Jeannie C. Riley: The Very Best Of Jeannie C. Riley CD Track Listing

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Jeannie C. Riley The Very Best Of Jeannie C. Riley (2002)
The Very Best Of Jeannie C. Riley\n2002 Varese Sarabande Records, Inc.\n\nOriginally Released May 21, 2002\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: Varese Sarabande's 18-track 2002 collection The Very Best of Jeannie C. Riley replaces the company's previous 15-track 1996 compilation, The Best of Jeannie C. Riley. All but two of the songs from the older collection carry over to this disc, and the two that are left behind were '80s recordings that gave that CD a sour aftertaste, so they're hardly missed. The five songs on Very Best that weren't on Best -- "Am I That Easy to Forget," "Games People Play," "Okie From Muskogee," "If You Could Read My Mind," "Help Me Make It Through the Night" -- are all from her 1968-1971 peak, so this is a better collection in every way, showcasing one of the best, yet unheralded, country singers of her time. -- Stephen Thomas Erlewine\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW\nDeep catalog behind the well-known hit, June 14, 2002\nReviewer: redtunictroll (Earth, USA)\nIn the lexicon of the pop Top-40, Riley was a one-hit wonder. Unusually, her #1 hit, "Harper Valley P.T.A." marked both the beginning and end of her crossover success from the country charts. Though she'd only notch a few more hits on the lower rungs of the pop charts, hence her one-hit wonderhood in the eyes of Oldies radio, her country music success was more pronounced and long-lasting.\nVarese's new collection replaces their 1996 "Best Of" with an expanded track list, and a dedicated focus on Riley's hit years of 1968-71. Producer Shelby Singleton, Jr. turned up a fascinating collection of surprisingly edgy songs, including the proto-feminism of "The Rib" and cultural hypocrisy of "The Generation Gap." Riley's catalog balances the gritty lives of "The Back Side of Town" and "The Girl Most Likely" with the flowery sentiment of "Things Go Better With Love," all delivered with equal conviction.\n\nSingleton's bouncy productions and Riley's sassy vocals are a perfect match for the material, hedging the outrage towards small-town minds with devilish hints of sauciness. Riley also acquits herself nicely as a straight-ahead country singer on "There Never Was a Time," "Country Girl" and "Am I That Easy to Forget," as well as the gospel-influenced "Duty Not Desire" and "Oh, Singer." Her covers of then-contemporary hits "Games People Play," "Okie From Muskogee," "If You Could Read My Mind," and "Help Me Make It Through the Night," are good, but won't make you forget the originals.\n\nThose who grew up listening to Riley's country hits will find many terrific memories here. Those who only know her from the massive success of "Harper Valley P.T.A." will find some truly welcome surprises. The digital transfers are crisp (Singleton's production is stereo-tastic), and the newly penned liner notes give a concise view of her rise to the top. The only thing really lacking is detail on the fabulous musicians who played on these sessions.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW (Collectables' CD Edition)\nMuch more than Harper Valley PTA, July 2, 2002\nReviewer: P D Harris "Pete the music and horse racing fan" (Leicester England)\nJeannie couldn't handle fame and stardom, which is a pity. Had she been able to, she might have had a much longer career. This is the strongest available collection of her music.\n\nHarper Valley PTA is a classic story song of a type which used to be much more common in country music than it is now. It's writer, Tom T Hall, made a career out of story songs (and every true country fan should have some of his music). Jeannie didn't record anything else quite like Harper Valley - the nearest she came was with The girl most likely, but she recorded many excellent songs.\n\nThis compilation contains all her important country and pop hits, plus many other excellent songs, nearly all originals, but with nice covers of Before the next teardrop falls and Help me make it through the night. The Varese compilation, which has fewer tracks, actually has more covers.\n\nIf you only buy one compilation of Jeannie's, this is the one to buy. Jeannie was, briefly, the hottest name in country music - this collection shows why, and what might have been.\n\nAMAZON.COM CUSTOMER REVIEW (Collectables' CD Edition)\nThe Country Music Kitten With A Whip, May 15, 2006\nReviewer: Gary F. Taylor "GFT" (Biloxi, MS USA)\nBy all accounts Jeannie C. Riley greatly disliked "The Harper Valley P.T.A." and was mightily annoyed when her managers flatly insisted that she record it. When she at last agreed, she did the song in a single take--and was then even more vexed when told to do it one more time. Her anger rang through her voice, and as she approached the end of the take she did something she thought would spoil the take: she changed a lyric, using the then-popular but very un-country-music expression "socked it to." \n\nFrom Riley's point of view she had done what they asked and that was that and it was over. But "The Harper Valley P.T.A." proved a monster hit and made her the first female country artist to hit number one on both country and pop charts. The marketing men moved in and Riley suddenly found herself in a miniskirt and go-go boots and belting out tough-gal songs with a sexy edge. \n\nIt was not exactly what Riley had in mind when she began her career, and throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s she also recorded a great many more songs that had a more traditional sound--songs like "Oh Singer," "Country Girl," and "Duty Not Desire." Very often these too were hits, but they seldom hit as big as songs that catered to the "country kitten with a whip" persona that "Harper Valley P.T.A." created. Increasingly disenchanted with both the industry and her public image and increasingly prone to depression, she walked away. She would eventually re-emerge as an equally fine gospel singer. \n\nLike most vocalists of her era, Riley's albums were essentially collections of songs rather than cohesive packages, so you are not missing much by going with a "best of" collection--and this twenty-four track collection covers all the high points and then some. Then as now, "the" Jeannie C. Riley track remains "The Harper Valley P.T.A.," a wickedly clever take on small-town hypocrisy penned by Tom T. Hall; similar songs include "The Girl Most Likely" and "The Generation Gap," both remarkable for their acid sarcasm. \n\nRiley may not have fancied herself in this mode, but there's no denying that she has what it takes to make the pieces work: her voice possesses an incisive snap that puts them well over the top, and it's impossible to imagine any other country singer who could get away such material; even Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynett, both of whom did plenty of "tough gal" material, sound tame by comparison. \n\nRiley also had a way with pure honky-tonk material like "The Backside of Dallas," and she makes the most of songs like "Good Enough To Be Your Wife"--but although they were hits at the time, the sharp edge of her voice has a way of undercutting her more traditional efforts. Even so, songs like "Country Girl" and "O, Singer" have tremendous charm, and when all is said and done it is very easy to understand why she was such a greatly popular vocalist in her heyday. \n\nAll the songs could stand a remaster, but if you want 1960s and 1970s country music with a social edge and plenty of attitude, Jeannie C. Riley is the gal for you--and I would consider this particular collection the best of the several available. \n\nHalf.com Album Notes\nPersonnel includes: Jeannie C. Riley (vocals).\nProducer: Shelby Singleton, Jr.\nCompilation producers: Cary E. Mansfield, Michael Balzer.\nRecorded between 1968 & 1971. \nIncludes liner notes by Michael Balzer, Bruce Kotzky.\nAll tracks have been digitally remastered.
This country cd contains 18 tracks and runs 51min 20sec.
Freedb: 090c0612


