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Country - Released July 23, 2021 | Big Machine Records

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Country - Released January 1, 1968 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Nashville

The best of Campbell's early albums, and also his first real commercial success. Ironically, the title track (written by John Hartford) which started Campbell on the road to stardom, was never intended for release -- he had submitted it as a demo, and Capitol issued it, to everybody's profit. Campbell's cover of "Catch the Wind" is one of the finest covers of a Donovan song ever done, stripping away any hint of the composer's sub-Dylan pretensions and bringing out the song's genuine beauty -- it's folk-pop, in the same manner that Peter, Paul and Mary's cover of Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind" was, but excellent folk-pop. This is Campbell's folksiest album, albeit with string orchestra accompaniment, as he covers "Bowling Green," "Mary in the Morning," and the title tune, and you get to hear him do a solo guitar and voice number, his own "Just Another Man." Even the most overproduced stuff here, "You're My World" and Rod McKuen's "The World I Used to Know," come off well, and Campbell is in excellent voice throughout, most especially on a wonderfully restrained and beautiful rendition of Roy Orbison's "Crying." Gentle On My Mind was reissued in August of 2001 as part of Capitol-Nashville's "Cornerstones" series, in an upgraded, remastered edition with crisper sound than the 1996 Capitol CD. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Country - Released July 1, 1975 | CMCapNash (N91)

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Glen Campbell, who spent his life building a sturdy bridge between country and pop, was above all a voice. A voice as iconic as those of Frank Sinatra, Elvis or Ella Fitzgerald. In 1975 when Rhinestone Cowboy was released, the well-coiffed Arkansas-born singer who also hosted a weekly talk show on CBS was showered with golden records and Grammy Awards. This 13th album, which begins with the single of the same name, was one of his most popular records. Rhinestones Cowboy launched Campbell right back up to the top of the charts, after he deserted them for a while at the beginning of the ‘70s. Thanks to the Dennis Lambert-Brian Potter producing duo, who wrote the first four songs on the album, Glen Campbell tapped into all his know-how and embodied a country boy who had come to town to do the impossible, perfectly crooning down the mic without ever turning his songs into schmaltzy tear-jerkers. Here, he covers hits by the likes of Smokey Robinson (My Girl), Randy Newman (Marie) and Barry Mann (We're Over) while never copying their styles. It was in this slightly kitschy territory, situated somewhere between country, pop, folk and soft rock, that Campbell ruled supreme. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Country - Released January 1, 1987 | EMI Trade Marketing

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Country - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Nashville

This LP, a certified double-platinum album, captures Campbell's appeal at his most mainstream, mixing midtempo country-pop, spiced by a smooth if unambitious cover of Otis Redding's "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" and the prettiest version of Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe" ever done. The latter two make the album hipper than Campbell himself seemed to most of us at the time. On the other hand, there's ample romantic pop here, including his heartfelt, string-laden performance of the McKuen/Brel "If You Go Away" and "Words." Right there at the center of Campbell's appeal is the still-beautiful title track (for which he had composer Jimmy Webb's organ hauled to the studio to re-create its exact sound from the demo) and "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife," alongside midtempo country-pop like Billy Ed Wheeler's sprightly "Ann" and Campbell's own "Fate of Man." Sonny Curtis' "The Straight Life" is closer in spirit to the Mary Tyler Moore theme song (still a year or so away) than to the work of an ex-Buddy Holly compadre, and Sonny Bono's singsongy divorce ode, "You Better Sit Down Kids," did little to enhance the future congressman's musical credibility. He saves the best for last" "That's Not Home," the most heartfelt song here. The production is excellent throughout, if a little overly reliant on strings. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1977 | Capitol Records

Following two excellent records made with producers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, Glen Campbell turned to Gary Klein for 1977's Southern Nights, a record that retains some of the feel of Rhinestone Cowboy and Bloodline but is simultaneously too streamlined and diffuse, never developing the unified sound of either of its predecessors. That hardly means it's a bad album, of course; but it does mean that it's a record of moments, individual bright spots that stand alone and never quite gel into something cohesive. Part of the problem is that the best moments have different, not necessarily complimentary, moods. There are the two big singles, Allen Toussaint's "Southern Nights" and Neil Diamond's "Sunflower," both sharing a cheerful catchiness and a bright, colorful feel. Then, there is a pair of songs from Jimmy Webb, "This Is Sarah's Song" and "Early Morning Song." While not on the level of the fine Reunion, they both offer further proof that Campbell is Webb's best interpreter. Along with a good, albeit slightly maudlin, reading of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows," the other highlights are two songs from Michael Smotherman, a singer/songwriter who would be given a greater showcase on Campbell's next effort, Basic. Although now a forgotten songwriter, Smotherman was a solid tunesmith, firmly within the '70s sensitive singer/songwriter tradition, and his songs bring out the best in Campbell. The rest of the record -- "Guide Me," "Let Go," "How High Did We Go" -- are also from forgotten writers, and they're entirely too generic soft rock, emphasizing that Smotherman had some true skills (something that Basic confirmed). So Southern Nights is a bit of a mixed bag, but those three separate sets of highlights are excellent and help elevate the record to one of Campbell's better ones, no matter how flawed it ultimately is. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released July 21, 2019 | CMCapNash (N91)

