Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Picture of Me (Without You)/Nothing Ever Hurt Me
Genres: Country, Pop
With no biographical material needed for the iconic George Jones, let s get right to the music: 'A Picture Of Me (Without You)' is quite simply a George Jones masterpiece! Working with producer Billy Sherrill for the first... more »
Listen to Samples
With no biographical material needed for the iconic George Jones, let s get right to the music: 'A Picture Of Me (Without You)' is quite simply a George Jones masterpiece! Working with producer Billy Sherrill for the first time, Jones found the perfect foil to his now-famous hard honky tonk soul, Sherrill didn t try to tame Jones, but just lasso him in enough to make beautiful music. With many of the finest Nashville songwriters contributing songs, this five-star release (All Music Guide) is called by many the perfect George Jones album. Not to be outdone by its predecessor, Nothing 'Ever Hurt Me (Half As Bad As You)' (Jones second album with producer Billy Sherrill) picks up right where 'A Picture Of Me' left off and never looks back. Another five-star album (All Music Guide), Jones also scored a pair of Top 10 hits with this release (the title track and 'What MyWoman Can t Do'). This is George Jones at his best, and it's on American Beat Records!
Stellar twofer of Jones early work with Billy Sherrill
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 04/21/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By the early 1970s, George Jones had through lived enough personal and professional experience for several mere mortals. He'd been discovered by producer Pappy Daily, broke as a hardcore honky-tonker in the mid-50s, graduated into a compelling balladeer by decade's end, notched solo and duet classics throughout the `60s, developed a drinking habit that begat his "No Show Jones" nickname, divorce his second wife to marry Tammy Wynette (with whom he launched a successful string of duet releases), and left Daily behind when he signed with Epic in 1971. Epic teamed Jones with legendary countrypolitan producer Billy Sherrill, and after the optimistic, love-soaked George Jones (We Can Make It), the duo dug into this superb pair of albums.
1972's A Picture of Me (Without You) finds Jones and Sherrill getting more comfortable with one another. Sherrill's influence dominates the backgrounds with tight arrangements, measured tempos, smoothing touches of piano and strings, and backing vocals by the Jordanaires. There's a good helping of pedal steel, but it's Jones' voice that turns Sherrill's productions from a sticky trap into winning contrast. Jones sounds remarkably comfortable throughout these sessions, singing with the ease with which others merely speak. He'd recorded (and would again record) more pyrotechnically astonishing performances, but singing songs that reflected his troubled marriage, he connected at a basic human level with his material.
1973's Nothing Ever Hurt Me stretches in two directions, with Sherrill's arrangements a shade slicker and Jones' vocals a notch rawer. Even the ballads, like Don Gibson's "Made for the Blues," are sung in a straight country tone, without any sort of croon. Sherrill uses acoustic guitars to add a folksy edge to the layers of strings. Thematically, things seem to have been going better in the Jones-Wynette household, as the album features several love songs, and drinking only figures into the closer, "Wine (You've Used Me Long Enough)." Then again, the drinking song was a Jones-Wynette co-write, so who knows? As on the previous album, there are numerous individual highlights, including a solemn cover of Lefty Frizzell's "Mom and Dad's" waltz that gives Jones a chance to dig into his lower notes.
Given the huge amount of material Jones recorded for Musicor (before hopping to Epic) throughout the `60s, it's a wonder that he had anything left to give. The opportunity to slow down, pick and write songs, and work through arrangements with a strong-willed but sympathetic producer seems to have tapped into yet another reservoir of artistry. Jones has released nearly a hundred albums over the course of fifty years, but most were showcases for hit singles and filler; few were as solid as this pair. Though a greatest hits package is a good place to get a broader look, this two-fer is a terrific introduction to the basic elements of Jones' artistry. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"
attentive listener | Joysey | 05/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Possum has recorded a vast cache of what can only be described Country Music, he is the gold standard. Within those 59 years, and counting, of recording, 1962 through 1980 stand out as his personal best and right in the middle of that period, stand the two gems which comprise this CD. Not necessarily where I'd start with Jones, but if you're already in the club or if you enjoy Country Music at all, this will find itself in heavy rotation. The previous edition of this 2fer, which was on Koch, had sold out and was selling for silly dollars on ebay, until American Beat picked up the yoke. As the current label of other Jones' 2fers I petitioned them for exactly this release, and a year hence, here it is. Let the people be heard ! Trouble is, the legal interests in control of Jones' vast catalog is scattered and a bit of a hornet's nest. The best stuff is finally getting its due and this one is not to be missed."
GslimTM | Arlington, VA. | 07/08/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, I'm rating the entire product - the artist as well as the medium and arrangement/ presentation - the total package.
As for the artist and the songs, they are first-rate George Jones material from an epic lovesick crooning decade better described by the other reviews.
I subtracted one star for the packaging content - too lean on liner notes and photos, and I subtracted another star for the fact that this was re-issued in 2009 without being re-mastered.
At this point in time it's no secret that the original 80's digital masters of older analog material were horrors of sound quality, and things only got marginally better in the early 90's. Starting in 1996/97, a huge leap in mastering quality took place, leading to the boom in re-mastered back catalogs of major musical acts from the 60's and 70's, as well as some 80's stuff too. George Jones easily rates a re-master, and I could tell right off from listening to this disk, that they used some lousy inferior master to rush this out on the market. The sound quality stinks.
I know some people have no ear or care for production values, but you don't have to be an audiophile to appreciate crisp highs, warm and rich lows, and tight, focused, and lean mid range. And to know when a lousy, flat, dead master copy was used to make a re-issue."