David Allan Coe

Castles in the Sand/Once Upon a Rhyme

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AllMusic Review by

This set is typical of the Collectables label's bizarre and unexplainable pairing strategies. This two-fer repackages outlaw country singer/songwriter David Allan Coe's 1983 Castles in the Sand and 1975's Once Upon a Rhyme. The former record scored on the charts a pair of singles ("Cheap Thrills," "The Ride"), neither of which Coe wrote. Along with these cuts is the strange title track, which is a backwards tribute to Bob Dylan followed by a cover of his "Gotta Serve Somebody" with Lacy J. Dalton. This very modern-sounding album is contrasted with the 1975 classic Once Upon a Rhyme, produced by Ron Bledsoe, which featured the timeless "Would You Lay With Me (In a Field of Stone)," "Jody Like a Memory," and a definitive cover of Steve Goodman's "You Never Even Called Me by My Name." The latter, despite its age, is the superior recording in that it features Coe's strongest songs, less-intrusive production, and a conscious sense of itself as part of a new kind of country music. The problem is that for true core collectors and fans of the later material, this is the only way to get Castles in the Sand on CD. For those who can live without everything after Invictus Means Unconquered, the Bear Family coupling of Once Upon a Rhyme with The Mysterious Rhinestone Cowboy is a better fit, despite the higher price. As usual, there are no production or musician credits in Collectables' package, which is always a disappointment.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:44
2 3:11
3 2:43
4 5:54
5 4:23
6 3:12
7
3:34
8 4:11
9 4:16
10 4:28
11 2:37
12 3:03
13 3:04
14 2:46
15 3:04
16 3:20
17 4:04
18 2:43
19 3:02
20 5:17
21 3:40
22 5:17
blue highlight denotes track pick