Charlie Rich

Behind Closed Doors

Composed by Kenny O'Dell

Song Review by

Charlie Rich had been recording all kinds of music for all kinds of labels throughout the late '50s and '60s, but he never became a sensation. He had a couple of hits -- "Lonely Weekends" went into the Top 30 in 1960, as did "Mohair Sam" in 1965 -- and his work had more than its fair share of fans, including Elvis Presley, whose comeback recordings of the late '60s were uncannily similar to Rich. Despite the good word of mouth and his constant desire to try new things (actually, maybe because of that), Rich found himself without hits until 1973, when he became a superstar due to the massive success of "Behind Closed Doors." Drenched in lush strings, impeccably arranged, and unabashedly melodic, the single bore all the hallmarks of Epic's powerhouse producer Billy Sherrill, who had been making similar-sounding records for George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Sherrill had been helming Rich's records since the late '60s, but "Behind Closed Doors" and its accompanying album of the same name was the first time he gave the singer the full-blown Sherrill treatment. To his credit, Rich never sounded as if he was drowning in strings or that he was doing a sugarcoated pop move (even if it may have played that way). Instead, it sounded like a natural progression of how he blurred boundaries between styles and genres. After all, this was a musician that had a minor country hit in 1970 with a reworking of Frank Sinatra's "Nice N Easy." "Behind Closed Doors," in some ways, is a kindred spirit to that single, since it's pitched perfectly between country and pop. Lyrically, it was a perfect country song; the narrator pledges his devotion to his woman and how nobody understands their love, since they don't know what goes on behind closed doors. Musically, the melody certainly had a country lilt, but it was stately, assured, and melodic, the kind of song that any vocalist, of any genre, would have been eager to make his or her own. Many tried. Percy Sledge, Albert King, Tom Jones, Dolly Parton, and Freddy Fender all recorded it, as did many other artists, including instrumentalists like Boots Randolph and Floyd Cramer. All of these were listenable; some were revelatory; many were pleasant, serving to illustrate what an adaptable, well-crafted song Kenny O'Dell wrote. Still, Charlie Rich's original version towered above them all, since it not only had one of Billy Sherrill's most gorgeous productions but Rich's astonishing, nuanced delivery made it seem like he had written the song himself about his own love for his wife. It became a hit not just on the country charts, where it peaked at number one, but on the pop charts as well. It was named Single of the Year by the CMA (that same year, 1973, Rich was named Male Vocalist of the Year, largely due to this song and its successor, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World") and it went gold. Even with such accolades, the most impressive thing about "Behind Closed Doors" is that it deservedly made a cult figure of a genuine country superstar.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Behind Closed Doors 1973 Epic 2:56
No Image 1974
All-Time Greatest Hits 1976 Epic
No Image 1978
No Image 1979
Original Soundtrack
Elektra 2:54
Loves Highway 1984
Various Artists
Wisepack 2:39
American Originals 1989 Columbia 2:56
Baby Boomer Classics: Mellow Seventies 1990
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:56
Columbia Country Classics, Vol. 4: The Nashville Sound 1991
Various Artists
Columbia 2:56
No Image 1992 Warner Bros.
Behind Closed Doors 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:44
Country Music Classics, Vol. 4 (1970-75) 1993
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:55
Grammy's Greatest Country, Vol. 2 1994
Various Artists
Atlantic 3:03
A Time for Loving 1994
Various Artists
Newsound 2:55
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Risky Business
Super Hits 1995 sbc 2:56
The Very Best of Charlie Rich [K-Tel] 1995 K-Tel 2:42
The 101 Greatest Country Hits [Box] 1995
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:44
48 No. 1 Country Hits 1995
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Only Country 1970-1974 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:55
Feel Like Going Home: The Essential Charlie Rich 1997 Legacy / Columbia/Legacy 2:54
Super Hits of the '70s [Sony] 1997
Various Artists
Epic / Sony Music Distribution 2:55
Heart Beats: Behind Closed Doors - 70's Swingers 1997
Various Artists
Rhino 2:57
The 101 Greatest Country Hits, Vol. 8: Country Romance 1997
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:44
Mellow 70's [Coyote] 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:56
Most Beautiful Girl: 20 Greatest Hits 1997 DJ Specialist 2:44
De Pre Historie: De Jaren 70, Vol. 2 (1974) 1997
Various Artists
Eva 2:56
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Sony BMG 2:55
Sexy Country [K-Tel] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:54
Heart Beats [3 Pack] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino
The Best Country Ballads in the World Ever 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:55
Mega Country [10 CD] 1998
Various Artists
Americana Records, Inc.
