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She Was Country When... [Import]

Various Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 8.26 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 Oct 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Bna
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 833,502 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool - Reba McEntire
2. Sleeping Single In A Double Bed - Terri Clark
3. If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right - LeAnn Rimes
4. In Times Like These - Brad Paisley
5. The Midnight Oil - Gretchen Wilson
6. Crackers - Sara Evans
7. This Time I Almost Made It - Willie Nelson
8. I Wish That I Could Fall In Love Today - Blaine Larsen
9. That's What Friends Are For - Lorrie Morgan
10. Fast Lanes And Country Roads - Dierks Bentley
11. Years - Randy Owens
12. He Set My Life To Music - Cece Winans

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tribute to Barbara 6 July 2009
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Barbara Mandrell has long been one of my all-time favorite singers, but for a long time, I was never really sure what her legacy was beyond her own music. Despite her popularity in America, I never came across all that many covers of her songs. Dave and Sugar covered three of her songs in the late seventies, Tammy Wynette covered This time I almost made it, Highway 101 covered Midnight angel in the late eighties and Shelby Lynne's debut album Sunrise included This time I almost made it. Trudy Andes included four covers of Barbara's songs on one of her albums. There may have been others, but probably not many. So it was reassuring to learn, soon after its release, of this tribute album.

As with most tribute albums, it doesn't take the place of a compilation of Barbara's own music, but it is a worthy addition to any collection of Barbara's music. Also typical of tribute albums, it focuses mainly but not exclusively on the obvious hits. Nobody sings these songs quite like Barbara, but this is a fantastic tribute album that seems to have impressed Barbara, judging by the comments she's included in the booklet. Overall, the albums sounds a little more country than Barbara's own recordings, so some traditionalists may actually prefer this tribute album to Barbara's own music. Two of the songs here (If loving you is wrong I don't want to be right, I wish that I could fall in love today) were among the many covers that Barbara recorded, but these songs were both huge country hits for Barbara, so their inclusion is entirely justified.

The set opens with Barbara's signature song, I was country when country wasn't cool. Though listed as being by Kenny Chesney and Reba McEntire, Reba is the main singer here.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LONG overdue 18 Oct 2006
By Randy A. Bouse - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This project has been long overdue for this multi-talented, versatile entertainer. The mere fact that every artist contributing to this CD is either a current giant or a legend in the Country Music industry speaks volumes about Barbara's influence in the genre.

Reba McEntire is a long-time friend and fan of Barbara's and performs her "signature" #1 hit from 1981, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool". She does a fine job on it giving it her own "Reba touch". However, I feel that Kenny Chesney is slightly misplaced in the part that George Jones originally performed in Barbara's version. I think the track would've been better suited having a modern-day legend like George Strait fill the part near the end. Don't get me wrong, I'm a Chesney fan - I just feel that he was not the right artist to place on this classic hit.

"Sleeping Single In A Double Bed", probably Barbara's second best-known hit, is performed by her protege, Terri Clark. During her 10+ year career in the "big leagues" of Country Music, Terri has touted Barbara as one of her main musical influences. She performs the song with her own band and does the song quite well. I was just expecting a little more substance from her since she is a self-proclaimed long time fan of Barbara's.

One of the best covers on the CD is LeAnn Rimes' version of Barbara's cross-over hit from 1979, "If Loving You Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right". LeAnn gives it just the right sensual reading it needs to get the point of the song across to the listener without overdoing it. Reportedly, Barbara hand-picked LeAnn to record this specific track for the album, and I think she couldn't have made a better choice.

Brad Paisley performs a straight-ahead country interpretation of "In Times Like These", as does Dierks Bentley on "Fast Lanes and Country Roads" and up-and-comer Blaine Larsen on "I Wish That I Could Fall In Love Today". All three get an A+ for updating these songs with their own individual styles without losing sight of Barbara's style lying underneath, while Gretchen Wilson's version of Barbara's first major hit, 1973's "The Midnight Oil", doesn't stray too far from the original in execution, but seems to lack Barbara's warm, yet emotional delivery.

Lorrie Morgan delivers a raw, acoustic reading of the Top 20 hit from 1976, "That's What Friends Are For" and knocks it right out of the park! She conveys a lot of the emotion and sadness that Barbara portrayed in her recording 30 years ago. On the other hand, Randy Owen's take on the 1980 #1 hit, "Years" is not quite what I expected. I like Randy's voice normally, and I'm a HUGE Alabama fan. I just feel this song would have been better delivered by a female vocalist like Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood or Lee Ann Womack. Not that his version is not good - just my opinion.

Being a big Sara Evans fan, I may be a little biased on this opinion, but I think her "modernized" version of the 1980 Top 5 "Crackers" is well-done! Barbara herself has said that at the time in 1980, she thought the song was great, but feels listening to it now sounds a little "cutesy and SESAME STREETish". She slowed the tempo down a bit and "fattened" the bass up more from the original. I think Sara could have a BIG Country hit if it were to be released as a single since sadly much of today's generation is unfamiliar with Barbara's body of work and, even MORE sadly, who she even is!

