From the Vault...


Charlie Rich
"Greatest Hits"

© Epic Records

Year of Release: 1976

track listing
  • The Most Beautiful Girl
  • A Very Special Love Song
  • Since I Fell For You
  • My Elusive Dreams
  • Every Time You Touch Me
    (I Get High)
  • Behind Closed Doors
  • Life Has Its Little Ups
    And Downs
  • All Over Me
  • I Love My Friend
  • America The Beautiful

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    Charlie Rich
    "Greatest Hits"

    Old fashioned country is best defined by many early country artists, one of those is Charlie Rich. His 10-song Greatest Hits compilation best defines country music at its finest.

    Back in the 1970s, it seemed that almost any kind of music could reach the #1 position on the pop chart. "The Most Beautiful Girl" did just that in 1973. On the country chart, Charlie Rich had 9 #1 songs; only 3 of those 9 appear here: "A Very Special Love Song," "Behind Closed Doors," and "The Most Beautiful Girl".

    "Since I Fell For You" is the standard from the early pop/blues era, and is very well done, as it has a country-yet-blues feel. "My Elusive Dreams" is the typical 1970s country ballad, where such an artist as Ronnie Milsap could easily have recorded. "Everytime I Touch You (I Get High)" has a more contemporary adult pop sound, as in the music of Engelbert Humperdinck. It also has a touch of romantic jazz, as it sets the romance mood.

    And speaking of romance, who doesn't know what the true meaning of Charlie Rich's best known song, "Behind Closed Doors"... It's a definite country song, where the story of love is told, but only behind closed doors. (Which is unusual in country music, where most country songs tell the stories of heartbreak or cheating.)

    "Life Has Its Little Ups And Downs" is another soft country ballad, "All Over Me" has the ultimate piano-country sound, where its lyrics is definitely country: telling the story of a lost love, and not getting over it. "I Love My Friend" is another touching ballad, and the album's closing song is "America The Beautiful." Somehow Lee Greenwood's "God Bless The USA" comes to mind (which would be recorded much later in time), where country artists show their appreciation for the USA, and their patriotism.

    Charlie Rich's Greatest Hits shows the tender, touching ballads that were popular in the 1970s for Mr. Rich. There aren't any upbeat honky tonk country (that's equivalent to the word "rockin'"...) Yet all of the songs have the soft-country sound, and is an easy source of music for the country fan's romantic atmosphere. Of course there were much other songs Charlie Rich recorded that did not appear on this album, as this was the common greatest hits compilation shown back in the late 1970s when it came out. It seemed that every country fan had this particular Charlie Rich album. The album's total time is just under a half hour, so maybe a half hour is just enough to set the mood for whatever comes to mind... We'll just leave the rest of the details behind closed doors....

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