David Allan Coe

Spectrum VII

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1979's Spectrum VII is one of the lighter recordings in David Allan Coe's storied career; not in the sense of lightweight, but in spirit, all things being relative. This is a reflective album from the first two tracks. "Rollin' With the Punches" is a rollicking country rocker with choogling guitars and whinnying steel guitars; Billy Sherrill and Ron Bledsoe loaded the deck to make this an anthem. "On My Feet Again" is a 3/4-time honky tonk testament to Coe's ability to survive everything from prison to broken marriages to Nashville's indifference to a burst appendix and come out on the other side -- free as a bird, just like a child left to play. "Fall in Love With You" sounds like a cross between something from the Allman Brothers' Brothers and Sisters album and Jimmy Buffett's Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes. There's a stellar hard rock tune called "Sudden Death" dedicated to Meat Loaf (!) "for believing in rock & roll and Ohio Boys." Another of Coe's most beautiful love songs reveals itself in "Fairytale Morning," a song that could have been written by Harlan Howard, it's so damn classy. The album closes with the definitive version of Dave Loggins' hit "Please Come to Boston." Coe's conviction as a singer and the washes of instruments with his acoustic guitar in the foreground are pure impressionistic production artistry. With the exception of "Love Is Just a Porpoise" (one of Coe's better novelty songs), every performance on Spectrum VII is stellar, and this is among Coe's finest records.

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