Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
10 Years of Hits
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
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Still the best collection around after all these years
Paul Tognetti | Cranston, RI USA | 11/06/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I cannot recall the last time I heard a Mickey Gilley tune on the radio. It would appear that his brand of country music is no longer in favor with todays country music crowd. And that is a shame. Mickey Gilley produced some of the best country music in the decade between 1974 and 1984. And "Ten Years of Hits", which was originally released back in 1984, remains the best anthology of the work of this marvelous artist.
There can be no doubt that Mickey Gilley was a dominant figure in country music during that period. In all, Gilley produced nearly 50 charted singles and accrued an impressive total of 17 #1 records on the Billboard Top Country Singles chart. He certainly had his fair share of success with original tunes like "Lonely Nights", "Tears of The Lonely" and his all-time biggest seller "She's Pulling Me Back Again" from the golden year 1977. But for the most part Mickey Gilley's bread and butter was his stunning covers of other peoples hits. His first #1 record was a remake of the George Morgan classic "Room Full of Roses". He would go on to cover nearly a dozen other great tunes written by legends like George Jones, Buddy Holly, Sam Cooke, Little Willie John and Smokey Robinson. You see, Mickey Gilley was more than just a country singer. For in his music you will detect a small helping of R&B, a smidgen of pop and some good old rock and roll. Much like his labelmate Charlie Rich, Gilley was not particularly easy to classify. I am really amazed he did not achieve more success on the pop charts than he did. Though I loved just about every one of the 20 cuts on this disc, my absolute favorites are the cover of the Ray Charles hit "You Don't Know Me", "Talk To Me" and most especially "True Love Ways". I have always loved that tune and while I am fond of the original version by Buddy Holly and the 1960's hit by Peter and Gordon I think that Gilley made the definitive version of that song.
Mickey Gilley became a cultural icon in the early 80's. His Gilley's nightclub would become the most famous country nightclub in the world. Among the legendary performers to appear at Gilley's during the 1980's were Ernest Tubb, George Jones, Emmylou Harris, Waylon Jennings, Randy Travis and Brenda Lee. And then of course there was the whole "Urban Cowboy" phenomenon. Sadly, Mickey Gilley closed his club in 1989. Shortly thereafter the entire complex burned down and Gilley's was only a memory. Today Mickey Gilley maintains a busy concert schedule at his theatre in Branson, Mo.
In spite of the fact that "Ten Years of Hits" was released some 20 years ago this is still your best buy. Perhaps one of the reissue labels will see fit to release a new compilation with additional tunes and updated information about what Mickey is up to these days. But in the meantime, go for this one. Highly Recommended."
The greatest male recording artist of all times except for E
Charlene Read | Belfast, ME USA | 11/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Always liked Mickey Gilley, but after seeing his show in Branson, Mo I can't say enough about what a great show he puts on. My husband and I plan to return to Branson to see him again. Wish he would include Sweet Caroline on one of his albums after seeing him perform on stage singing this song, I would love to have the recording and I know many of his fans would as well."
Shares his cousin's talent
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 10/12/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Mickey, a cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, was a formidable performer in his own with a long string of country hits to his credit in the seventies and eighties including seventeen number ones, most of them included here. Mickey was also the owner of the nightclub used as the setting for Urban cowboy, a movie that became a major influence on country music. Mickey's pop country style is typical of the brilliant soundtrack, which I reviewed long ago.
Many of Mickey's big hits were covers of old pop songs (Stand by me, True love ways) and country songs (I overlooked an orchid, Window up above, City lights) from the fifties and sixties. He had a few good original songs too, most notably Don't all the girls get prettier at closing time, A headache tomorrow or a heartache tonight and She's pulling me back again.
No single CD compilation can include all hits but this contains most of those that really matter. The most obvious omission is Paradise tonight, his chart-topping duet with Charly McClain. You can find it on a compilation of Charly's music, though it has also been added as a bonus track to the re-mastered version of 16 biggest hits (so it's got 17 tracks). That compilation contains 15 of the 20 tracks included here plus Fool for your love and Paradise tonight, omitting Tears of the lonely, You've really got a hold on me, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Chains of love and The power of positive drinking.
Perhaps somebody will one day release a double CD of Mickey's hits. Until then, this one or 16 biggest hits provide an impressive, if incomplete, overview of his career."