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Behind Closed Doors

Charlie Rich

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Album Review

Charlie Rich had been heading toward full-blown country-pop on his previous Epic records, but Behind Closed Doors is where Billy Sherrill pulled out all of the stops and created a heavily orchestrated, pop-oriented album. It's to Rich's credit that he never sounds like he's drowning amid the grand production and layers of instruments — in an odd way, he thrives. While Behind Closed Doors doesn't have the casual eclecticism that distinguished all of Rich's past recordings, it is an expertly crafted album — it's easy to see why it made the Silver Fox a superstar. All of the material, from the hit singles ("Behind Closed Doors," "The Most Beautiful Girl," "I Take It On Home") to the album tracks, are classy songs, designed to appeal to a maturing country audience. Furthermore, the arrangements expertly walk the line between pop and schmaltz — the sound of Behind Closed Doors is the sound of early-'70s countrypolitan and numerous artists used the record as a template for their own style. Rich made better, grittier records, but the combined collaborative effort of the vocalist and Sherrill resulted in a seamless, influential work — even if it is one that earned the scorn of hardcore country purists.

Biography

Born: 14 December 1932 in Colt, AR

Genre: Country

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Charlie Rich was simultaneously one of the most critically acclaimed and most erratic country singers of post-World War II era. Rich had all the elements of being one of the great country stars of the '60s and '70s, but his popularity never matched his critical notices. What made him a critical favorite also kept him from mass success. Throughout his career, Rich willfully bended genres, fusing country, jazz, blues, gospel, rockabilly, and soul. Though he had 45 country hits in a career that spanned...
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Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich
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