Billie Jo Spears

18 Greatest Hits: Blanket on the Ground

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Billie Jo Spears' "Blanket on the Ground" is a country classic -- a heartfelt expression of marital love and renewal that cleverly connects with country music's tradition of cheating songs. It deservedly reached the top spot on the country charts in 1975 and crossed over to become a minor pop hit, too. The song itself is a winner, but Spears herself deserves much praise; she sounds like a husky-voiced Loretta Lynn with an ache in her voice so exquisite that it could make a person cry (if one were predisposed to weeping over country songs). "Blanket on the Ground" dominates the first side of Spears' album of the same name, but aside from that, the best cuts are on side two. "See the Funny Little Clown," a mid-'60s pop hit for Bobby Goldsboro, only gains depth from Spears' interpretation, which should have been a bigger hit than it was as a single. "Come on Home" is likewise excellent and those three cuts alone are enough to justify the album. The remaining songs, mostly ballads, are never less than acceptable, but Spears' voice is always a joy to hear and her performances are consistently fine.

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