Classic Album Review-Crystal Gayle “We Must Believe In Magic”
While doing a bit of research for this posting, I ran across a comment made by someone who called Crystal Gayle, “The Shania Twain of the seventies”. While they both brought beauty and sexiness into country music, plus both have enjoyed crossover success, to me, the comparisons stop there. Music-wise, Crystal Gayle’s material is much stronger than Shania’s.
And that brings us to this week’s “Classic Album Review”. Crystal’s We Must Believe In Magic from 1977. This is the album that helped make her a country superstar.
The album begins with it’s only hit, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”. This was Crystal’s biggest hit, spending a month on top of the country charts and reaching the pop top ten, and holds the well-deserved distinction of being one of the best songs of that decade.
“I Wanna Come Back To You” is a nice song, but nothing special. The same can be said about “Going Down Slow” and “Funny”. The good news is, that these are the weakest songs on the album, and they are still decent, unlike many albums that include 2-3 unlistenable fillers.
“River Road” is a great tune. Had it been released as a single, say, as a follow-up to “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue”, it could have been a hit. As it was, it didn’t get released as a single until 1980, after Crystal had left the United Artist label, and thus got very little promotion, and stalled out on the lower echelons of the charts.
Crystal puts a touch of bluegrass on “It’s All Right With Me”. Uptempo number, featuring the work of The New Grass Revival. It might be the best cut on the album.
One doesn’t tend to think of Crystal Gayle being edgy or singing with attitude, however, that’s what happens with “All I Wanna Do In Life”, and it works, turning out to be one of the album’s best songs.
If you were alive in the 1950′s, you’ll likely remember the 1956 Jim Lowe hit, “Green Door”. Crystal’s remake rocks more than the original.
The title cut finishes the album. Reading some online customer reviews, this song was often mentioned as being a favorite. And with good reason. It’s a bit different, to be sure. But is perfect for Crystal’s vocal style.
You can still find this album on the market. I would recommend finding a good vinyl copy, as it will be much more reasonable on the wallet. I found copies advertised as low as three dollars. Meanwhile, the CD’s were going for forty dollars and higher. If you can find a copy for a reasonable price, definitely grab it.
A good album, overall. I rate it four out of five. It’s an excellent showcase of her vocal abilities and a great sample of country music of the late seventies.
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