Labor of Love

Roy Clark

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Labor of Love Review

by Greg Adams

Labor of Love leads off with Roy Clark's revival of "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face," a Bill Anderson song immortalized by the Louvin Brothers. It's a great start and an unfortunately rare straight-up country cut by the crossover-minded Clark, but the spell is quickly broken. "The Happy Days," written by Charles Aznavour, the French actor whose "Yesterday, When I Was Young" provided Clark with his biggest pop hit several years earlier, is one of a few pure pop ballads on the album. The twin-guitar leads on "One of These Days" mark a brief return to pure country, but most of Clark's efforts here are weak and watered-down, foremost among them his limp cover of Glen Campbell's recent hit, "Southern Nights." Put Campbell's recording of "Southern Nights" through a hydraulic press and Clark's version would be the depleted pulp left over in the end. The album is fairly packed with minor hits -- four of them, nearly half the album -- but only the feel-good tune "Shoulder to Shoulder (Arm and Arm)" made the Top 40. Sadly for fans of traditional country, "The Happy Days," despite its gooey bombast, did nearly as well on the charts as "Must You Throw Dirt in My Face."

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