Lost in the Feeling

Conway Twitty

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Lost in the Feeling Review

by Thom Jurek

Conway Twitty's passing in 1993 just short of his 60th birthday stunned the country music world, and deprived it of one of its legendary songwriters and hitmakers.Twitty racked up no less than 55 number ones in his career, beginning with "It's Only Make Believe" in 1958. He also foreshadowed the career moves of many 21st century rockers who would seek rejuvenation in the country market -- Twitty made the jump from rock & roll in 1965. It took him three years to crack the Top Five but he made it in spades -- so complete was his makeover, there are many even now who have no idea that Twitty was known as a rockin' teen idol. Lost in the Feeling was released in 1983 for Warner Bros. The cover look dates it about right, and the model mooning over Twitty on the cover is none other than Naomi Judd in her pre-Judds days. The Jimmy Bowen-produced set contains the standard ten cuts indicative of Nashville releases at the time, but it's a little more than a standard Twitty record. There were three hit singles on the set, including a cover of the Eagles' "Heartache Tonight," with the singer backed by the Osmond Brothers! It reached number six in the country singles chart. A bigger surprise is the beautiful reading of Lionel Richie's "Three Times a Lady," which reached the number seven spot. These two cuts offer a solid view of Twitty's amazing crossover potential, and his ability to take well-known pop tracks and turn them into solid country smashes long after the countrypolitan days of Chet Atkins and RCA. The biggest hit from the set is the album opener, "Lost in the Feeling," penned by Lewis Anderson, which made it all the way to number two -- and which features a backing vocal by a young-ish Ricky Skaggs. Uncharacteristically, Twitty didn't write a thing on Lost in the Feeling, but most every track sounds as if it were written for him. Compared with the plastic '70s rock-sounding radio country of the 21st century, the polished high-class pop-country of the 1980s sounds positively refreshing, and this recording, which didn't appear on CD until 2009, has aged well -- cover art excepted.

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