MERCURY - Country Class



MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Dave McKee » Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:59 pm

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Country Class (1976)

Let´s Put It Back Together Again / No One Will Ever Know / You Belong To Me / I Sure Miss Those Good Old Times / The Old Country Church / After The Fool You´ve Made Of Me / Jerry Lee´s Rock´n´Roll Revival Show / Wedding Bells / Only Love Can Get You In My Door / The One Rose That´s Left In My Heart / The Closest Thing To You

In February 1976 Jerry finally had surgery to correct his sinus problem, &, combined with laying off the booze a little, the change in his voice was breathtaking! A few of the songs on this album were recorded prior to the surgery but overdubbed later, but most of them were recorded afterwards live in the studio & without overdubs for the first time in several years. The fact that the 1969 You Belong To Me fit so effortlessly into this album proves just how dramatic the vocal improvement was, the production is sympathetic & restrained, & the songs are without exception excellent. The many highlights include No One Will Ever Know, I Sure Miss Those Good Old Times, The Old Country Church, After The Fool You´ve Made Of Me, The One Rose That´s Left In My Heart & The Closest Thing To You. Probably the only weak-ish track is also the only (restrained) rock 'n' roll song Jerry Lee´s Rock´n´Roll Revival Show, but even that's OK. Jerry's best Mercury album of the '70's. 5 out of 5

Outtakes: I Can't Keep My Hands Off Of You / The Fifties / Harbour Lights

I Can't Keep My Hands Off Of You is a very nice slow modern country song though it's marred by the very hoarse vocals (it was recorded prior to Jerry's sinus operation & was never over-dubbed later); The Fifties is a contrived rocker that's very similar to Jerry Lee's Rock 'n' Roll Revival Show; and Harbour Lights was very nearly released on the original album (at a July '76 performance Jerry even performed the song & announced that it's from his new album!). All three were issued in the mid '80's.

This is from an excellent blog by Peter Checksfield. See the whole blog at http://themargatemusicman.blogspot.com/ ... years.html
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby PeterC » Sat Nov 12, 2011 11:24 pm

I don't know why this album is so overlooked by fans. To my ears it's by far his best post '71 country album.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby bailbath » Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:27 am

Yes very deserving of the praise you have given the album. I really like 'the closest thing to you'.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Andrew McRae » Sun Nov 13, 2011 1:36 pm

PeterC wrote:I don't know why this album is so overlooked by fans. To my ears it's by far his best post '71 country album.


I agree that it is his "best post '71 country album". As for why it has been so overlooked, no doubt this can at least in part be explained by the relatively limited availability of the LP outside of the North America at the time. It was pressed in Scandanavia but otherwise failed to get a release internationally (although UK Phonogram did import and market US copies for a short period). That lack of interest in actually releasing this LP in other countries perhaps stemmed from the declining level of interest in JLL's country material occasioned by the disappointments of previous 'country' releases which, in comparison, were patchy and/or lacklustre (or, as in the case of "I-40 Country", pretty near plain awful!). Thus the potential success of "Country Class" was compromised by the lack of quality in what had preceded it. In other words, many less-committed fans - and certainly the general record buying public - had, perhaps, just 'given up'.

I think the best evidence of just how good this LP was is that the 1969 recording of "You Belong To Me" fitted in so seamlessly with recordings taped some 6 or 7 years later; thus demonstrating that this was a 'return to form' of the 69-71 era when each and every JLL country release went to the top of the charts.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Perk » Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:32 pm

First time i heard this album it was a big disappointment. At the time in the late 70´s i had heard Star Club, i had seen the Granada 63 & All you Need is Love on Tv. At the record store i looked at this record, with that great picture of Jerry on the backside standing with one feet on the piano, and saw the title "Jerry Lee´s Rock & Roll Revival Show". I thought this must be the greatest rock record ever! It turned out to not be ..haha! But today i love the album at 45 years old.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby PeterC » Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:38 pm

Perk wrote:First time i heard this album it was a big disappointment. At the time in the late 70´s i had heard Star Club, i had seen the Granada 63 & All you Need is Love on Tv. At the record store i looked at this record, with that great picture of Jerry on the backside standing with one feet on the piano, and saw the title "Jerry Lee´s Rock & Roll Revival Show". I thought this must be the greatest rock record ever! It turned out to not be ..haha! But today i love the album at 45 years old.


