Jimmie F. Rodgers

Windmills of Your Mind

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Windmills of Your Mind (1969) was Jimmie F. Rodgers' second long-player on A&M Records and his first after sufficiently recovering from a nearly fatal encounter with an off-duty cop in Los Angeles during December of 1967. However, Rodgers' dulcet tenor vocals seem no worse for wear. In fact, owing to the decidedly hip material chosen, this effort has worn noticeably better than its predecessor, Child of Clay (1967). Mort Garson is again onboard with some less intrusive musical arrangements, allowing Rodgers room to reveal his more organic and folksier side. This approach works well on the covers of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne," Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," and former New Christy Minstrel Gayle Caldwell's "Cycles." In fact the latter may well best the more popular rendering that Frank Sinatra had issued less than a year earlier. Interestingly, in 1969 there were several other LPs released with "Windmills of Your Mind" as the title track. Tellingly, they were by easy listening artists such as Percy Faith, Ed Ames, and Enoch Light. The lack of overtly syrupy strings or equally saccharine-sounding backing vocals gives Rodgers the edge over his lightweight competition. Another well-worn melody featured here is "Me About You," which had also been done by a plethora of pop and rock acts ranging from Gandalf's 1968 rendering to decidedly more middle-of-the-road readings from Bobby Darin or Jackie DeShannon. Windmills of Your Mind concludes with a fascinating interpretation of Larry Marks' "L.A. Breakdown" -- which should not be confused with the Jimmy Page instrumental of the same name. Given that Rodgers was nearly killed on the Los Angeles freeway some two years earlier, the song takes on a host of insight and importance. Jimmie F. Rodgers would return for the album Troubled Times (1970) the following year. However, it came and went with such little fanfare that the artist himself doesn't even remember recording it. In 2003 Windmills of Your Mind (2003) was coupled with Child of Clay (1967) as a CD two-fer on Collectors' Choice Music.