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Album Review

Since he only left a precious few full-length albums behind, fans have always clamored for more recordings from the late/great Jim Croce. Probably one of the most sought-after items was an ultrarare album that Croce issued himself back in 1966, Facets. With 500 dollars in his pocket (a wedding gift from his parents), Croce recorded 11 tracks and pressed up 500 copies of the resulting album — all of which were snapped up except for a handful. With the majority of Croce's fans never having the chance to hear these early tracks, the folks at Shout Factory have finally reissued this ultrarare recording (on CD for the very first time) — as it's been expanded to a two-disc set, which includes seven collaborative tracks between Jim and his wife, Ingrid Croce, titled "Jim and Ingrid Too." Of course, Facets is aimed strictly at Croce's most ardent fans, but they won't be disappointed. Although Croce was still finding his own voice and style, such tracks as "Steel Rail Blues" show that the singer/guitarist was already on his way to greatness. On the second disc, the music resembles more of the acoustic/folk style that Croce would become aligned with during the early '70s, while Ingrid's vocals harmoniously coexist with Jim's, especially on such standouts as "Child of Midnight," "It's All Over, Mary Ann," and especially the delightful "Hard Times Be Over."


Born: January 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s

In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in his or her prime, when just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national or international level. One such artist was Jim Croce, a songwriter with a knack for both upbeat, catchy singles and empathetic, melancholy ballads. Though Croce only recorded a few studio albums before an untimely plane crash, he continues to be remembered posthumously. Croce appealed to fans as a common man,...
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