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Glen Campbell once said, "I think God gave me a gift to sing and play. I really don't call it Country or Rock or
Pop. I listen for chord progression, melody, a good lyric that says something positive." With 1968's Wichita Lineman,
Campbell proved that good songs were good songs... no matter their genre. The album, released at the height of Campbell's
success in music and on TV, is certified Double Platinum. In addition to the classic title song, written by the great
Jimmy Webb, the album includes songs by the Bee Gees, Otis Redding, Rod McKuen and Jacques Brel and Sonny Bono.
Back cover of CD: Glen Campbell-Wichita Lineman album
Glen Campbell was a very popular Country singer in the 1960s. Having a popular TV show, and acting in movies,
he his best known for his music. The title track of Wichita Lineman is probably THE song I associate, having the
45 rpm single when I was growing up. It's flip side, "Fate Of Man" is also on this album, and I still believe
that collecting original albums on CD is the best bet. Especially for those, like myself, who had singles from artists,
and finding BOTH the A-sides and B-sides on CD. Glen had numerous #1 albums on the Country chart, and listening to one of
them, Wichita Lineman, it's obvious that this album deserved to reach the top. Every song is great, as he covers
songs written (and/or recorded) by other well-known artists, as well as one by himself -- "Fate Of Man" was written
solely by Campbell.
Another big hit from this album was Chris Gentry's "Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife." There is one cover
song, Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay," (very soulful version as it's original); The Bee
Gees' "Words" (one of the best written songs by the Brothers Gibb). "If You Go Away" (Jacques Brel/Rod
McKuen) has got to be one of the most saddest songs to listen to, and this is proven by how Campbell sings this song.
It's very emotional, and the music as well, blends a very emotional sadness throughout the song. Tim Hardin's "Reason
To Believe" would be more famous by Rod Stewart in the early 1970s. Stewart's version was slower than Campbell's,
and having a more country flavor, especially with the guitar solos.
The rest of the songs you tend to ask, "Is this Country or is it Pop?" Compared to today's Country sounding-like-Pop,
today's style is more Rock than Pop. However, with Campbell's songs, they all can be categorized as Country and/or Pop,
and all in all, a very different style than today's Country/Pop sound. I would consider it Country, as it not only had
it's own unique Country sound, it also fitted with the Country styles of other popular 1960s artists.
Glen Campbell proves that his ORIGINAL albums are worth collecting on CD. Sure, his well-known songs are easily
recognized and remembered in Best Of and Greatest Hits compilations, but there are other standout tracks that never made
these compilations. "Fate Of Man" is a classic example. They have reissued Campbell's other original popular
albums, and I'm sure they're worth looking into: Gentle On My Mind (1967), By The Time I Get To Phoenix
(1967), and Galveston (1969). For the true Glen Campbell fan, the original albums on CD is the best bet.
It's just watching out on Best Of and Greatest Hits, that they add one or more songs never released on albums. This is
the case in a popular artist's box set collection. A box set of Campbell's original albums (with or without bonus tracks)
would be just as great. (They recently did this with Johnny Cash's original early 1970s albums.)
Wichita Lineman is a sure hit -- every song on it.
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