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Classic Album Review-Vince Gill “Pocket Full Of Gold”

Before we get started, I’d just like to say a very sarcastic thanks to the clown who devised the Security Tools virus, of which I spent all of Thursday evening and Friday morning trying to remove, which ultimately prevented me from doing any writing for Friday.

With that out of the way, we are starting the week off with a 1991 release from hall of famer Vince Gill. “Pocket Full Of Gold” was the follow-up to Vince’s first hit album, “When I Call Your Name”. Released in the spring, it would yield four top ten singles, while peaking at number five on the top country album list. It would also become a top forty pop album, as well.

A nifty blend of bluegrass-style vocals, and what was at that time, a contemporary country sound, that’s the best way to describe the cut “I Quit”. A great track to kick things off (at least it’s cut one on the vinyl version), as it sets the tone with a great beat, fine melody, and quality lyrics.

“Look At Us” was one of the hit singles from the album, peaking at number four in early 1992. Arguably one of Vince’s best ballads, not to mention one of the best of the 1990′s.

Another of Vince’s hit that rank high on my list of great hits, is “Take Your Memory With You”. Love this track. I used to love to play this one on the radio, as I thought it just sounded great over the air. Another of those up tempo tunes, that has just simply a great melody that’s easy to follow and very hummable, the fiddle intro also helps make this track. This was the highest charting track from the album, just missing number one.

The title cut, “Pocket Full Of Gold”, is next. Pure classic country music, right here. Yet another extremely strong cut, while it was a top ten hit, I’m still baffled, nineteen years later, as to why it didn’t peak higher than a number seven placing.

A Hidden Gem contender is what we have with “The Strings That Tie You Down”. Simply a fine piece of country music, great melody and lyrics, with tight harmonies.

Fall of 1991, and Vince’s latest single is a track titled “Liza Jane”. This is another strong effort, that would ultimately wind up in the top ten on the singles charts. Another great radio sound.

“If I Didn’t Have You In My World” highlights a strong vocal performance by Vince. Arguably at his best with ballads, tracks such as this one only strengthen that argument. The song, itself, is fine, as well, another Hidden Gem contender.

One thing this album isn’t, is ballad-heavy. Yes, there are some ballads, here (and great ones, at that), but there’s plenty of tracks that jump out of the speakers at you, as well. Another of the latter is “A Little Left Over”. Not bad, but not to the same level as “I Quit” or “Liza Jane”. It’s also worth noting that these final two tracks are the only two on the album, in which Vince Gill did not either write or co-write.

“What’s A Man To Do” is yet another outstanding ballad on the album that, yes, is also a strong Hidden Gem contender. This track could have easily been a single. Very strong.

Lastly, we come to “Sparkle”. The tempo’s back up, and is given a touch of Cajun. A nice track, but it’s not quite as strong of a composition as the rest of the album. A bit on the average side, to me.

You will have no problem finding this album on the market. To begin with, it’s still available on CD, as well as MP3 download, not to mention, there are numerous used CD and even cassette copies for sale, as well. Ebay, alone, had two pages worth. Vinyl-wise, this album is very scarce. In fact, when initially released, it wasn’t even offered on vinyl, only CD and cassette. The vinyl copies were mainly pressed for record clubs, such as Columbia House, which is where I got my vinyl copy.

Standout Track and Hidden Gem are a tough call for this disc. Ultimately, I give the Standout Track to “Take Your Memory With You”, while “The Strings That Tie You Down” gets the nod for Hidden Gem. Weakest Track? I’ll go with “Sparkle”. Not a bad tune, but not quite to the level of the rest of the album.

Overall, this is a very good album, in my book, one of the better releases of 1991. Some great country music, right here. Vince is at his peak, vocally, and is given a strong set of songs that seemingly flow from beginning to end. I rate this disc a 4 out of 5. Thoughts?

REVIEWS OF MORE FROM THE 1990′s

Brooks And Dunn – “Brand New Man”

Patty Loveless – “When Fallen Angels Fly”

Tracy Byrd – “No Ordinary Man”

Tracy Lawrence – “Sticks And Stones”

Reba McEntire – “For My Broken Heart”

Suzy Bogguss – “Voices In The Wind”

Neal McCoy – “No Doubt About It”

AND MORE…

Kathy Mattea – “Lonesome Standard Time”

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