The Legacy 1961-2017 is a revamped version of The Legacy 1961-2002, a four-disc box set originally released in 2003. The big difference between the two sets lies in the fourth disc. In Legacy's first incarnation, the fourth disc was devoted to live material, whereas the 2019 edition dedicates that final CD to Campbell's remarkable 21st century comeback. Thirteen highlights from 2008's Meet Glen Campbell, 2011's Ghost on the Canvas, 2013's See You There, 2015's I'll Be Me, and 2017's Adios comprise this fourth disc, making for a much better conclusion than the grab bag of live cuts from the 2003 box. While it's still possible to quibble about song selection on the three main discs -- there are a handful of minor masterworks like "Christian No" missing and perhaps too much material from the '80s -- overall, the box does an excellent job of telling Campbell's story, especially now that it has a fine final act in place. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2011 | Capitol Nashville

There is no definitive Glen Campbell compilation, but this 130-minute, two-disc set from England comes very close to it, and also forms a perfect compliment to Razor & Tie's Glen Campbell Collection: 1962-1989 (which it overlaps amazingly little). With 46 songs, selected from various singles, starting with Campbell's first pop/rock hit "Universal Soldier" and rarities such as the beautiful flops "Guess I'm Dumb" (co-authored and produced by Brian Wilson) and "Less of Me," along with various album tracks and B-sides, it's as good a cross-section of his sound (including two duets with Bobbie Gentry) and his successes as you can find. What's more, by ranging freely through the hits and the album cuts, it shows off Campbell's strengths in various idioms, from the country-ish "Just Another Man" and the more pop-focused "It's Over," to the brilliant "Reason to Believe" and non-LP sides, such as "You're Young and You'll Forget" sandwiched in between "Wichita Lineman" and Campbell's own "Everytime I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You." "True Grit," the title-song of the film in which he co-starred, is very much a piece with the best of his singles from that era, immersed in rich melodic textures, supported by moderately dense orchestration backing a superb vocal performance. Disc two is intriguing for its inclusion of the Jimmy Webb songs Campbell recorded during the early '70s (beginning with "Honey Come Back") that didn't become hits, and which haven't been heard often (if at all) on CD; they make a logical core for the second half of Campbell's Capitol history, and have generally been ignored along with most of that history (other than "Rhinestone Cowboy" and "Southern Nights"), and "As Far As I'm Concerned," "It's Only Make Believe," "Just Another Piece of Paper," "Last Time I Saw Her," and "Dream Sweet Dreams About Me" are among the best sides Campbell ever recorded, and are comparable to his finest work from the 1960s. The sound is crisp, state-of-the-art fidelity circa 1998, which makes it comparable (or superior) to most of the rival compilations out there from American Capitol. The annotation is also reasonably thorough, and the packaging is neat and unpretentious. This British release is worth tracking down, though its virtues are also both sad reflections of the lack of respect with which American Capitol has usually treated Campbell's catalog. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Nashville

Glen Campbell's commercial breakthrough came by way of the title track, which was the direct precursor in production terms to "Wichita Lineman," and by the same writer. The cover of Paul Simon's "Homeward Bound" is sincere if a little perfunctory, but Campbell's rendition of Ernest Tubb's "Tomorrow Never Comes" is a bravura performance, rich and soulful, as well as recalling Rodgers & Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" as done by Gerry & the Pacemakers. "Cold December in Your Heart" harks back to Campbell's country-folk material, a piece of midtempo country-pop. Material like that and the similar "Back in the Race," Dorsey Burnette's "Hey Little One," Jerry Reed's "You're Young and You'll Forget," and Bill Anderson's "Bad Seed" hold up better than more pop-focused numbers like "My Baby's Gone," though the string backings on most of these very much date them. The final number here, the touching "Love Is a Lonesome River," makes a brilliant coda. By the Time I Get to Phoenix was reissued in August of 2001 in a newly remastered, upgraded edition, with somewhat crisper sound, as part of Capitol-Nashville's Cornerstones series. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2012 | Fantasy Records

