Tuesday, 16 February 2016

"Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano... (Think About It Darlin')/Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough" by JERRY LEE LEWIS (2015 Beat Goes On CD Remaster) - A Review by Mark Barry...




"...Honky Tonk..."


Having renewed a better contract with Mercury Records - 1972 and 1973 saw the Killer riding high with chart success and sold-out tours. But his album-releases for the period uncomfortably straddled two worlds - American Country Music that was commercially lucrative but laced in strings and cheesy productions - against albums that snuck out inbetween the cracks that still showed his wild man Rock 'n' Roll piano-pumping chops. These two albums are firmly in the Country sphere and while there are moments on them for sure - they haven't weathered the years well. Those looking for touches of his old Rock 'n' Roll magic and mojo should look elsewhere.

UK released January 2015 - "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano... (Think About It Darlin')/Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough" by JERRY LEE LEWIS on Beat Goes On BGOCD 1174 (Barcode 5017261211743) features 2LPs on 1CD and breaks down as follows (66:44 minutes):

1. Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano
2. She's Reachin' For My Mind
3. Too Many Rivers
4. We Both Know Which One Of Us Was Wrong
5. Wall Around Heaven
6. No More Hanging On
7. Think About It Darlin' [Side 2]
8. Bottom Dollar
9. No Traffic Out Of Abilene
10. Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
11. The Mercy Of A Letter
Tracks 1 to 11 are the album "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano... (Think About It Darlin')" - released December 1972 in the USA on Mercury SR 61366 (No UK release)

12. Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough
13. Ride Me Down Easy
14. Mama's Hands
15. What My Woman Can't Do
16. My Cricket And Me
17. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone
18. Honky Tonk Wine [Side 2]
19. Falling To The Bottom
20. I Think I Need To Pray
21. The Morning After Baby Let Me Down
22. Keep Me From Blowing Away
Tracks 12 to 22 are the album "Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough" - released October 1973 in the USA on Mercury SRM-1-677 (no UK release)

The card-wrap and 16-page booklet lend the release a classy feel while ANDREW McRAE provides the affectionate and informative liner notes to compliment the album credits (there's also Country Music magazine covers, artwork and photos reproduced). ANDREW THOMPSON has done the remasters in 2015 at Sound Mastering and they're typically excellent - full of details and audio punch without being over-trebled for the sake of it.

The witty opener "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano" sets the Country Music tone - Jerry giving the lyrics his sly acidic slant "who's gonna touch these keys with feeling...really get to you...the Killer ain't through!" There's a touch of Fats Domino piano boogie with "We Both Know Which One Of Us Was Wrong" where Jerry tells us where the blame squarely lies (oddly enough its not with him). Jimmy Webb provides a half-decent song in "No Traffic Out Of Abilene" where Lewis does his best Glen Campbell impression. On the second album "Honky Tonk Wine" provides a welcome boogie to the syrupy Country but again its drowned in girl singers and strings. It ends on the talking "Keep Me from Blowing Away" again drowned in kill-me-now strings.


You wouldn't call either of these records JLL's finest moments - but fans will enjoy the quality presentation and audio...

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