Glen Campbell


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On Glen Campbell's albums -- By the Time I Get to Phoenix and Wichita Lineman -- the Jimmy Webb-authored title cuts tended to dominate the LP tracks somewhat; good as the album tracks were, they usually weren't quite up to the standard achieved by the AM-aimed title songs. On Galveston, Campbell and producer Al DeLory overcame that problem -- the Jimmy Webb title tune is fine, to be sure, but this time out, Campbell and DeLory no longer felt the need for the singer to cover contemporary rock and soul hits like "Homeward Bound" and "Dock of the Bay," which he pulled off, but not as well as some other songs he might've sung on those earlier albums. On Galveston, he stuck closer to country with some pop embellishments and found a better fit. The result is a smooth, lively, sentimental, and occasionally even exciting album. Jimmy Webb's "Where's the Playground Susie" was the other hit off this album, but no one needed to think of skipping to it, around such heartfelt Campbell performances as "Gotta Have Tenderness" or "Time"; "Friends," built around the melody to "Danny Boy," may come dangerously close to sinking in mawkishness, but Campbell compensates for it with another co-authored effort, "If This Is Love," a stunning guitar workout with a haunting melody and sincere urgency in his singing; he also shows off his guitar prowess (and the harder side of his voice) on "Oh What a Woman," and to some extent on "Every Time I Itch I Wind up Scratching You." And he wraps himself very neatly around the New Christy Minstrels' number, "Today," singing it with a directness and honesty that makes one forget the original.

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