Classic Album Review-Jack Greene “Back In The Arms Of Love”
Greetings from Asheville, where good music is always found on the turntable, in the CD player, or in the MP3 player. Today’s Classic Album Review looks back at a Jack Greene collection, Back In The Arms Of Love. Released by Decca in November, 1969, it was Jack’s ninth album, since 1966. Six of the first eight would be top ten albums, but this one did not perform nearly as well, peaking at only forty-one. Only one single came from the album, the title cut, a top ten hit.
I think I actually like Jack’s version of “But You Know I Love You”, better, than any of the other versions, including The 1st Edition’s, Dolly’s, or Bill Anderson’s. Cool drum intro, mixed with a great arrangement that is simply perfect for this track. What a way to kick off this album.
The tempo may slow, but the quality remains the same, on “I Love You Because”. Simply a great performance from Jack Greene, here.
Also a standout performance on Jack’s cover of the Conway Twitty hit, “To See My Angel Cry”. When he sings about how much he hurts “to see his angel cry”, you believe it, he sells it so well.
“Birth Of Our Love” is a mid tempo nugget that one can’t help but like. Love the melody, here, great piece of music.
You will also find nothing to complain about with his take on the George Jones hit, “If Not For You”. A little quicker paced (just a tad) than the Jones version, but again, you are treated to some outstanding vocal work by Jack Greene.
Side one wraps with a track titled “The Fool In Me”. A ballad that is could enough that it could have been a single. A great composition brought to life by great vocal work from Jack Greene.
Side two opens with another cover, “Love Me, Love Me”, which gave Bobby Barnett his only hit. Someday, I’ll make a list of the best “one-hit wonders”, and that record will certainly be on the list. As for Jack’s version, I rate it just as good as the hit version.
“The Key That Fits Her Door” was the flip-side of “Back In The Arms Of Love”. Though not a big chart success, it did get some airplay as the flip. It’s a little surprising that it didn’t get a little more action, because it’s a great ballad, very single-worthy and one of the album’s highlights.
Again, Jack covers Conway Twitty, this time with “I Love You More Today”. And again, like the previous Twitty hit, he nails it.
I’m not sure I like “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)”, with a quicker pace. I think the slower pace used on the hit by Charley Pride works better, but as far as Jack Greene’s performance is concerned, it’s dead-on stellar.
The title cut wraps the album. Released as a single in the Fall of 1969, it would turn out to be Jack Greene’s final solo top ten hit, peaking at four. One of my favorite Jack Greene hits.
Long off the market, this album doesn’t seem to be too hard to find, as far as used copies are concerned. Most I found were in the $5 to $15 range.
“Back In The Arms Of Love” gets my Standout Track nod, while there are several worthy Hidden Gem contenders. My pick is “Birth Of Our Love”. Weakest Track, I’ll go with “All I Have To Offer You (Is Me)”. Despite an excellent performance from Jack, the tempo just doesn’t work for me.
Overall, this is one of, if not his best album. I have always been a fan of Jack Greene’s music, but on some of his albums, there always seems to be something missing, particularly in the arrangements, almost seeming rushed in some cases. For the most part, that’s absent, here. The cover versions are among the best I’ve heard, while the original album cuts are well above filler level, in fact, better than some singles of the time. I rate this one a 4.5 out of 5.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk a little 1980′s Country-Pop.
As always, I ask you to leave a comment about today’s post, would love to know your thoughts.