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Bobby Bare - Great American Saturday Night

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Great American Saturday Night

Bobby Bare

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The story behind Great American Saturday Night goes like this. Back in 1978, Bobby Bare delivered it to Columbia and, upon hearing it, the label decided to shelve it and it remained in the vaults until 2020, when BFD excavated the record and shared it with the world. No particulars are forthcoming in either the CD or its accompanying promotional campaign, so it's unclear where Great American Saturday Night would have fallen in Bare's discography, especially since he had a busy 1978, releasing both Bare and Sleeper Wherever I Fall. Great American Saturday Night doesn't sound especially like either of those records. Comprised entirely of Shel Silverstein compositions, it's of a piece with Drunk and Crazy and, especially, Down & Dirty. Like that 1980 LP, Great American Saturday Night is presented as a live album but it's all an act: the crowd hoots and hollers at indiscriminate moments, they sing along with songs that are unveiled here for the first time. It sounds like a party and, more than that, Great American Saturday Night sounds like a party record, the kind that was sold under the counter at a record store in the '70s. That's its considerable charm but also certainly the reason why Columbia didn't release it at the time; there's no way a major label would want to issue an album whose title phrase rhymes with "does anyone here want to fuck or fight." Profanities fly, there's a lament that "They Won't Let Us Show It at the Beach," and a vulgar original incarnation of a tune that'd later become "The Diet Song." There are slower moments, too, sentimental ballads recounting memories and loneliness, but they're palette cleansers on a big and bawdy record designed for beer drinking. Listening to Great American Saturday Night, it's hard to imagine it coming out in 1978, but it adds a bit of depth and dirtiness to Bare's middle-aged prime.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Great American Saturday Night

Bobby Bare

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1
Great American Saturday Night
00:03:47

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

2
Red-Neck Hippie Romance
00:04:15

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 1977 Sony Music Entertainment

3
The Diet
00:04:45

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

4
Painting Her Fingernails
00:05:49

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

5
Goodnight Little House Plant
00:02:00

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Fred Koller, Composer, Lyricist - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

6
Livin' Legend
00:04:18

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

7
They Won't Let Us Show It at the Beach
00:03:54

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

8
The Day All the Yes Men Said No
00:03:36

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

9
Time
00:03:50

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

10
Whiplash Will
00:03:30

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Fred Koller, Composer, Lyricist - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

11
Me and Jimmie Rodgers
00:05:36

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

12
Someone To Talk To
00:03:28

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bill Rice, Producer - Bobby Bare, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

13
Great American Saturday Night (Reprise)
00:00:49

Shel Silverstein, Composer, Lyricist - Bobby Bare, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

(P) 2020 Sony Music Entertainment

Album Description

The story behind Great American Saturday Night goes like this. Back in 1978, Bobby Bare delivered it to Columbia and, upon hearing it, the label decided to shelve it and it remained in the vaults until 2020, when BFD excavated the record and shared it with the world. No particulars are forthcoming in either the CD or its accompanying promotional campaign, so it's unclear where Great American Saturday Night would have fallen in Bare's discography, especially since he had a busy 1978, releasing both Bare and Sleeper Wherever I Fall. Great American Saturday Night doesn't sound especially like either of those records. Comprised entirely of Shel Silverstein compositions, it's of a piece with Drunk and Crazy and, especially, Down & Dirty. Like that 1980 LP, Great American Saturday Night is presented as a live album but it's all an act: the crowd hoots and hollers at indiscriminate moments, they sing along with songs that are unveiled here for the first time. It sounds like a party and, more than that, Great American Saturday Night sounds like a party record, the kind that was sold under the counter at a record store in the '70s. That's its considerable charm but also certainly the reason why Columbia didn't release it at the time; there's no way a major label would want to issue an album whose title phrase rhymes with "does anyone here want to fuck or fight." Profanities fly, there's a lament that "They Won't Let Us Show It at the Beach," and a vulgar original incarnation of a tune that'd later become "The Diet Song." There are slower moments, too, sentimental ballads recounting memories and loneliness, but they're palette cleansers on a big and bawdy record designed for beer drinking. Listening to Great American Saturday Night, it's hard to imagine it coming out in 1978, but it adds a bit of depth and dirtiness to Bare's middle-aged prime.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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