No Image 1998
Various Artists
Madacy 2:45
16 Biggest Hits 1999 Legacy / Sony Music Distribution 2:55
Country Greatest, Vol. 1 1999
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:43
Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century 1999
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 2:56
The All Time Greatest Country Songs 1999
Various Artists
MSI Music Distribution / Sony Music Distribution 2:57
Classic Country: 1970-1974 [2 CD 1999 #2] 1999
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Rich Sounds of Charlie Rich 2000 Platinum Disc 2:47
Ultimate Collection 2000 Hip-O 2:57
Country Music Classics 2000
Various Artists
Import 2:57
Millennium Country Hits 2000
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
Greatest Rock N' Roll Hits 70's 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:45
Good Old Country: Men of Country, Vol. 2 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:44
Love Songs 2000 Legacy / Epic 2:54
History of Country Music: Country Legends 2000
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:55
Men of Country [2000] 2000
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:44
Country Favorites [Madacy 2000] 2000
Various Artists
Madacy 2:45
No Image 2000
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 2:52
Country Mix Series: Country Greats 2001
Various Artists
Goldies 2:43
Legendary Country 2001
Various Artists
Disky 2:55
Jammin' Oldies: Classic Country 2001
Various Artists
Masters / Intercontinental Records 2:46
All Music Guide: Cool Country 2001
Various Artists
All Music Guide / Medalist Entertainment 2:56
Most Wanted Country Live, Vol. 7 [DVD] 2001
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Country's Greatest Hits [K-Tel] 2002
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
Country's Most Wanted [2002 Columbia River] 2002
Various Artists
Hho Multimedia 2:52
Elite: Country 2002
Various Artists
Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
The Ultimate Classic Country Collection 2002
Various Artists
WEA International 2:57
Singers & Songwriters: 1970-1974 [2002] 2002
Various Artists
Time/Life Music
Back to Back 2003 K-Tel Distribution 2:44
Country Love [K-Tel] 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
400 Country Greats 2003
Various Artists
The International Music Co.
Country's Greatest [2003] 2003
Various Artists
Platinum Disc 2:43
Country Complete 2003
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution
The Lighter Side of Country 2003
Various Artists
Dominion / K-Tel 2:42
Very Best of Country Legends [Madacy] 2003
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Madacy 2:55
101 Country and Western Greats 2003
Various Artists
Fabulous 2:53
Our Song: 16 Songs of Eternal Love 2003
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
Seventies [Goldies Box Set] 2004
Various Artists
Goldies 2:44
The Great Country Collection 2004
Various Artists
Red X 2:57
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Sony BMG 2:54
25 Country Number 1's 2004
Various Artists
Prism Leisure
Greatest Hits [w/Ray Price] 2004 Platinum Disc 2:47
Music of Your Life: Secret Rendezvous 2004
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
The Ultimate Country Collection [Universal International] 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:41
Classic Country: Kings of Country 2005
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 3:18
Country Highlights: I Walk the Line 2005
Various Artists
Double Pleasure
Gentlemen of Country [St. Clair] 2005
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:44
Tears in My Beer 2005
Various Artists
Prism Entertainment
Country No.1's 2005
Various Artists
Pegasus (Pinnacle) 2:45
No Image 2005
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
The Best of Country [Disky] 2005
Various Artists
Disky / Disky Communications 2:43
Very Best of Charlie Rich [Prism] 2005 Prism Platinum
Country & Western Festival, Vol. 1 2005
Various Artists
Country Gold
Eternal Love [Prism Platinum] 2005
Various Artists
Prism Platinum
It's Country Time: Bonanza 2005
Various Artists
Galaxy/Zyx 2:52
Country Hit Parade 2005 Direct Source 2:44
Piano Bar Music: Nashville Style [Nascente] 2005
Various Artists
Nascente
The Great Charlie Rich 2005 Rajon Entertainment Pty Ltd.