In 1965 Glen Campbell was a session guitarist and singer from Arkansas who had played and sung on countless surf, hot rod, and sunshine pop records that labels and studios in California were issuing in the mid-'60s. After he filled in for Brian Wilson as a touring member of the Beach Boys that year, the Beach Boys' label, Capitol Records, offered Campbell a solo recording contract, which paid off two years later when Campbell's pop-folky country version of John Hartford's poetic and tumbling "Gentle on My Mind" hit the pop charts. Campbell's solo career was on the way. Meanwhile, Jimmy Webb, an Oklahoma-born songwriter, was just starting to place his elegantly crafted songs with recording artists. He had written a song called "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," a beautifully realized song about love slipping away, which pop crooner Tony Martin recorded for Motown Records. Motown never released it, but somehow Johnny Rivers heard it, and it was through Rivers that Campbell encountered the song. Campbell's version topped the charts at the end of 1967, and he commissioned another song from Webb. It was the start of a unique and fluid collaboration and friendship between the two, both of whom helped each other get their careers off the ground. The song Webb came up with, "Wichita Lineman," was a gorgeous, haunting piece of contemporary Americana full of longing, distance, loneliness, and resigned exhaustion that became the middle song of a loose song cycle, the so-called "town songs" cycle, with "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" and 1969's equally compelling and impressive "Galveston." This set is a rare look at the singer and the songwriter performing together, Webb on piano and Campbell on guitar and singing, filmed, taped, and recorded in 1983 in the Hamilton, Ontario studios of CHCH-TV as part of the Canadian concert series In Session. The sound is sparse and perfectly fitted to letting the songs themselves shine out, and while the versions here of songs like "Wichita Lineman" and "Galveston" (which is done slower than the original single -- the slowed-down tempo somehow fills the song with even more yearning) are elegant and reverent, they certainly don't replace the original single versions, but they do augment them. The video portion of the In Session show is also here, with filmed interviews with Campbell and Webb. As an archival-type release that shines light on what Webb and Campbell created, particularly with the "town songs" cycle, this set is well worth a listen. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1968 | CMCapNash (N91)

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Country - Released February 17, 2015 | Universal Music

Booklet
The final chapters of Glen Campbell's life have played out like something from an old movie -- just as Campbell was re-launching his career with the albums Meet Glen Campbell and Ghost on the Canvas, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, and since then, the great singer and instrumentalist has been saying a long goodbye to his audience, trying to make music as long as he possibly can. And now that story is a movie -- filmmaker James Keach and a camera crew tagged along for Campbell's farewell concert tour, and the footage provides the backdrop for Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me, a documentary about Campbell and his family as he struggles to hold on to himself while Alzheimer's takes its toll. The film's soundtrack album certainly reflects Campbell's condition, as he takes the lead on only six of its ten tracks, two of which are slightly different versions of the same recording. Elsewhere, Campbell's daughter Ashley performs "Home Again" and "Remembering" with skill and poignancy, while the Band Perry contribute two versions of their polished but rootsy cover of "Gentle on my Mind." As for Campbell, his live performances at Nashville Ryman Auditorium and the single "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" are powerful stuff -- his voice isn't as strong as it once was, and one can hear a faint uncertainty in his phrasing, but it's obvious how much this music means to him, and there's an undercurrent of passion and gratitude that's unavoidable. Music was Glen Campbell's life, and the obvious if unstated theme of I'll Be Me Soundtrack is his desire to keep music in his life in spite of his battle with time and illness; the album is something of a patchwork with its various vocalists and multiple versions, but there's something extraordinary in Campbell's performances that will make this a deeply moving experience for his fans. © Mark Deming /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Nashville

On Glen Campbell's albums -- By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Wichita Lineman -- the Jimmy Webb-authored title cuts tended to dominate the LP tracks somewhat; good as the album tracks were, they usually weren't quite up to the standard achieved by the AM-aimed title songs. On Galveston, Campbell and producer Al DeLory overcame that problem -- the Jimmy Webb title tune is fine, to be sure, but this time out, Campbell and DeLory no longer felt the need for the singer to cover contemporary rock and soul hits like "Homeward Bound" and "Dock of the Bay," which he pulled off, but not as well as some other songs he might've sung on those earlier albums. On Galveston, he stuck closer to country with some pop embellishments and found a better fit. The result is a smooth, lively, sentimental, and occasionally even exciting album. Jimmy Webb's "Where's the Playground Susie" was the other hit off this album, but no one needed to think of skipping to it, around such heartfelt Campbell performances as "Gotta Have Tenderness" or "Time"; "Friends," built around the melody to "Danny Boy," may come dangerously close to sinking in mawkishness, but Campbell compensates for it with another co-authored effort, "If This Is Love," a stunning guitar workout with a haunting melody and sincere urgency in his singing; he also shows off his guitar prowess (and the harder side of his voice) on "Oh What a Woman," and to some extent on "Every Time I Itch I Wind up Scratching You." And he wraps himself very neatly around the New Christy Minstrels' number, "Today," singing it with a directness and honesty that makes one forget the original. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Nashville