CeCe Winans' cover of Barbara's Grammy-winning gospel track "He Set My Life To Music" is the PERFECT closer to this project! It sums up Barbara and her career in one song, and Winans' version of this great song sent chills through me the first time I heard it, and at least deserves another Grammy nomination for Best Gospel Performance (if not to win!)

Overall, this project is very well-produced and as I said above, long overdue.

Now if we can just get the rest of Barbara's work re-released onto CD from her years with MCA from 1975 to 1986. Even a Box Set would be great! Let's give this beloved legend the respect she deserves and expose her talent to future generations of country music lovers and artists.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great tribute to a missed artist 17 Oct 2006
By Allen Chapman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Since Barbara Mandrell retired in 1997, she has been badly missed by her fans. Having been a fan since 1981, I for one have missed hearing anything new from her. It was great to hear that this new tribute album was coming out. For most part the artists on the album do a great job. The only two songs that I feel are not so hot are Terri Clark's "Sleeping Single In A Double Bed" which sounds very lifeless, a surprise considering Clark is a huge Mandrell fan. The other less than stellar selection is Sara Evan's "Crackers" which again, sounds very lifeless. Reba McEntire & Kenny Chesney do a great job on "Country When Country Wasn't Cool" as does Lorrie Morgan on "That's What Friends Are For". I also liked Brad Paisley's price increase of the nickle candybar on "In Times Like These". Randy Owen of Alabama does a good job on "Years" but Mandrell's version remains the definitive version.

Overall this is a great disc, a great reminder of the work Barbara Mandrell did. Too bad she didn't contribute a song herself, but she does write her thoughts to each performance in the booklet. Perhaps we will finally get a long overdue boxed set out of this if this sells well enough.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, well-deserved tribute!!! 17 Oct 2006
By MusicJ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I'm a lifelong Barbara Mandrell fan and was elated when I heard of this tribute. That so many veteran and contemporary artists wanted to be involved says a lot about her influence and the timelessness of much of her music. Almost every song is done with a new twist, which I prefer over a carbon-copy style performance. Kenny Chesney's & Reba McEntire's version of I Was Country is the only track lacking excitement and soul. All of the uptempo songs sound completely fresh and could be country hits again. Sara Evans' version of Crackers is superior to the original cutesy version and both Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley knock In Times Like These and Fast Lanes and Country Roads, respectively, out of the park! The ballads are well done also, especially Willie Nelson and Shelby Lynne on the sparse arrangement of This Time I Almost Made It and LeAnn Rimes' soulful take on If Loving You Is Wrong. LeAnn's song choices and style make me think of her as a modern day Barbara Mandrell, at least musically. Gretchen Wilson, one of the very few original sounding female stars today, did a great version of The Midnight Oil. She was the perfect person for that song. I do think Randy Owens' cover of Years and Lorrie Morgan's cover of That's What Friends Are For could have been a little more sparse and were lacking the fragile, heartfelt emotion of the stunning originals. But CeCe Winan's version of He Set My Life to Music makes up for any shortcomings. It's simply stunning and deeply moving.

This tribute is amazing but it sure does make me long to hear the soulful Barbara Mandrell sing once again.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They may be younger but they sing with wisdom. 28 Oct 2006
By Elisa M. Richardson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The moment I heard there was a tribute album I went right out & bought it (couldn't wait for Amazon to deliver it). Phenomenal! I know this CD will play on and on all weekend.

Almost all the tracks are wonderful; my favorite tracks are:

Kenny & Reba "I Was Country"

Terri "Sleeping Single"

LeAnn "If Loving You...."

The BEST track on the album is definitely Lorrie Morgan singing "That's What Friends Are For". Country music is life's soap opera set to a melody- it was wrenching to hear Lorrie sing this song (so true to my recent life) that I cry every time I hear it.

In my opinion, the only disappointing track was Gretchen Wilson. "The Midnight Oil" has always been my favorite Barbara song, but Gretchen doesn't sing any believability in it. Sad, because I like Gretchen otherwise.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars She Was Country 3 July 2009
By Eddie Herring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is not a bad CD and if you like the different singers on here then I think you will like this CD. They cover Barbara's better known songs very well, but they aren't Barbara, which is why I only give it 3 stars. I especially liked Sara Evans and LeAnn Rimes, and Cece Winans is very good. But if given a choice between listening to Barbara Mandrell and these singers covering her songs, I'd pick Barbara every time. That's not to put down these singers, they are all stars in their own right. Put another way, I bought this CD because I got it at a good price. Do I regret buying it? No. Would I pay retail for it? No. Am I glad I have it to add to my collection? Yes.
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