Kris Kristofferson

Easter Island

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The portents seemed good for Kris Kristofferson's eighth album. Though his sixth and seventh LPs had missed the pop Top 100, his profile had increased due to his involvement in the film A Star Is Born, with its million-selling soundtrack featuring his pop singles chart entry "Watch Closely Now." And his first compilation, Songs of Kristofferson, had been a good seller. All of that allowed him more than a year and a half to craft Easter Island. He responded with an effort that combined ponderous, highly poetic compositions with several commercial-sounding love songs that might have been expected to assure the set's popular success. "Risky Bizness" opened the album with the image of a boxer who had some of the characteristics of Jesus Christ, an image picked up again toward the end of the album on "The Fighter." The title track considered those mysterious stone heads on Easter Island, while "The Sabre and the Rose" and "Spooky Lady's Revenge" treated romantic encounters in heightened language. "Living Legend," which closed the album, sounded like it could have been written for Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, the 1973 film that Kristofferson co-starred in and Bob Dylan scored. Any one of the four conventional love songs -- "How Do You Feel (About Foolin' Around)," "Forever in Your Love," "The Bigger the Fool (The Harder the Fall)," and "Lay Me Down (And Love the World Away)" -- all of them co-written with Mike Utley and Stephen Bruton, sounded like it might be a country hit. Monument chose "Forever in Your Love," but it didn't catch on. (Six years later, Kristofferson and Willie Nelson's remake of "How Do You Feel" was a country chart entry.) As a result, while the album marked a slight improvement over Kristofferson's recent sales, it was another commercial disappointment.

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