Before the next teardrop falls, one thing is for sure: Another Freddy Fender collection will be issued with the same title as this one, the original blockbuster album that made him a household name among an audience that extended well beyond country fans, at least for a few years. "Before the Next Teardrop Falls" was such a smash hit that record companies cashing in on Fender's popularity just had to use it on their releases. The concept of calling these packages "greatest hits" never occurred to anybody, apparently. Thus the consumer might think they are buying this particular album when they are not, so careful. Although the later "Before" albums are perfectly good records, like most Fender productions, he really struck a tasty groove on the original 1974 session, done with a small band of his usual bandmates and studio accomplices. Obviously the same players are featured on all the tracks, creating great continuity and a pleasing flow to the light country-rock sound. Of course, there is the surprise appearance of a harpsichord but that hardly shakes the Tex-Mex foundation. The group's success was not just limited to the album's big hit. Even better tracks are here, such as Fender's own hilarious song "I Love My Rancho Grande," a few covers of great country songs such as "Wild Side of Life," and the obligatory Fender "fool" song (this time it's "I'm Not a Fool Anymore"). And to no surprise, he pulls off an effective version of the weepy "Roses Are Red" to kick things off. Maybe best of all is the fantastic honky tonk song "You Can't Get There From Here." This is surely the must-have Fender album in a country fan's collection.
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AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne