Crystal Gayle

Best of Crystal Gayle: Talking in Your Sleep

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This 23-cut Castle compilation by Crystal Gayle was issued in 2000. It includes a couple of big hits -- the title track and "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue" -- but concentrates more on revealing Gayle's considerable gift as a singer of popular (not just urban country) songs in an astonishing variety of styles. Budget-priced, it showcases a huge swath of her work in the 1980s, covering tunes by Bill Withers ("Ain't No Sunshine"), Will Jennings ("Same Old Story"), Tom Waits ("Take Me Home," from the soundtrack of Francis Ford Coppola's surreal Las Vegas fantasy One from the Heart), and many others. In fact, despite the classic "God Bless the Child" and a couple of Jimmy Davis tunes ("Lover Man" and "Love Does That to Fools"), most of these tunes transcend the genre of country-pop all the way to the left and go straight to pop and adult contemporary. This is an odd angle for a Gayle compilation, but one that works well despite its many idiosyncrasies -- and perhaps because of them. This is recommended to those who can truly appreciate the gifts of Crystal Gayle as one of the great American vocal stylists form the late 20th century. This is not the "classic" best-of material, but these are among the very finest performances she ever put on wax.

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