Written by Fantasma el Rey
Meet Glen Campbell, ladies and gents, a well-loved and respected country music artist whose career has spanned over fifty years and seventy albums. Along the way Campbell has racked up many country/pop hits that have stood the test of time and are still spun on jukeboxes today, like “Galveston,” “Wichita Lineman,” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” These heartfelt songs of love and everyday working life are what have made him the beloved icon he is today. With his latest effort he has handpicked some of the best rock hits of past years and has left his warm, slightly melancholy impression on them.
The 72-year-old Campbell chose ten mid-tempo rock tunes and with his calm voice and accomplished guitar picking has interrupted them in a way that is definitely his own. Although that doesn’t mean that these ten tracks are completely re-worked just “Campbell-fied.” If you know his tunes, mentioned above, then you have the basic blueprint for this CD. There are some surprising choices but they all lend themselves well to Campbell’s style.
The disk opens with Travis’ “Sing,” which is a wonderful tune that sets the tone for the rest of the CD. Campbell’s version is almost a complete cover and not a remake. What I mean is that the song remains the same, no pun intended, as the original. The instrumentation is nearly exact; Campbell’s vocals are close as well. Tom Petty’s “Walls” and “Angel Dream” get the same sort of treatment: “Walls” has the same sweeping sound in its string section and a good, solid beat, as “Angel Dream” strikes a chord with its galloping drums and banjo-picking.
Campbell covers some major modern hits as well with U2’s “All I Want Is You” and Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life).” Both songs come across as more country sounding as “Good Riddance” adds more instruments, but too little has changed to make them truly stand out as Johnny Cash did with his American Recordings (specifically “Rusty Cage” and “Hurt”), shaking the originals into something different. The same can be said of The Replacements’ “Sadly Beautiful,” Jackson Browne’s “These Days” and John Lennon’s “Grow Old With Me.”