Red Simpson

The Man Behind the Badge

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

A good thematic collection comprised of songs about the police and the job they do. It may seem strange, when at least a small but significant portion of the audience for country music professes to have no use for any law but their own; in 1966, to lots of people under the age of 30, this was a totally alien effort. But country audiences ate it up then, lofting the single "The Highway Patrol" high onto the country & western charts. Everything here is a good example of the so-called Bakersfield sound, melding the working-class ethos of Merle Haggard with the polished professionalism of Buck Owens. Simpson is very clever in his use of language and imagery -- "(Mary, Oh Mary) I'm Turning in My Star" is presents the grim side of its subject in what, at first, threatens to be a country equivalent of a teen death song, but becomes, instead, almost a screenplay set to music. Ken Nelson gave him the best production possible, a crisp, lean, lively sound with a lot of energy and tension, especially in the rhythm section and the lead guitar, and the result is an album that has held up exceptionally well.

blue highlight denotes track pick