Looking back at a Mac Davis effort on the Classic Album Review. His 1980 Casablanca release, Texas In My Rear View Mirror. The album barely missed the top 10 on the Country bestseller lists, while breaking into the Pop 100. This release featured four singles, including two top ten hits.
Opening things up is one of the two top ten hits. “Hooked On Music”, a piece of 1980’s style Rockabilly, that conjurs up images of Buddy Holly, and Elvis. There are better Mac Davis songs, but you can’t argue with it’s success. It was, after all, his highest charting Country single, peaking at two in the Spring of 1981.
The album is a mix of songs that fall into the Country and Pop categories. That’s not unexpected given his success in both fields. “Remember When (Beverly’s Song)” falls into the latter. It features a soft Pop sound, similar to what was heard on early 80’s Top 40 radio. It’s a good track, showing his abilities with Pop are as solid as with Country.
Also leaning more in the Pop side, is “Me ‘n Fat Boy”. Yet, the intro sounds like an impersonation of Jimmy Riddle and Jackie Phelps from “Hee Haw”. The rest of the song, though, has a melody and rhythm reminiscent of Paul Simon’s “Me And Julio Down By The School Yard”. Not the album’s strongest piece, but still a quality song that is worth a listen or two.
The pendulum swings back towards Country with “Hot Texas Night”. A slow ballad reminiscent of his first big hit, “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me”. A strong track that shows Mac Davis at his best.
Side one ends with pure country on the track “Sad Songs”. A 3/4 time, with a heavy dose of steel guitar, this is pure country, Texas style. Good song, but the overall performance is excellent.
“Texas In My Rear View Mirror” opens side two. One of my favorite Mac Davis tunes, it would sneak into the top ten, in late 1981, peaking at nine.
“Hello, Hollywood” falls more along the Pop reins. Utilizing, unique chord structures and minimal arrangement, creating one of the album’s better tracks.
“Rodeo Clown” was the album’s final single. But it wasn’t released until the Summer of 1982, when it hit the top 40. “Rodeo Clown” was released after “My Bestest Friend”, which was not a part of this album.
“Secrets” also saw life as a single, but could only muster a peak of forty-seven on the Country chart. Likely because, even for the early 1980’s, it’s sound was too Pop for Country radio. The single also charted briefly on the Pop 100, as well. Not a bad song, with a medium tempo and heavy drum rhythm. It’s a pure Pop sound, but a good one.
The album wraps with a ballad, “In The Eyes Of My People”. A nice ballad that gives a good end to this album.
Quality-wise, the album is very consistent, lacking any real weaknesses. Some tracks I like better than others, but they are all pretty comparable.
Mac Davis does a good job of mixing the Pop and the Country, on this collection. And the mix of sounds flows as well as any album I’ve heard. Good solid material, here. I rate Texas In My Rear View Mirror a 4 out of 5.
About Thy Author
Mike the Country Musicologist is a lifelong music and radio fanatic, lover of vintage agriculture, and big sports fan, including the Colts, Reds, Hurricanes, Pacers, Purdue & Butler Universities. He has collected records since childhood, focusing on classic country and top 40 oldies music. He actually convinced Vincennes University to give him an Associate’s Degree in broadcasting. He’s worked for several stations in Indiana and North Carolina, including his current gig. He hosts the weekly World Famous Ultimate Twang Radio Show. You can listen Thursdays, 4-7p ET on WSFM-LPFM/AshevilleFM, at 103.3 FM in Asheville, North Carolina, and online at ashevillefm.org. Be sure to follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.