From the Vault...


Eddy Arnold
"Looking Back"

© BMG/RCA Records

Year of Release: 2002

track listing
  • Half As Much
  • Baby That's Living
  • Here Comes Heaven
  • Nothing But Time
  • Gentle On My Mind
  • Little Green Apples
  • Faded Love
  • I Wish I Didn't
    Love You So
  • Lay Some Happiness
    On Me
  • Honey
  • The Other Side Of Lonely
  • New World
    In The Morning
  • Here Comes
    The Rain Baby
  • It's Such A Pretty
    World Today
  • Lonely Street
  • What A Wonderful World

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    Eddy Arnold
    "Looking Back"

    "This CD is filled with romantic songs, done with violins, all recorded in the sixties. I hope you will enjoy them, and if there is any fault, just blame it on the guy is singing them." -- Eddy Arnold, January 11, 2002.

    Eddy Arnold debuts as our Album Pick of the Week, with his collection of songs -- Looking Back -- Another compilation of his recordings. In this particular case, you discover an artist's original albums were never reissued on CD. Therefore, you have to research the songs that would be found on various "best-of" and "greatest hits" compilations. And when you put them all together, most likely, you have duplicate tracks.

    This was the case when I was researching Billboard Magazine's #1 Country Albums. Eddy Arnold achieved 9 #1 albums. One of them was a "Best Of" -- which is available on CD. The remaining 8 were original album releases, of which NONE of them available on CD. (Well, there was one out of the eight, but the price was much higher than your standard price of one CD.)

    From his "Best Of" and "Best Of Vol. 2," there were some songs from these collections from the original #1 albums. His albums reached #1 for many weeks, and trying to play a song for each of those #1 weeks was virtually impossible. In order to find them all, they would be from other Eddy Arnold compilations, and YouTube, or other mp3 sites. (Hopefully not receiving viruses from these mp3 sites, as many as I have seen -- you attempt to download the mp3, and your anti-virus recognizes it as a virus.) --- Another Country artist to mention, having this same situation in finding hard to find tracks, is Charley Pride. Like Arnold, most of his original albums are not available on CD.

    PUtting that rant aside, Looking Back is a wonderful collection set of Eddy Arnold's recordings, where these tracks were not his most popular, yet it is a collection of some well-known tracks, most likely recorded by others, and other album tracks from various albums. What is interesting, are the notes in the CD, as Eddy reflects on each song. (Just look at the top of this review, as he does this for this CD.)

    "Half As Much" -- "Curley Williams wrote it, Rosemary Clooney had the hit. I hope you won't mind me singing it."
    "Baby, That's Living" -- This song always made me want to get up and dance. Of course, I don't dance too well."
    "Here Comes Heaven" -- "Bob Tubert brought me this song. He nd Mr. Byers wrote it. I have always loved it."
    "Nothing But Time" -- "This is a song about a man that lost his woman, and he has nothing but time on his hands."
    "Gentle On My Mind" -- "John Hartford wrote a great song. He loved the rivers, I miss him very much."
    "Little Green Apples" -- "When a writer wants to make a singer feel good, write him a good song. That's what Bobby Russell did when he wrote 'Little Green Apples.' Bill Walker's arrangement is not bad either."
    "Faded Love" -- "I will never forget listening to Bob Wills perform this song."
    "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" -- "Chet [Atkins] played the guitar and directed the musicians on a great old love song."
    "Lay Some Happiness On Me" -- "A happy song."
    "Honey" -- "I will never forget this song. The hit was done by a fine young man by the name of Bobby Goldsboro, however, I just felt that I had to sing it."
    "The Other Side Of Lonely" -- "Anybody who has ever been in love can identify with these lyrics."
    "New World In The Morning" -- "After I heard Roger Whittaker sing it, I just had to record it."
    "Here Comes The Rain, Baby" -- "This song came from the pen of Mickey Newberry who was a good writer and a good singer."
    "It's Such A Pretty World Today" -- "This song just makes you feel good when you hear the lyrics."
    "Lonely Street" -- "I will always love this song."
    "What A Wonderful World" -- "What a wonderful song."

    The most recognized tracks are"Half As Much" (Hank Williams Sr.), "Gentle On My Mind" (Glen Campbell), "Little Green Apples" (O.C. Smith), "Honey," (Bobby Goldsboro) "It's Such A Pretty World Today" (Wynn Stewart). "What A Wonderful World" (Louis Armstrong). Some of the album tracks from his #1 albums: "Baby, That's Living," "Here Comes Heaven," "Nothing But Time" and (I think this was one of them), "Lonely Street."

    My only question is, are these tracks from the original albums? As Eddy quote from the start of this review - "This CD is filled with romantic songs, done with violins, all recorded in the sixties. His #1 albums were all from the sixties, so this is true, based on his mention. As I listened to this CD, it seemed the tracks had a more up-to-date sound, but then again, Eddy's voice would have been determined also. My guess it that these are the original tracks, therefore they can be used when referencing from his original albums, for DJ playlists, and other radio shows. It is a shame that one of Country's true legends does not have his catalogue of albums released on CD.

    Eddy Arnold kept recording throughout his entire life. In the 1980s, he was semi-retired, yet he still recorded. In 1991, he was awarded the Pioneer Award, from the Academy of Country Music. That same year saw the release of a new album, You Don't Miss A Thing. He performed road tours for several more years. By 1992, he had sold nearly 85 million records, and had a total of 145 weeks of No. 1 songs, more than any other singer. By 1996, RCA Records released his main successes as part of an "Eseential" series. Now at 76 years old, He retired from active singing, although he still performed on occasions. On May 16, 1999, the day after his 81st birthday, he announced his final retirement during a concert in Las Vegas. He received many awards up until 2005.

    Eddy Arnold died from natural causes in 2008, one week shy of his 90th birthday. His last album was released in 2005.

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