It doesn't really matter if Glen Campbell was Jimmy Webb's best interpreter or if Webb gave Campbell his best songs -- in other words, it doesn't matter who helped the other more -- because it doesn't change the essential fact that the duo fit each other so naturally. Webb's intricate, idiosyncratic compositions sounded warm and accessible in Campbell's hands, while the songs revealed Campbell's musical range and ambition. Other singers had big hits with Webb's songs and Campbell made tremendous music with other people's songs, but there was something special about their collaboration that was evident on their big hits of the '60s: "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman," "Galveston," "Where's the Playground, Suzie?." These songs provided the background for Reunion, the 1974 album where Campbell and Webb reunited for a set of Webb songs. Well, that's not exactly accurate, since Webb never produced or arranged the hits Campbell had in the '60s, and the record isn't entirely written by Webb, since it features Susan Webb's "About the Ocean" and Lowell George's "Roll Um Easy" (here retitled "Roll Me Easy"). So, this marks the first time that Webb arranged a full album of Campbell's, along with providing the majority of the songs, a move that in many ways made this closer to a Jimmy Webb record than a Glen Campbell LP. Certainly, it favored Webb's idiosyncrasies, particularly his elliptical songs with winding melodies and no straightforward songs. Not a song here outside of "Roll Me Easy" announces itself as a potential single (which very well may be why this tremendous song was added to the play list, particularly as the first single, since it might be the easiest way into the record for most listeners). Since most of the songs share a similar easy mid-tempo pace and have similar lushly interwoven arrangements, it's not necessarily the most accessible of Campbell's records; it doesn't set out to alienate, it's just that Webb's songs and arrangements call for close listening, which is precisely why it's an album beloved by Campbell/Webb connoisseurs. So, it's not entirely surprising that the record didn't make much of an impression, certainly nothing close to their big hits of the '60s, but rather that it's become a cult item, with some fans regarding it among Campbell's best work. And, in many ways, they're right. Reunion has a quiet power that grows with repeated listenings since it does indeed showcase Webb at his best as songwriter/arranger and Campbell as an interpretive singer. But this is very much a record for the dedicated, those that are already convinced of the strengths of both men, because it reveals its gifts slowly, and even when they're out in the open, the songs are so delicately, if exquisitely, crafted they're best appreciated by listeners with an eye for detail. Those listeners will surely find Reunion among Campbell's best work, and it is certainly among his most consistent and ambitious records, but it's just a little too reserved to play to an audience outside of the already converted. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Rock - Released June 15, 2018 | Glen Campbell - Demo PS

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Country boy Glen Campbell is often described as a singer who is "famous for his taste for variety". That’s not to say that his country pop from the late ‘70s is meaningless and simple. Quite the contrary! Tracks such as Southern Nights, Rhinestone Cowboy and Wichita Lineman have become classics because they contained all the ingredients needed to make a hit at that time. But Campbell's career is much richer and more complex. It’s full of details that make him a legend of American music. An experienced guitarist, singer, composer, songwriter and even TV host, he balanced his career between the spotlight and the less exposed life in the studio. It must be said that there were plenty of studio teams that revolutionized music in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and Campbell was an integral part of one of the greatest, if not THE greatest: The Wrecking Crew (a.k.a. The Clique or The Phil Spector Wall of Sound). In 1962, thanks to Jimmy Bowen, he joined this ensemble of musicians from the West Coast and met bassist Carol Kaye, guitarist Tommy Tedesco, drummer Hal Blain as well as Frank Sinatra, Rick Nelson and most importantly... The King! Sings For The King is a completely new posthumous record. These 18 recently discovered recordings, which reflect a sort of intimate correspondence between Campbell and Presley, were produced by the country boy for his friend between 1964 and 1968. It was a surprise gift that was never meant for our ears... Glen Campbell had two advantages. The first was that he could match Elvis’ tone and delivery, and the second was that he had been close to the star since 1956. It was an effective way to present Sid Wayne and Ben Weisman's new compositions to The King. It’s a record that couldn’t have opened in any other way than with this legendary duo on We Call On Him, where the harmony between the two men is obvious. It’s ballad on the piano that combines these two crooning voices on a melancholic tune that’s carried by subtle choirs. It’s a very emotional moment. This is followed by 17 tracks performed by Glen, who displays his imitation skills. From Easy Come, Easy Go and Spinout to I'll Be Back and I Got Love, his seventeen performances were all validated by The King. He’s a figure in the shadows who certainly contributed to the career of one of the greatest musicians of all time. However, on this record, it’s Campbell who is in the spotlight and it feels great! © Clara Bismuth/Qobuz
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Country - Released August 30, 2011 | Surfdog Records

