Freddy Weller

The Very Best of Freddy Weller

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Freddy Weller was a member of Paul Revere & the Raiders who launched a solo career as a country singer at the end of the '60s, just as he started having success as a songwriter when his collaborations with Tommy Roe led to Roe having hits with their co-written numbers "Dizzy" and "Jam Up Jelly Tight." Clearly, Weller was not one to be pigeonholed, and as his career rolled on during the '70s, he continued to not quite follow a straight path. Although he was known as a songwriter, he had his biggest country hits with covers of pop and rock tunes from the '60s, taking Joe South's "Games People Play" to number one, Chuck Berry's "The Promised Land" to three, the same placing achieved by his cover of the Cowsills' "Indian Lake." He opened up his sound with a little bit of soul and mellow grooves, resulting in a stretch of smooth romantic hits. He dabbled in funny, tongue-in-cheek songs that gently lampooned '70s pop culture fads, such as "Fantasy Island" and "Bar Wars." Throughout it all, his music flowed easily and his warm, simple voice sold it convincingly, leading to 19 country Top 40 hits, all of which are collected on Collectors Choices' 22-track 2002 release The Very Best of Freddy Weller, which is surely the definitive overview of his career as a hitmaker. Weller's music is enjoyable if probably a little too relaxed and unassuming for its own good to be truly memorable, which may be why this is the first comprehensive overview ever assembled on him. His hits are easy-rolling and friendly, walking a line between traditional country and sweeter country-pop while taking a couple unexpected but related detours. It's very pleasant to hear, but it also sounds very much like its time. With that in mind, The Very Best of Freddy Weller can be recommended not just as a comprehensive overview/introduction of his music, but also as a period piece of sweet, pop-inflected '70s country that may not transcend its time but nevertheless evokes it nicely.

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