Keith Carradine

I'm Easy

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After garnering an Oscar for the Best Original Song in 1976 for "I'm Easy," which had been featured in the Robert Altman film Nashville (1975), then-actor Keith Carradine was signed to a two-record deal on Asylum Records. Encouraged by the Top 20 success of the single, Carradine recut the track with strings and it became the title track to the album I'm Easy (1976). While horror stories of actors-turn-musicians exist, Carradine is an exception. Rather than simply cash in on his name or image, the artist took full advantage of the situation to record some of his own MOR compositions. The results are undeniably solid with Carradine exhibiting a wide spectrum of moods and styles. The general vibe of the effort fits nicely with the singer/songwriter genre that was prominent during the 1970s. Among the decidedly introspective highlights are the opener "Honey Won't You Let Me Be Your Friend," the stark "Spellbound," and the jazzy and slightly R&B-tinged "It's Been So Long." On the other side of the pop music spectrum is the funky shuffle and brash brass section on "Been Gone So Long" or the smooth blue-eyed soul of "I'll Be There." Without a doubt the arrangements by Dave Grusin (synthesizer/piano/keyboards) as well as the cast of all-star studio instrumentalists, such as Harvey Mason (drums), Earl Palmer (drums), Dean Parks (guitar), and Lee Ritenour (guitar) are key elements in the somewhat soulless and slick production. However, this doesn't diminish the strength of Carradine's well-crafted tunes. Although the Nashville (1975) version of "I'm Easy" made a significant showing, this long-player failed to place within the Top 40. In 2004, Collectors' Choice Music paired I'm Easy with Carradine's follow-up, Lost & Found (1978), onto CD, making both available for the first time on CD.

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