Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Double the trouble...
Jerry McDaniel | 02/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"the name of this review is meant as a compliment because it is no secret that when this album was originally issued that the two headliners on the album were no strangers to trouble. EPIC I assume counted on the larger-than-life persona's that both George and Johnny commanded in the hope of having a mega-successful album. the album wasn't the monster success EPIC had wished for in hindsight because almost 30 years later several fans of either artist seem genuinely amazed that this album was made...and that in itself speaks volumes when fans forget about an album's existence. so, what we have here are 10 duet recordings from George and Johnny all recorded during the later part of the 1970's, 1978/1979 to be specific and some of the material was issued through 1980 and 1981...so the album had a good shelf-life for a project not remembered much.
i seem to recall writing a review of the cassette version of this album that an independent label, Razor and Tie, had issued in 1996...but it vanished, I think...but I might be thinking of another review. The 10 songs on this collection are mostly their versions of rock and roll classics of the mid to late 1950's and early 1960's. Chuck Berry's big hit "Mabellene" is the biggest song from this DOUBLE TROUBLE project. The single hit late in 1978 and became a Top-10 hit in early 1979 paving the way for EPIC to continue the wave of success at a time when neither artist was having their biggest success in Nashville or country radio.
so, after the Top-10 finish of that single in early 1979, EPIC followed it up with the swaying sing-a-long "You Can Have Her", which hit in the summer of 1979 and made the Top-20, stopping four places short of the Top-10...so it, too, was a well received duet single. George and EPIC then released the now-classic MY VERY SPECIAL GUESTS project in 1979 which featured a further duet with Johnny, their take on "Proud Mary". EPIC then decided to issue DOUBLE TROUBLE which contained the previous three duet recordings in addition to seven more; released after the album hit the stores was the novelty "When You're Ugly Like Us You Just Naturally Got To Be Cool", which hit in the summer of 1980 and inched up into the Top-40 for a few weeks. 1980 was the year of George's "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and his career revival. EPIC issued one more single from DOUBLE TROUBLE late in 1980, their version of "You Better Move On", which hit the Top-20 in early 1981.
when DOUBLE TROUBLE hit the stores originally, it already consisted of three familiar duet recordings in addition to the two forthcoming singles not yet released. Let's talk a bit about the songs that weren't issued as singles...
In addition to "Proud Mary", George and Johnny tackled "Along Came Jones" with the two of them trading lines...then there's their high octane version of "Tutti Frutti", the Little Richard rock hit. "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Smack Dab In the Middle" are in the mid-tempo sing-a-long category...as is "Kansas City". The only legitimate ballad on the entire album is the closer, the previously mentioned "You Better Move On".
This collection of duets is not as bad as the critics and hardcore fans of either artist may lead you to believe. I do know that both artists have fan-bases that by and large prefer to hear ballads and given that 9 out of the 10 songs are mid-tempo to rollicking, up-tempo rocker-type material, those particular fans will be disappointed in this album. However, if you do not necessarily have a preference as to how you like to hear either of these artists, this DOUBLE TROUBLE is a fun, cute album that in retrospect was did simply for laughs...so in that scenario it is perhaps unfair to put an album like this up against any of their legitimate solo offerings.
This album came along in the summer of 1980 and it was re-issued on cassette and CD in 1996. An MP3 version of this album exists here on Amazon. I assume these pictures appeared originally on the back of the LP but in the cassette and CD releases there's a fold-out cover and there are five pictures of George and Johnny taken, featuring various poses and funny facial expressions much in the same style as the picture that is used on the front of the album."