The Bellamy Brothers / Gölä

The Greatest Hits Sessions

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The '70s American country-rock of urban cowboys the Bellamy Brothers might have been recorded thousands of miles away from the land-locked nation of Switzerland, but Florida siblings David and Howard Bellamy have shared an affinity for yodeling country ever since they became a regular touring act there. Celebrating their special relationship, the duo teamed up with Marco Golä Pfeuti, the heavily tattooed rock frontman for Golä, to produce a series of re-recordings of both acts' biggest hits, and a newly penned tribute song ("I Must Be in Switzerland"). While it looks like an unlikely union on paper, the Bellamys have regularly incorporated pop, reggae, and even rap into their more traditional country sound, meaning that they are better equipped to deal with the clash of sounds than you would think. A truly collaborative effort, its 13 tracks include cover versions of the Bellamy's and Golä's biggest singles, and a series of duets where the brother' gentle Southern drawls complement Golä's raspy rock tones surprisingly well, particularly on the 1976 signature song "Let Your Love Flow," which became a hit all over again thanks to its use in a bank commercial, and the Groucho Marx-inspired "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me?" The remaining six Bellamy Brothers' songs, from the 1985 single "I Need More of You" to 2009's recent teaming-up with the Bacon Brothers, "Guilty of the Crime," offer little variation from the originals. But the four interpretations of Golä's lesser-known tracks, including English-language translations of "Schwan" ("Swan") and "Keini Trane Meh" ("No More Tears") provide more intrigue; even though the hair metal solos remain intact, their former bombastic Euro-rock sound is largely toned down in favor of the kind of melodic country-pop favored by the likes of Lonestar and BlackHawk. Over 40 years into their career, the Bellamy Brothers still have the power to surprise. Like Glen Campbell's 2011 Rhinestone Cowboy, Greatest Hits Sessions convincingly tackles the contemporary rock scene without compromising the Bellamy Brothers' unique, easy rolling Nashville sound.

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