To be fair that is the weakest track on the album, to my ears anyway.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Perk » Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:59 am

Yes Peter, it probably is the weakest track. But at the time i had just started learning english. So the only title i really understood while looking at the cover was 'Jerry Lee´s Rock & Roll Revival Show'. I simply thought this had to be great : )
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Andrew McRae » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:54 am

Perk wrote:Yes Peter, it probably is the weakest track. But at the time i had just started learning english. So the only title i really understood while looking at the cover was 'Jerry Lee´s Rock & Roll Revival Show'. I simply thought this had to be great : )


I had a reasonable grasp of English at the time, as an adult native speaker, and even I was attracted by that title! But I agree that it is probably the weakest track on the LP. The other 'duffer' in my book was the lead track, the one selected for the first single release, "Let's Put It Back Together Again". Both of these songs were written by the previously solid team of Foster and RIce but are hardly representative of their best work; maybe their star was fading by this time. And both tracks suffer from the 'Cam Mullins' syndrome; with the notable of exception of his contribution to "The 'Killer' Rocks On" I generally look upon the inclusion of the name Cam Mullins on the list of credits as being something likely to detract from a JLL record, with overwhelming, syrupy strings arrangements. I'm certainly not against strings per se, and I believe they often added greatly to JLL's records during the 'hits' decade. But it's usually a case of "D Bergen White = Good" (think of "She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye" and "Waiting For A Train"); "Cam Mullins = Bad" (much of the albums "Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough" and "I-40 Country"). Thank goodness it was White who got the nod when Mercury decided to overdub strings on JLL's classic performance of "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" for single release in 1981; it may be sacrilege to some but I thought that White's sensitive addition actually enhanced the original sparse sound and I think it's unfortunate that it remains little heard, having never been released in any other format other than that obscure 45. Getting back to "Country Class", to be fair Mullins didn't manage to ruin "The Closest Thing To You" but his absence from involvement in the rest of the album is a definite plus.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby PeterC » Tue Nov 15, 2011 10:16 am

I really like 'Let's Put It Back Together' myself (& so did many others, as it was his biggest country hit in 3 years), but it doesn't sit easily with the rest of the album.

Another person who did restrained though tasteful string arrangements is Bob Alcivar. He particularly enhanced 'Everyday I Have to Cry'.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby bluesinc. » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:58 pm

Aaaaahh, good to be back and good to see PeterC :twisted:

Only love can get.... is one of my favourite tunes, also I sure miss... though I´m not really sure if the Sessions Outtake is better imo (rough & dirty, let´s say) Also, I liked the cover shot. Jerry looks like an elder statesman with his cigar, similar to the inner sleeve pictures drom Young blood (thogh there I was really holding breath because he really looked ol to me then ( I was only 17 then))
greetings from Vienna
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first there was dorothy and then came jane, look out myra you´re looking insane, c´mon jaren you´re struttin´ the stuff, i think i´ll take pumpkin cause i can´t get enough
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby PeterC » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:11 pm

bluesinc. wrote:Aaaaahh, good to be back and good to see PeterC :twisted:


Thank you! :D

bluesinc. wrote:...though I´m not really sure if the Sessions Outtake is better imo


Actually that was a 'Southern Roots' outtake.
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby bluesinc. » Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:17 pm

bluesinc. wrote:...though I´m not really sure if the Sessions Outtake is better imo


Actually that was a 'Southern Roots' outtake.[/quote]

as usual, you´re right. both albums I like, maybe because they´re not that polished or clean or whatever...
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first there was dorothy and then came jane, look out myra you´re looking insane, c´mon jaren you´re struttin´ the stuff, i think i´ll take pumpkin cause i can´t get enough
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby Henry » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:04 pm

And now once again BGO release 2 for 1 fear.
This album will be available on or after Monday 1st February, 2016
http://www.bgo-records.com/albums/bgocd ... y-memories
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Re: MERCURY - Country Class

Postby PeterC » Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:16 am

ALBUM COVER RATING: 4/5

I'm going through Jerry's albums on here and giving marks out of five for the album covers (regardless of the actual content)...

Nice to have a posed studio photo on the front of an album for the first time in years. Having said that, it's always strangely reminded me of Sid James!
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