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The perfect start to the music of Kenny Rogers
Rob | UK | 10/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1977, after Kenny Rogers had left the First Edition, had a global Number 1 with the hit "(You picked a fine time to leave me) Lucille" and success with the solo albums "Kenny Rogers" and "Daytime Friends", United Artist records released a greatest hit's compilation called "Ten years of gold", which contained 10 of Rogers hit singles from the past decade. The album was a huge success and is still selling now.
Kenny Rogers has cut a diverse range of material. Although his greatest success has of course been in Country music, he has also cut Pop, Rock N Roll, Jazz, Folk and Gospel. This album covers most (though not all) the ground. It is probably the best "introduction" to Kenny Rogers as one will get. The later hit's packages try and cover too much too quickly, box sets and double albums last too long (unless you already know the artist in question, of course).
The album starts off with a solo re-recording of "Ruby, Don't Take your love to town", a global hit for the 1st edition in 1969. Still performed live by Rogers today and along with "Coward of the county", "Lucille" and "The Gambler" is Rogers best known recording around the world. The song is a tale of woe of a solider who is at deaths door, has been paralysed by a war and how he is begging his unfaithful partner not to cheat on him. "The lyrics are very depressing" Rogers has said, "But the tune of the so is so upbeat, i think people don't notice it until later and that's when it hit's you". "I'm singing about a guy who's at the worst time of his life, yet people are clapping and dancing when I sing it" he concludes. The second track on the album is "Reuben James", another 1st Edition hit written by Alex Harvey. A story of a black man who raised a white child, a very controversial song at the time, yet one of his best. The song is also about loving someone deeply outside a sexual relationship, which cannot be said for the erotic "Something's Burning" (a top 10 hit in 1970) , there is no double meaning to the lyrics "can't you feel it baby, can't you feel it here it cums". A very risqué record, especially for Kenny Rogers, but nevertheless it has a charm about it. "But you know I love you" and "Just Dropped in (too see what condition my condition was in)" are here, these are the most noted tracks on the album as they are missing in later Greatest Hits collections. They were the 1st two hit's for Rogers back in his 1st Edition days and are fine mixes of Country, Folk and Rock. "But you know I love you" was written by Mike Settle, one of the original members of the band. After The First Edition's broke up, following their last hit "Today, I started Loving you again" in 1973 (also included here) Rogers career was in trouble. He was still touring but his records weren't selling. In 1976, he had some success with the singles "Love lifted me" and "while the feelings good" (both included here) but nothing Earth shattering, as such. "People were telling me, you should find another Ruby, don't take your love to town. "Which aren't easy to find, or I would have found one long before that" Rogers told Radio DJ Terry Wogan some years after. However, Rogers did just that in 1977. "(You picked a fine time to leave me) Lucille" was a global smash and sorted out all the money problems Rogers has occurred during the bleak period of his career. Before long Rogers was one of the biggest stars and highest paid people in the world. "Daytime Friends (and night-time lovers)" followed "Lucille" and was another Number 1 hit that year. The former frontman of the 1st edition had moved on to even bigger things despite being almost 40 years old. He was now at the peak of a career that had already lasted three decades (his 1st single was in 1955 - long before the first edition formed). This album covers 1967-1977. Wheater it's your 1st time listening to Kenny Rogers or adding to the collection, this is an album you will want to play again and again."
CountryFan21 | 10/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kenny Rogers is one of the kings of Country, M.O.R and all music's. A great album!!"