Wednesday, 3 June 2015

"Me And The First Lady/We're Gonna Hold On/Golden Ring" by GEORGE JONES and TAMMY WYNETTE (2015 Beat Goes On - 3LPs on 2CD Reissue - Andrew Thompson Remasters)

“...A Lovely Place To Cry...” 

A 2CD set that offers fans three Columbia albums from the Golden Couple of Country GEORGE JONES and TAMMY WYNETTE featuring tales of marital bliss while behind closed doors they were all the time tearing each other’s throats out - “Me And The First Lady” (August 1972), “We’re Gonna Hold On” (November 1973) and “Golden Ring” (1976).

UK released May 2015 – Beat Goes On BGOCD 1183 is a 2CD set (Barcode 5017261211835) which has the first two albums on Disc 1 (56:36 minutes, 22 tracks) and the 3rd album on Disc 2 (26:49 minutes, 10 tracks).

This 2LPs on 1CD comes in BGO’s now standard outer card wrap that lends these releases such a classy feel, the 12-page booklet features basic recording credits and new liner notes from noted music writer JOHN O’REGAN with some photos in between. ANDREW THOMPSON has done the remasters – beautifully transferred – the Audio is superb - as you would expect with recordings made with the best Columbia had to offer.

Married in a hurry in 1969 for real, Bob Sherrell Produced all three records for what he knew was a market hungry for the image of The First Couple of Country. He gave the public what they wanted – crooning songs espousing martial domestic bliss with only the occasional hint of Hell, Guns and divorce on the horizon. The songs on “Me And The First Lady” mostly warble on about how much they love each other (“we found a life together and it’s gonna last took away my sadness...walking every day with gladness...”). Real life between them was apparently anything but and when they reached for honesty within a tune like the powerful “A Lovely Place To Cry” (co-written by Wynette with Earl Montgomery) – the heartache is there – naked like a wound and all the more affecting because of it. Stuff like “You And Me Together” has the longing of housewives while the uber-cheesy spoken-and-sung marriage-vows crowd-pleaser “The Ceremony” was performed with mock nuptials on stage much to the delight of infatuated crowds in love with their fame, garish cars, flash clothes and gated mansions.

The happy-wappy Delaney Bramlett song “Never Ending Song of Love” is a cheese puff piece too far – better is the title track “We’re Gonna Hold On” (a Country Number 1 for the glamour pair). On the final album “Golden Ring” the old-time ballad “Near You” gave them another Country Number 1.

Not all genius for sure – but there’s hurting nuggets in between the happy-faced front and public show – and the Audio Remaster is gorgeous...

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