It Happened in the Seventies 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:47
Greatest Country Music Collection Ever 2005
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:44
Top 20 of Country 2005
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
That's Country: Legends 2006
Various Artists
KRB Music 2:43
Behind Closed Doors: 16 Eternal Love Songs 2006
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 2:45
Classic Country: Sweet Country Ballads 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
Country Hit Parade: Country Love Songs 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:44
Billboard #1s: Classic Country 2006
Various Artists
Rhino 2:54
Classic Country: The Best of the 70s 2006
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
Country Love and Heart...Break 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:44
100 Biggest Hits from the 70's 2006
Various Artists
BMG
Greatest Ever! Country 2006
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
30 #1 Country Love Songs 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:45
Country Hitmakers/Greatest Country 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:45
Lifetime of Country Romance: Always on My Mind 2006
Various Artists
Life / Time 2:58
Country Hits: Platinum Artist Series 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:44
Country Legends: 18 Greatest 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:45
No Image 2007 KRB
Forever Gold: Country Hits [St. Clair #2] 2007
Various Artists
St. Clair 2:44
Superstars of Country [Time Life] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
Legendary Gentlemen: Country Roads 2007
Various Artists
KRB Music 2:45
Charlie Rich [Country Legends] 2007 Country Legends 2:44
Complete Classic Country Experience 2007
Various Artists
Sheridan Square Records 2:45
100 Hits: Country 2007
Various Artists
Super D Independent Distribution / 100 Hits / DMG TV 2:57
Absolute 70s Legends 2007
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 2:57
No Image 2007
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
Ultimate Collection: Country Love 2007
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:45
Country Legends Live Mini Concert 2007 EDI Video
Country Top Hits of the 70's 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 2:56
No Image 2007
Various Artists
K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:42
20 Country Love Songs [DVD] 2008
Various Artists
Quantum Leap
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Platinum C / WG Productions
Country [Intro Collection] 2008
Various Artists
The Intro Collection 2:47
Country Fever Jukebox, Vol. 1 2008
Various Artists
Quantum Leap
No Image 2008
Various Artists
Euro Trend / MCP
Simply Country Greats 2008
Various Artists
Simply 2:43
Great Seventies Collection 2008
Various Artists
Red X
This Is Country: 3 CDS of Classic and Contemporary Country 2008
Various Artists
Metro / Metro Triples 2:59
Country Greats [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Distribution 2:43
No Image 2009
Various Artists
Commercial Canada 2:54
The Only Classic Country Collection You'll Ever Need 2010
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 2:35
No. 1 Country Album 2010
Various Artists
Celtic Note 2:43
Essential: Easy Listening 2010
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:56
Country's Got Heart [Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
A  Rich Anthology 1960-1978 2011 Raven 2:56
Rollin' with the Flow: RCA and Epic Country Hits 1968-1979 2011 T-Bird Americana 2:55
101 Country Hits [DLG Digital] 2011
Various Artists
DLG Digital 2:50
Music of Your Life 2012
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
Legends of Country 2013
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:58
The Box Set Series: Country Hits of the '60s & '70s 2014
Various Artists
Legacy 2:55
No Image 2014
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:54
100 Hits: Country Greats 2014
Various Artists
100 Hits 2:57
NOW That's What I Call ACM Awards 50 Years 2015
Various Artists
NOW ACM 50th 2:55
25 All-Time Greatest Hits 2015 Varèse Sarabande 2:56
Classic 45's: Classic Country 2016
Various Artists
Edsel
100 Hits: Country [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:43
American Heartland: Legends of Country
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:55
Be My Valentine: Country's Greatest Love Songs
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
No Image
Various Artists
Allegro / Allegro Corporation / Rolling Stone
Country Hits [DVD]
Various Artists
World of Blueline
Country Hits, Vol. 3  [Country Legacy Hits]
Various Artists
Country Legacy Hits 2:43
Country Legends
Various Artists
Somerset / Sony Music 2:57
Country Legends [Somerset Group]
Various Artists
Somerset Group 2:57
Country Legends [Sony 2013]
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:57
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
Country's Most Wanted, Vol. 1 [HHO]
Various Artists
Hho Multimedia 2:52
No Image
Various Artists
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel / K-Tel Distribution 2:42
Kings Of Country [CNR]
Various Artists
CNR 2:42
No Image
Various Artists
BMG/Metacom
Men of Country 2016
Various Artists
Sony Music 2:54
Rhinestone Cowboy [Canada 2015]
Various Artists
Stargrove 2:42
Shades of Country [L&D Box]
Various Artists
L & D
The  Country Store Collection Masterpieces
No Image
Various Artists
K-Tel 2:42
The  Soundtrack Music From Clint Eastwood's Every Which Way But Loose
Various Artists
Elektra / Rhino 2:58
The  Ultimate Collection 100 Hits: Country
Various Artists
Ultimate Collection / The Ultimate Music Collection
The Complete Country Collection
Various Artists
Horizon Records 2:43
The World's Biggest Country Classics
Various Artists
Union Square Music / Worlds Biggest 2:57
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