The BGO label has continued its ongoing Glen Campbell reissue series by bringing three long-out-of-print albums to CD in one package. Following the late 2012 release of Try a Little Kindness/The Glen Campbell Goodtime Album/The Last Time I Saw Her, BGO has just brought together a trio of LPs originally released in 1972 and 1973: Glen Travis Campbell, I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star) and I Remember Hank Williams.
Following the release of Campbell’s New Jersey-recorded Live album from 1969, BGO has taken a more-or-less chronological approach to the singer-guitarist’s Capitol catalogue, overlooking duets albums (such as Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell and Anne Murray/Glen Campbell, both recently brought to CD by the Morello label), seasonal and gospel sets (That Christmas Feeling, Oh Happy Day) and soundtracks (True Grit, Norwood). Glen Travis Campbell/I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star)/I Remember Hank Williams is BGO’s sixth set for the artist.
Campbell closed out 1972 with the release of Glen Travis Campbell, the first of the three LPs in BGO’s package. With no new songs from Jimmy Webb and a new producer (Jimmy Bowen, replacing Al De Lory), Campbell was in somewhat uncharted territory. Bowen assembled an eclectic set of material from Leon Russell (“My Cricket”), Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen (“All My Tomorrows”), Roy Orbison (“Running Scared”) and Tom Paxton (“The Last Thing on My Mind”). Glen Travis Campbell yielded a couple of minor singles in Ronnie Gaylord’s “I Will Never Pass This Way Again” and “One Last Time” from the pen of The Addrisi Brothers of “Never My Love” fame. (The Addrisis also recorded “One Last Time” on their own 1972 Columbia long-player.) The album squeaked into the Top 150, which was a better showing than that of 1973’s I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star).
The title track of I Knew Jesus, co-written by Neal Hefti, earned Campbell a Top 50 placement on both the pop and country charts, but the album floundered commercially. With production again by Bowen and a musical team including Wrecking Crew members Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye and James Burton, I Knew Jesus didn’t limit itself to any one musical style. Glen tackled songs by Bob Dylan (“If Not for You”), Kinky Friedman (“Sold American”), Kenny O’Dell (“Take It On Home”) and Lefty Frizzell (“I Want to Be with You Always”). The final album on BGO’s collection saw Campbell and Bowen try a different approach. For his very next and 25th album, the singer and producer turned to a true country giant. I Remember Hank Williams eschewed most of the Wrecking Crew personnel (save pianist Larry Knechtel) and took a rootsier country approach to Williams’ catalogue as a songwriter and artist. Campbell surveyed such familiar songs as “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Cold, Cold Heart,” as well as Fred Rose and Hy Heath’s “Take These Chains From My Heart,” a posthumous hit for Williams in 1953. Despite a down-to-earth approach to some of the greatest C&W songs ever written, I Remember Hank Williams didn’t make much of an impression to record buyers, missing the U.S. pop album chart entirely.
After the jump: more details including complete track listings with discography, and order link!
John Tobler has contributed the liner notes, and Andrew Thompson has remastered the three albums for BGO. Glen Campbell’s next album, 1974’s Houston (I’m Comin’ to See You) (hopefully coming soon from BGO?) fared much better, largely thanks to its hit title track as well as “Bonaparte’s Retreat.” He would just have to wait one more year to return to the top of the charts with crossover smashes like “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”
Glen Travis Campbell/I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star)/I Remember Hank Williams is available now, and can be ordered at the link below!
Glen Campbell, Glen Travis Campbell/I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star)/I Remember Hank Williams (BGO BGOCD1085, 2013)
CD 1: Glen Travis Campbell (Tracks 1-10)/I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star) (Tracks 11-20)
- I Will Never Pass This Way Again
- One Last Time
- Sweet Fantasy
- She Thinks I Still Care
- Running Scared
- Someone to Give My Love To
- All My Tomorrows
- My Cricket
- Just For What I Am
- The Last Thing on My Mind
- I Knew Jesus (Before He Was a Star)
- Take It On Home
- Sold American
- I Want to Be with You Always
- If Not for You
- Give Me Back That Old Familiar Feeling
- You’re the One
- Amazing Grace
- On This Road
- Someday Soon
CD 2: I Remember Hank Williams
- Half as Much
- Your Cheatin’ Heart
- I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
- You Win Again
- I Could Never Be Ashamed of You
- Wedding Bells
- Cold, Cold Heart
- Take These Chains From My Heart
- I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still in Love with You)
- Mansion on the Hill
CD 1, Tracks 1-10 from Capitol SW 11117, 1972 & Tracks 11-20 from Capitol SW 11185, 1972
CD 2, Tracks 1-10 from Capitol SW 11253, 1973