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Spooky Lady's Sideshow

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By 1974, Kris Kristofferson’s highly literate and hard-bitten blend of folk music, soul, and rock ’n’ roll had become its own brand. The one-time professor of English literature was not only a revered songwriter, but he had also become a full-blown movie star. Kristofferson began to process his massive success on Spooky Lady’s Sideshow, which pursues nightmarish visions of wealth, fame, and drug addiction. “Shandy (The Perfect Disguise)” and “Same Old Song” show how dreams of success can quickly turn to nightmares of pain and claustrophobia, but the album’s overall theme is best summarized by “One For the Money”: “Too many bodies in too many bars / Too many feelings are falling behind / Cause you're easy to fool when you're lost in the stars / Shoot out that spotlight before you go blind.” The imagery is as sharp as any in Kristofferson’s career, but Sideshow failed to match the sales of his previous albums. In retrospect, it is a powerful examination of disillusionment and desperation, and it contains some of the best playing and most unusual arrangements of Kristofferson’s career.


Born: June 22, 1936 in Brownsville, TX

Genre: Country

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

After a lengthy period of struggle, Kris Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," and "For the Good Times," all chart-topping hits, helped redefine country songwriting, making it more personal and serious, much in the way that Bob Dylan's songs had transformed pop music songwriting in the mid-'60s. By 1987, it was estimated that Kristofferson's compositions...
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