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Country - Released April 3, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Country - Released April 17, 2020 | RCA - Legacy

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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Country - Released November 19, 2013 | Columbia Nashville Legacy

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Country - Released June 18, 2004 | RLG - BMG Heritage

Super Hits is a sampling of tracks recorded during Bobby Bare's initial tenure with RCA Records in the early '60s, including "Detroit City," "500 Miles Away from Home," "Four Strong Winds," "(Margie's At) The Lincoln Park Inn," "Miller's Cave," and "The Streets of Baltimore." The 1976 single "Dropkick Me, Jesus" comes from Bare's second go-round with RCA following stints at Mercury and United Artists. Ultimately, this collection isn't as detailed as The Best of Bobby Bare on Razor & Tie, but it's still a good bargain for the budget-conscious. © Al Campbell /TiVo
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Country - Released October 25, 1968 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released December 11, 1963 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released December 1, 2008 | RLG - Legacy

Returning to RCA after a stint at Mercury Records, Bobby Bare teamed up with songwriter Shel Silverstein for 1973's Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends and Lies. The idea of the record is clearly laid out in the title -- this album is a collection of American tall tales and myths, all filtered through Silverstein's signature humor (sometimes silly, sometimes clever, sometimes sentimental, sometimes slyly lewd) and delivered with Bare's signature warm, friendly manner. Although Bare had recorded a song or two of Shel's before, this was the first time that he devoted a full album to his material. But more noteworthy is that this album finds the singer developing a loose, offhand way of performance that emphasizes both his character and the freewheeling eclecticism of his music. Musically, it's not far removed from his Mercury records, where his progressive country rubbed shoulders with pop, rock, and folk, but his laid-back, open-ended performances let the music breathe, while the Silverstein songs give the album cohesion and an overt, welcome sense of humor. All this helped reignite Bare's career, giving him a new signature sound that carried him through the next few years, until he left RCA for Columbia, where he just got rowdier. It was also the biggest album of his career, spending 30 weeks on the Billboard country charts (where it peaked at number five), with a number one hit in "Marie Laveau" and a number two single in "Daddy What If." Years later, it still stands as one of his very best -- maybe it didn't produce classics like "Detroit City," nor does it have as brilliant highs as some earlier and later records, but song for song, Bare was rarely this consistent or enjoyable. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Country - Released May 26, 2017 | BFD

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Country - Released April 10, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released December 1, 2005 | Esperanza

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Country - Released December 8, 2005 | Esperanza

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Country - Released September 21, 1964 | RCA Victor - Legacy

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Country - Released February 1, 1967 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released November 1, 1975 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released March 27, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released October 1, 1978 | Legacy Recordings

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Country - Released March 1, 1978 | Legacy Recordings

Bobby Bare's 1978 Columbia album Bare reveals in spades that the performer still had plenty to offer. He utilizes the talents of an army of Nash Vegas guitar pickers here. Steel boss Ben Keith (one of Neil Young's Stray Gators on Harvest) is here, along with Johnny Gimble on fiddle, Bobby Emmons on piano, and Larrie Londin and Buddy Harman on skins, as well as a host of backing vocalists, including Shel Silverstein and Willie Nelson. There are also a couple of folks with the names Waylon Jennings and Chet Atkins who fell by the studio to help on a couple tracks. But it isn't the players who made the record; it's Bare's inspirational performance on no less than eight songs by Silverstein, Larry Wilkerson's "Finger on the Button," and a better version of the "The Gambler" than Kenny Rogers could have ever dreamed of cutting. Why Bare didn't strike pay dirt with his version is beyond the point of reason, because in the grain of his voice it feels like a story being told almost in the present tense, and accurate as a reading by someone who believes he has received life-saving advice from a ghost. "Yard Full of Rusty Cars" is one of Silverstein's better songs, and contains the proverb "Show me a man with a yard full of rusty cars/And I'll show you a man with a 'frigerator full of beer that's nice and cold." Ditto the tracks such as "Too Many Nights Alone," "This Guitar Is for Sale," and "Sing for the Song." Bare's command of the humorous line equals Roger Miller's, his depth of emotion goes into the same well that Willie Nelson's does (albeit in a baritone fashion), and he reveals a gift for turning a phrase so it remains memorable in the mind of the listener. His duet with Jennings on "This Guitar Is for Sale" is one of the stellar broken ballads of Bare's career, reflecting on the shattered fortunes and wasted years in the life of a singer/songwriter. Why hasn't Sony/Legacy reissued this fine platter? Sometimes life just ain't fair. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Country - Released November 20, 1967 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released April 17, 2015 | RLG - Legacy

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Country - Released May 1, 1981 | Legacy Recordings

Produced by Rodney Crowell, it's a solid collection of good songs in which Bare's sly, low-key charms shine. © Michael McCall /TiVo