Gary Stewart & Dean Dillon

Those Were the Days

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Six-song mini-LPs -- a little too long to be considered EPs and certainly not long enough to be considered regular albums -- were not exactly standard anywhere in pop music in the early '80s, let alone in the country market. Nonetheless, a six-song mini-LP is what RCA issued by the duo of Gary Stewart and Dean Dillon for the 1982 release Those Were the Days, shortly after they'd issued a full-length album (Brotherly Love) on the same label. The mini-LP was actually a more collaborative effort than Brotherly Love, certainly from a songwriting point of view, as Stewart and Dillon were both on the composing credits for five of the six tracks (as opposed to only two songs on Brotherly Love). The material is characteristic of their brand of late-20th century honky tonk, alternately roots-boisterous and somewhat maudlinly reflective, with one of the slicker songs (the title track) and the hardest-rocking one ("Smokin' in the Rockies") becoming low-charting singles. All six songs were included on the 2006 Raven CD reissue Brotherly Love/Those Were the Days, which also includes everything from Brotherly Love, along with 11 tracks from 1979-1983 non-LP Dean Dillon solo singles.