: Music



  1. Jeannie C. Riley - Harper Valley PTA (03:13)
  2. Jeannie C. Riley - The Girl Most Likely (02:10)
  3. Jeannie C. Riley - There Never Was A Time (02:43)
  4. Jeannie C. Riley - The Rib (03:58)
  5. Jeannie C. Riley - The Back Side Of Dallas (02:38)
  6. Jeannie C. Riley - Things Go Better With Love (02:15)
  7. Jeannie C. Riley - Country Girl (02:37)
  8. Jeannie C. Riley - Am I That Easy To Forget (02:31)
  9. Jeannie C. Riley - Duty Not Desire (02:34)
  10. Jeannie C. Riley - The Generation Gap (02:46)
  11. Jeannie C. Riley - Games People Play (02:55)
  12. Jeannie C. Riley - My Man (02:50)
  13. Jeannie C. Riley - Okie From Muskogee (02:38)
  14. Jeannie C. Riley - Oh, Singer (03:48)
  15. Jeannie C. Riley - If You Could Read My Mind (03:47)
  16. Jeannie C. Riley - Good Enough To Be Your Wife (02:40)
  17. Jeannie C. Riley - Help Me Make It Through The Night (02:19)
  18. Jeannie C. Riley - Roses And Thorns (02:49)

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