Tammy Wynette

Tammy's Touch

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If Tammy Wynette's 1969 album The Ways to Love a Man had the hazy gauze mood of romance hanging over it, its 1970 successor Tammy's Touch returned the First Lady of Country to tales of heartbreak, and with this return to tales of woe, Billy Sherrill peppered his production with more prominent steel guitars, cascading pianos, and crisp acoustic guitars. It could hardly be called hard, bare-bones country -- Billy Sherrill always favored the operatic in his arrangements -- but compared to the enveloping softness of The Ways to Love a Man, Tammy's Touch felt a bit harder and firmer (ironically so, given the title), more like Stand by Your Man and D-I-V-O-R-C-E in its sound and attitude. Like those albums, Tammy's Touch also had a pair of major hits -- "He Loves Me All the Way" went to number one, while the opening "I'll See Him Through" went to two -- but the bench on this album ran pretty deep, thanks to Sherrill's solicitation of songs written especially for Tammy. He wound up with songs that played on previous hits ("The Divorce Sale") or country classics ("He Thinks I Love Him" echoes the title of George Jones' immortal "She Thinks I Still Care"), songs that fit into a nicely balanced blend of brokenhearted weepers and bubbly pop, best typified by that hit "He Loves Me All the Way." That expert blend helps make Tammy's Touch one of her most satisfying albums of the '70s.

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