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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.

Customer Reviews

Best album ever!

This was the first album I ever owned. It was on eight-track, and the case was orange. Let's see, if I was born in '69 and this came out in '73, then I was four years old. Since then, I burned up that eight-track and got another one, then got it on vinyl when I was collecting albums as a teenager and well into my 20s, and now I have it on CD. If you don't own it and have never heard the tracks besides the charted singles, I highly, highly recommend you check it out. Tracks 12-15 are not part of the original album, but if it's Charlie Rich, it has to be good.

Blew me away

I had never heard of Charlie Rich until seeing the movie "High Fidelity", where there was a reference to his song "Behind Closed Doors." This album may not satisfy hardcore country purists... but it is masterful and moody and a hell of an example of Cosmic American Music - as Gram Parson once described his own country flavored, singer-songwriter flair. I loved it.

Unequalled

In 1973 I was a college sophomore with long hair and it seemed that this album was everywhere. Everyone I knew liked it and it cut across all demographics. We listened to it alongside post-psychedelic rock, American R&B, British progressive rock, Southern rock, classic country, and jazz. I lost my copy many years ago and was delighted to find it again on iTunes. Listening to it for the first time in decades I was stunned by Billy Sherrill's brilliant production, the restrained instrumentation and the purity of Charlie's voice. Highly, highly recommended.

Biography

Born: December 14, 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...
Full Bio
Behind Closed Doors, Charlie Rich
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