on 31 July 2015
After recording six albums for United Artists records Crystal Gayle left that label in 1979 and signed to CBS Records.
Hollywood, Tennessee was the third album that Crystal recorded for them and became her ninth studio album. Again produced by Allen Reynolds it was released in October 1981 and reached number 5 on the country album chart.
The first single released from the album was The Woman In Me. This song written by Susan Marie Thomas reached number 3 on the singles chart.
The second single released was You Never Gave Up On Me which reached number 5.
The third single was Livin' In These Troubled Times which was released in August 1982 and reached number 9.
The second album on this twofer from Edsel Records is her only album for Elektra Records.
True Love was released in December 1982 at the same time that she had her ninth number one hit single. You And I was a duet with Eddie Rabbitt but that single does not appear on her album True Love.
The album was very successful as it contains three chart topping singles.
The first single was Till I Gain Control Again which topped the chart in February 1983.
The second single was Our Love Is On The Faultline which became her eleventh number one hit in June 1983.
In September 1983 the third single Baby What About You also topped the singles chart.
This album reached number 14 on the album chart and was produced by Allen Reynolds and Jimmy Bowen.
Both of these albums are excellent examples of eighties country.
Originally making their CD debut as one of four twofers released in Britain in the late nineties, it is great to see these albums re-issued. This time around, the packaging is different, with liner notes including song lyrics. Furthermore, each album is now on its own CD. Here you will find her last Columbia album (Hollywood Tennessee, from 1981) and her first Warner album (True love, from 1982).
Just when country fans were thinking of giving up on Crystal's music, she recorded the album Hollywood Tennessee, which had more of a country feel than its two predecessors (Miss the Mississippi, These days) though still very much of a pop-country album. The album title, a combination of two of the song titles, nicely sums up the type of music to be found on the album. Covers of two Bill Withers songs (Ain't no sunshine, Lean on me) and Crying in the rain (Everly Brothers) together with some great original songs (You never gave up on me, Love crazy love and the two title tracks among them) make this one of Crystal's two best albums from the eighties, the other being True love, which conveniently makes up the twofer.
Crystal's recordings for Warner were generally more successful than her recordings for Columbia. It is worth noting that Crystal had nine number one country hits for Warner, three for Columbia and six for United Artists including her two international pop hits (Don't it make your brown eyes blue, Talking in your sleep).
The title track of True love was co-written by Kelly Harland, a great but obscure singer who tried to make it in pop and rock music, then tried country music but eventually end up as a jazz singer. With her recent recordings of old standards, Crystal has also moved into the jazz market in recent years, sounding as good as ever.
The big country hits here were Till I gain control again (a Rodney Crowell song that was first recorded by Emmylou for her album, Elite hotel), Baby what about you and Our love is on the fault line, but there are plenty of other fine songs here including covers of He is beautiful to me and Everything I own (a cover of the Bread classic, which was a number one UK pop hit for Ken Boothe in the seventies and for Boy George in the eighties).
Edsel missed an opportunity here. Take me to the dance (a bonus track on the original UK LP release) was omitted from the earlier twofer. Now that each album is on a separate CD, they had plenty of room to include it as a bonus track here, but they didn't.
If you are a fan of Crystal's music, you will love these albums. If you bought the earlier twofer, you don't need this for the music but you may choose to buy it anyway for the improved packaging.