Stardom is a funny thing. Sometimes a talented performer can labor for years turning out recordings of such a high quality that chart success seems a foregone conclusion. Then, a change of label, or producer, or public taste, and boom! Superstardom. Such was the trajectory of Barbara Mandrell s career. She started singing for producer Billy Sherrill at Columbia Records in Nashville, making one exceptional country-soul record after another. She enjoyed several solid Top 20 Columbia singles but never quite achieved pop-crossover stardom. Sherrill reluctantly let her go, and in 1975 Barbara signed with ABC/Dot later morphing into MCA. She subsequently enjoyed a Hall of Fame run with a long string of hits highlighted by two Entertainer of the Year awards from the Country Music Association the first female to accomplish the feat (the only other one is Taylor Swift!) her own NBC television show and other accolades too numerous to mention. Along the way, she blended her distinctive country-pop-rhythm and blues sound to appeal to audiences of all these genres.
9 bonus tracks
Now, with its release of This Time I Almost Made It The Lost Columbia Masters, Real Gone Music trains a spotlight on Barbara s unjustly neglected Columbia period. The 20-track collection features the CD debut of her 1974 album This Time I Almost Made It, including her country hits This Time I Almost Made It and Wonder When My Baby s Coming Home, compelling covers of country-pop classics of the period ( A Very Special Love Song, Words, You re All I Need To Get By, Something ), the rare non-LP side Son of a Gun and compilation album obscurity Scarlet Water plus a full seven unreleased tracks dating from her very first Columbia session in 1969 through 1970, headlined by her fantastic version of Joe Maphis Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, and Loud Music. In fact, only two of these tracks have appeared on CD before, and with remastering by Vic Anesini and Maria Triana at Sony s Battery Studios, and liner notes by Joe Marchese featuring quotes from the great lady herself and rare period photos, this is by any yardstick a major addition to the discography of a country music legend!