had a minor hit with Mohair Sam. Unfortunately the collection of this stuff, The Complete Smash Recordings, is out of print, but I can't recommend this highly enough. You've got good taste, and you're lucky to have found that comp. These are my favorite records like ever.

Lefty said...

Thanks! I thought maybe they were late period Sun recordings, maybe from the early 60s, but good to know the straight dope. I'm officially obsessed with these songs.

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Lefty said...

So true.

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