10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A master of the '60s-'70s countrypolitan sound, which mixed country music’s traditional approach with pop instrumentation, Glen Campbell is the perfect country artist to interpret folk, rock, and pop songs such as Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” Travis’ “Sing,” and The Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These.” Whereas Johnny Cash worked with producer Rick Rubin to strip down modern rock songs to their essentials, Campbell uses a team of producers to flesh out these songs with lush backing that occasionally hints at the orchestrated-string tension of his best work (“Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”). Here, Jackson Browne’s “These Days” retains its poignancy. Paul Westerberg’s “Sadly Beautiful” is delivered as a timeless ballad. The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” becomes a country standard, while Tom Petty’s “Walls” and “Angel Dream” benefit from Campbell’s warm, sincere delivery. There aren't any missteps here; just quality songs delivered by a true entertainment professional who never settles for irony. U2’s “All I Want Is You” sounds as if it were written for Campbell. John Lennon’s “Grow Old with Me” resounds as the closing hymn that Lennon had always envisioned.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A master of the '60s-'70s countrypolitan sound, which mixed country music’s traditional approach with pop instrumentation, Glen Campbell is the perfect country artist to interpret folk, rock, and pop songs such as Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” Travis’ “Sing,” and The Foo Fighters’ “Times Like These.” Whereas Johnny Cash worked with producer Rick Rubin to strip down modern rock songs to their essentials, Campbell uses a team of producers to flesh out these songs with lush backing that occasionally hints at the orchestrated-string tension of his best work (“Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”). Here, Jackson Browne’s “These Days” retains its poignancy. Paul Westerberg’s “Sadly Beautiful” is delivered as a timeless ballad. The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus” becomes a country standard, while Tom Petty’s “Walls” and “Angel Dream” benefit from Campbell’s warm, sincere delivery. There aren't any missteps here; just quality songs delivered by a true entertainment professional who never settles for irony. U2’s “All I Want Is You” sounds as if it were written for Campbell. John Lennon’s “Grow Old with Me” resounds as the closing hymn that Lennon had always envisioned.

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About Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell may have debuted in the early '60s as a dazzling session guitarist and singer—working for the likes of Elvis and Sinatra, and sometimes even taking Brian Wilson's place onstage in the Beach Boys—but he wound up rivaling any of his former clients as a hitmaker once he finally stepped behind the mic as a solo artist. Deploying his velvety croon as the urbane muse for songwriter Jimmy Webb, the Arkansas-born Campbell polished his early crossover smashes so exquisitely that Nashville's country purists barely accepted them. His string-laden epics, like "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Wichita Lineman," would steer the genre toward the pop dominance it still enjoys. But they were also haunting character studies that would eventually shape sounds as distinct and distant from Music Row as the thunderous power ballads of Guns N' Roses and the hushed alt-rock mystery of R.E.M. As a late-career performer, Campbell acknowledged his own encroaching mortality with astounding gravity and grace, searching for salvation in a tender hymn by punk progenitors The Velvet Underground and singing with the heartbreaking vulnerability of a man staring down life's finale.

HOMETOWN
Delight, AR
GENRE
Country
BORN
April 22, 1936

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