Mickey Newbury

Sings His Own

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Sings His Own Review

by Thom Jurek

After the issue of 1968's Harlequin Melodies, an album Mickey Newbury disowned as not being at all what he was looking to get across -- despite some success with "Just Dropped In," which would later prove to be Kenny Rogers' first hit --Newbury went his way, writing for others and recording. In 1969 Newbury turned in Looks Like Rain to Elektra, whose label boss hated it. He bought the album back and sold it to Mercury. Looks Like Rain should be considered Newbury's first proper release. Sings His Own, like its RCA predecessor, Harlequin Melodies, is nothing more than a collection of songwriting demos overbaked by Elvis Presley producer Felton Jarvis. Some of the tracks duplicated those on harlequin and others were added, most notably those recorded by others artists. As a collection of Newbury's songs, it's interesting in an historical manner. As a way of hearing Newbury's unique and beautiful singing voice, it's worthwhile, but as a testament to Newbury's vision, it doesn't fit the bill at all. Unless you are a Newbury comlpletist, this is one to leaving languishing in the bins. It doesn't mean the material isn't good -- it's excellent -- but it's only half Newbury's and half RCA's idea of what he should have sounded like. Like its predecessor, it was the second chapter in a book full of music biz misunderstandings.

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