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Ten Years of Hits

Mickey Gilley

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Album Review

Mickey Gilley may have been indebted to Jerry Lee Lewis, or it could be that the two cousins shared the same influences as well as bloodline, so they came out as near mirror images, right down to the way Gilley delivers a lascivious chuckle at the end of a verse in "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time." Mickey followed in Jerry Lee's country footsteps, never rocking as hard as the Killer did at Sun, but playing a blend of rock, gospel, pop, and country that strongly recalled Lewis' hits on Smash and Mercury. He finally had his breakthrough in 1974, after Playboy/Epic signed him and brought his Texas hit cover of George Morgan's "Room Full of Roses" to a national audience that sent it to number one. For the next ten years, he was a constant presence at the top of the country charts, scoring 17 number ones and becoming a pop culture touchstone when his bar, Gilley's, was used as a key location in the era-defining John Travolta film Urban Cowboy. Released in 1984, the two-LP (now one-CD), 20-track Ten Years of Hits chronicles this time expertly, containing all those number one hits along with three other Top Ten hits. The biggest flaw in the collection is that it isn't sequenced chronologically, which is only a problem because as the years wore on, Gilley turned increasingly to slick, sentimental ballads and oldies covers designed for the pop crossover audience that he stumbled upon. A few of these go a long way and, fortunately, only a few of them are here, with the great majority of this collection devoted to tear-in-your-beer ballads like "Room Full of Roses" and "I Overlooked an Orchid" or juke-joint ravers like "Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time" and "The Power of Positive Drinkin'." These do recall Lewis — one that still delivers the musical goods, but isn't as fiery or wild, even on the slower numbers. But, if you want that crazed excitement, you go to the Killer. If you want to hear good, pure country music, Gilley (usually) served it up straight during his ten years on Playboy/Epic and the music still sounds just as good years later.

Customer Reviews

Wow I'm Impressed

This is a really cool album. I'm not a real country fan but I dig his sound. Reminds me of Jerry Lee Lewis. Sounds ever better when I'm drunk!

Mickey Gilley's Ten Years Of Hits

I would like to see the single "Stand By Me" to be offered by itself. That version was the one played on the radio that I grew to enjoy, and I would like to be able to get it for my collection.

Biography

Born: March 9, 1936 in Natchez, MS

Genre: Country

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

For most of his career, pianist/vocalist Mickey Gilley lived in the shadow of his cousin, Jerry Lee Lewis, playing a similar fusion of country, rock, blues, and R&B. In the early '70s, he managed to breakthrough into country stardom, but it wasn't until the late '70s,...
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Ten Years of Hits, Mickey Gilley
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