Booklet
Few artists get the luxury of crafting their final album as a conscious farewell, but Glen Campbell isn’t just any artist. Campbell is a titan with a legacy that begins before he started to record solo albums, so if anyone deserves to craft a career-capping final record it is he, even if this opportunity is bittersweet, tainted by the knowledge that he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s sometime during its recording. His disease does hang over Ghost on the Canvas, its sadness surfacing on the instrumental interstitials written by Roger Manning, but this album bears none of the ghoulish fetishization of death that haunts Rick Rubin’s latter-day productions of Johnny Cash. No, producer Julian Raymond has crafted Ghost on the Canvas as a specific sequel to the very good 2008 Meet Glen Campbell, which consciously re-created Campbell’s golden decade of 1967-1977 through newly written songs and covers of modern rockers. Raymond uses the same formula here, finding tunes by Manning, Paul Westerberg (the title track), Jakob Dylan (“Nothing But the Whole Wide World”), Robert Pollard (“Hold on Hope”), and Teddy Thompson (“In My Arms”), then crafting sturdy originals with Campbell, all evoking such luxuriant dramatic classics as “Wichita Lineman” without succumbing under self-conscious weight. It’s a delicate trick that, apart from those too elegiac instrumentals, never once seems forced, a testament to Raymond’s skills as a producer and Campbell’s as a musician and singer. Perhaps Ghost on the Canvas doesn’t revisit every high in Campbell’s history, but it pays honor to his legacy and feels like an appropriate and subtly moving farewell. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1977 | Capitol Nashville

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Country - Released January 1, 2012 | Capitol Nashville

No artist waits 40 years to introduce himself, so the title of Glen Campbell's 2008 album, Meet Glen Campbell, can be taken with a grain of salt -- unless it's seen as a way to introduce Campbell to a new, younger audience, which certainly seems to be the intention of this record, as it finds the countrypolitan crooner abandoning the bland professional songwriters he's relied upon in the '80s and '90s and turning to newer rock & rollers. That these younger rock & rollers include Tom Petty and Jackson Browne should give some indication that this isn't quite as daring a move as it may initially seem, even if Campbell does cover the Replacements here, but daring isn't the name of the game on Meet Glen Campbell and thankfully neither is irony, as this never succumbs to the cringing camp of Pat Boone singing metal. Thanks to producers Julian Raymond and Howard Willing -- who enlist the help of plenty of modern pop thoroughbreds, including Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. and Jason Falkner of Jellyfish and Cheap Trick's Robin Zander -- Meet Glen Campbell evokes the soft, warm haze of his classic '60s and '70s, when he turned Jimmy Webb's eccentricities into pop standards. Although they do make slight concessions to modernity on the rhythm tracks of Travis' "Sing" and Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" (also tellingly the two weakest songs on this brief album), Raymond and Willing use "Wichita Lineman" and "By the Time I Get to Phoenix" as their touchstones, picking songs that lend themselves to evocative melodrama, which generally means rich, elegiac ballads from Paul Westerberg's "Sadly Beautiful" and U2's "All I Want Is You" to Jackson Browne's "These Days," a song so perfectly suited for Campbell's voice it's a wonder that it never popped up on one of his LPs in the early '70s. Then again, Meet Glen Campbell is filled with small wonders, including how the Velvet Underground's "Jesus" is given a delicate acoustic treatment and how the Foo Fighters' "Times Like These" bears an arrangement that consciously echoes "Galveston" and is all the better for it. This reverence for Campbell's greatest work is what grounds Meet Glen Campbell, as it shows a deep understanding of what made those recordings work as pop records as well as an understanding of what a terrific interpretive singer Campbell is at his peak. For too long, Glen Campbell has been wandering away from these strengths, singing anonymous songs in sterile settings, but here he has the right production and an exceptional set of songs, all adding up an album that is alluringly out of time, caught somewhere between the '60s and the '90s, illustrating how enduring Campbell's sound really is. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released January 1, 1981 | Capitol Nashville