Ray Stevens

Nashville/Boogity Boogity

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Something that gets lost amidst the sea of comedy records and greatest-hits reissues of Ray Stevens' work is his catalog of country music that is immediately accessible and well-crafted. Originally issued on the Barnaby imprint in 1973 and '74, Nashville finds Stevens tackling country music with as much zest as he has for novelty and shtick songs. Those looking for the humorous side of Stevens' routine should definitely look elsewhere; this is a straightforward, well-produced session of country and AM pop that rarely, if ever, travels in that territory, and when it does it's for a cynical or snide remark towards a scorned lover. It's interesting to speculate what would have happened if Stevens had continued down this path, trading in songs like "Osama Yo Mama" for "Nashville." Where Nashville presents the serious side of Stevens, fans can relax with the return of his witty side on Boogity Boogity (which includes his chart-topping single "The Streak"), as he trades in the somber songwriting material for his quirkier, more satirical side.

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