Freddy Fender

Recorded Inside Louisiana State Prison

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That this these are early recordings by the Tex Mex country great is obvious, taken or probably abducted from the backlog of 60's productions that were re-released and re-packaged like bags of pretzels once the man hit the bigtime in the 70's. What this is most decidedly not is an album recorded live inside a prison, as was very trendy for awhile on the country scene. If it is a prison recording, then where, praytell, are the prisoners? Normally it is this unpaid, captive audience that really livens up these albums, hissing at references to jails in the lyrics and perhaps even taking out a guard or two during guitar solos. No, this is obviously a studio session, and whoever thought up the idea of pretending it was a prison recording is more deserving of jail time than Fender himself was for the small-time reefer bust that led to him and several of his bandmates serving three years in the slammer. Musically this is standard doo-wop fare with a trace of mariachi influence but without no sign of committment or intensity. Fender's voice is nice but hardly the expressive instrument it would become. Like the prison it is named after, this album is not worth visiting. Totally cheapjack presentation, no information on the songwriters or other musicians.

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