Jim Croce: Before the Fame
Rand Higbee | Hager City, WI United States | 06/03/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This could really be called "Jim Croce: Before the Fame" as he and his wife Ingrid recorded this album a few years before Croce would become a household name.I remember when Pickwick Records released these songs (minus a couple tracks) a few months after Croce's death under the title "Another Train, Another Town." I bought the album and, expecting some more songs like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," I was rather disappointed.More than 25 years later, however, I bought this album again, this time the CD version, and was rather surprised at how much I now enjoy these songs. No, there aren't any hits like "I Got a Name" or "Time in a Bottle." Rather, this is a portrait of an artist in the making. A musician who would soon rise to the verge of superstardom, only to die before he got there.And the songs are pretty good, really. Croce, in fact, liked the song "Age" so much that he recorded it again for what would turn out to be his last album.One warning: There are many versions of this album out there. Make sure you find one with 11 tracks on it. That is the complete version."
Must have for Croce fans
J. Cross | TN | 06/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is most valuable for the cut "Age", as when it is released later with Maury Muehleisen on lead guitar it sounded so different, and showed how much Maury influenced Jim. Also this album shows the folk type 60's sound that Ingrid and Jim captured perfectly. Some of the songs are very catchy. "What the Hell" is one of my all time Croce favorites (though some of you are too young to understand the Johnny Carson reference and may need to mentally substitute Jay Leno to understand it). After all these years I still love this album. But it is NOT quite like his later stuff. Though I will say that many people who have listened to it with me have said that there is a "freshness", an "energy", a special sound that is there that needs to be heard and compared to his later stuff and to what others were doing. MAKE SURE YOU GET THE VERSION WITH ALL 11 SONGS, NOT THE PICKWICK VESION THAT LEAVES OUT "I Am What I Am" AND "Next Man That I Marry", THE TWO SONGS RELEASED TO RADIO STATIONS AS SINGLES. By the way, in 1969 Maury Muehleisen released "Gingerbreadd", also on Capitol (produced by Cashman and West who later did all the Croce hits). It wasn't successful for pretty much the same reason, the music trend was changing for a time, but it was one of the best albums I have ever bought if not the most haunting. Even them Maury was a musical genius and a talented songwriter and singer. Later he would be heard on "Faces I've Been" with the song "I Remember Mary", and Croce recorded his song "Salon and Saloon". Croce toured with Maury to promote "Gingerbreadd" for a while as his rhythm guitarist. See www.maurymuehleisen.com/main.html run by Maury's sister Mary (a great person), who is ready to publish a book about Maury which will include a lot for Croce fans."