20 Songs, 1 Hour, 10 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd joined forces to release three albums together in the late '80s, before Foster embarked on his own successful solo career. Their sound borrows equally from the neo-traditionalism of Dwight Yoakam, the gritty roots rock of Steve Earle, and the jangly pop of R.E.M. “Crazy Over You” was the duo's biggest hit, a cute song that Elvis might have sung back in his RCA prime. Foster & Lloyd could spark up cracking honky-tonk tunes like “Fast and Louder” and “Is It Love?,” but they didn't conjure the big-spur machismo of Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson. Instead, they excelled at the sort of brooding, sensitive country songs that might well have appealed to fans of early R.E.M.: “Don’t Go Out with Him,” “Sure Thing," “Before the Heartache Rolls In,” and “White Train” would be right at home on Document or Lifes Rich Pageant. In the end, Foster & Lloyd probably didn’t have enough of an image to stick in Nashville, but they had the songwriting chops, and that’s what makes The Essential Foster & Lloyd relevant long after many of their former peers have dropped off the map.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Radney Foster and Bill Lloyd joined forces to release three albums together in the late '80s, before Foster embarked on his own successful solo career. Their sound borrows equally from the neo-traditionalism of Dwight Yoakam, the gritty roots rock of Steve Earle, and the jangly pop of R.E.M. “Crazy Over You” was the duo's biggest hit, a cute song that Elvis might have sung back in his RCA prime. Foster & Lloyd could spark up cracking honky-tonk tunes like “Fast and Louder” and “Is It Love?,” but they didn't conjure the big-spur machismo of Garth Brooks or Alan Jackson. Instead, they excelled at the sort of brooding, sensitive country songs that might well have appealed to fans of early R.E.M.: “Don’t Go Out with Him,” “Sure Thing," “Before the Heartache Rolls In,” and “White Train” would be right at home on Document or Lifes Rich Pageant. In the end, Foster & Lloyd probably didn’t have enough of an image to stick in Nashville, but they had the songwriting chops, and that’s what makes The Essential Foster & Lloyd relevant long after many of their former peers have dropped off the map.

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About Foster and Lloyd

Foster & Lloyd stood out from the contemporary country pack in the late '80s thanks to Radney Foster's intelligent, literate lyrics; Bill Lloyd's flair for memorable pop melodies; and the duo's Everly Brothers-style close harmony singing. It was an influential mix that, in its own way, helped pave the way for country's crossover success of the '90s. Foster & Lloyd met in 1985 while working as staff songwriters for the MTM publishing firm. Foster had grown up in Del Rio, Texas, and attended the University of the South, a liberal arts college in Sewanee, Tennessee, before moving to Nashville to make it in the music business. Lloyd, meanwhile, was a native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, who loved the chiming, Beatlesque sound of power pop nearly as much as country music. When their composition "Since I Found You" became a hit for the Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Foster & Lloyd managed to score a record deal of their own with RCA on the strength of the demo tape they'd recorded together. Their self-titled 1987 debut was a hit, paced by the Top Ten singles "Crazy Over You," "Sure Thing," and "What Do You Want from Me This Time"; a fourth single, "Texas in 1880," made the Top 20. Their 1989 follow-up album, Faster & Llouder, received equally complimentary reviews from critics and sold fairly well, but didn't spin off hit singles in quite the same way. 1990's Version of the Truth confirmed their commercial downturn, and the duo subsequently split up to pursue solo careers. Foster recorded several solo albums during the '90s, veering between neo-traditional country and roots rock, while Lloyd returned to his power pop roots on two '90s albums of his own, also working often as a session guitarist. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Nashville, TN
  • GENRE
    Country
  • FORMED
    1987

Songs

Albums

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