George Jones

Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes

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An EP culled from this album would be brilliant, and fans of Jones might want to put up with the mediocre cuts here just to enjoy some of the finer moments of the man's '80s recording career. The title track was the kind of mystical, self-serving necrophilia that country music is all about, powerful despite the fact that 20 years later, the same country singers who were fussing about disappearing from the scene are still going strong. The concept that they would leave shoes behind that need to be filled, regardless of whether they can or not, is an approach to ongoing musical history that is not always positive, so country fans might find that the two duets with female singers here bear up better to repeated listening than the hit record under discussion. The marvelous Lynn Anderson is on hand for "If You Can Touch Her at All," and really few can. Here is a truly classy country singer, who never wasted her time recording songs about how none of the younger singers are up to her level. If she did, she would have had to ignore the raunchy Lacy J. Dalton, who teams up with el maestro possumo for the lightweight but enjoyable "That's Good -- That's Bad." Jones' ability to bond with Dalton is a good thing, and a full album of them together would probably be more fun than the lion's share of the dreary later Epic Jones catalog. Otherwise, like many Jones releases from this period, the material seems fairly insignificant, prompting the question of why he couldn't find better songwriting than this to record.

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