Barbara Mandrell

This Is...

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This Is... contains the hits "Standing Room Only," "That's What Friends Are For," and "Love Is Thin Ice." At this stage, Barbara Mandrell was a country star rather than the enormous pop culture personality she would become; in two years she would begin her long string of number ones and her march toward the living rooms of America via television. Mandrell always had a lot of crossover potential, but her early Columbia material, in hindsight, is generally better and more country-oriented. Her mid-'70s ABC/Dot recordings, including the album This Is..., fall between that period and her later pure pop efforts like "Crackers," and exhibit characteristics of both phases. Her cover of Mel Tillis' "Mental Revenge" is a good country performance, whereas "Love Is Thin Ice" is straight pop. The album contains too much forgettable material to recommend, but has a few significant cuts.

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