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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 14 September 2006
I didn't know who Bobby Charles was when I purchased this record. I bought it solely because "The Band" (minus Robbie Robertson) were the backing musicians. While individual players do stand out, particularly Garth Hudson's unique organ and accordion parts and Levon Helm's incredibly laid-back drumming, the spotlight belongs firmly on Charles' effortless vocals and peerless song writing.

Put quite simply this is one of those very rare albums where there isn't a single bad track. The contrasting tempos and moods of the song create a charming variety as Charles swaps between funky country grooves ("Street People", "Save Me Jesus") to exquisitely sweet and tenderly arranged ballads ("I Must Be In A Good Place Now", "Tennessee Blues"), whilst all the while maintaining a coherent and seamless flow across the course of the record.

Despite writing "See You Later Alligator" for Bill Haley in the Fifties and recording this fine album in 1972, Charles remains somewhat of an unknown commodity, which is a shame given the outstanding form he exhibits throughout this heart-warming collection
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on 27 February 2006
Bobby Charles is one of those characters who has been around rock and roll for decades (he wrote Later Alligator for example) without ever really achieving great recognition from the general public. This album, his solo debut, is one of the great lost albums. It is broadly a Band-like sound with strong hints of the cajun groove and R&B rhythms that are are strong elements in his musical background. The influence of the Band on this album is considerable with Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko all in attendance, as well as an array of Butterfield Blues Band members. The songs are gentle, subtle and they sneak their way into your consciousness slowly and then take a tenacious hold. And although it all sounds very laid-back (Let Yourself Go is maybe the prime example) and lazy, the lyrical concerns hint at a dis-satisfaction, an oppositional world-view that is expressed through the most simple of stories - choice of friends, the plants grown in the garden, a Saturday night out on the town. Its sounds mundane but it takes you to another, simpler world. Enjoy the journey.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 13 October 2011
"Wild apple trees blooming all around,
I must be in a good place now"

Louisiana-born Robert Charles Guidry (1938-2010) was one of those less than famous people who nevertheless changed the course of rock `n` roll, even if slightly.
Anyone who could write not only See You Later Alligator but three of the great Fats Domino`s best hit songs - Walking To New Orleans, It Keeps Rainin`, and Grow Too Old - deserves our gratitude. The last named is included on this self-titled `72 debut, a now-classic album that not only brought this lovable man into our lives but also has a killer bunch of backing musicians, comprising four-fifths of The Band, and other luminaries such as Geoff Muldaur, Bob Neuwirth, Ben Keith, Amos Garrett, David Sanborn, and Mac Rebbenack (aka Dr John). Now, that`s some back-up band!
When I had the LP, I always thought it was a rather muddily produced record, but the CD sounds just fine, with the singer`s unassuming, languidly smoky voice well to the fore. The songs are mostly wonderful, highlights for me being the tenderly lovely I Must Be In A Good Place Now, the irresistible Small Town Talk with its slow tempo and whistled intro, the gorgeous Tennessee Blues, and his own rollicking version of Grow Too Old.
One or two of the songs drag, and are not, with the best will in the world, his best. Save Me Jesus and He Got All The Whiskey are repetitive, tending to slow down proceedings, which is a shame. They`re not bad tracks, just a little trying, especially the latter, a song that doesn`t really go anywhere.
This is still essential, Bobby Charles being something of a minor legend in the New Orleans area - as well as in the restless history of rock `n` roll music.

"I want to go out dancin` every night
And I wanna see all the city lights,
And I wanna do everything, that I`ve been told
But I`ve got to hurry up before I grow too old.
And I wanna take a trip around the world
And I wanna kiss all the pretty girls..."

I hope he got his wish.
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on 29 March 2015
Love this,, Country blues soul.. by the guy who wrote See you later Alligator along with a number of other well known songs from that era. but whos life seemed dogged by bad luck. He wrote all the songs on this album Small town talk was co written with Ric Danko and a co writer on Grow to Old is Fats Domino so that gives you some idea of the company he was able to keep.
This aint rock and roll its a gentle Country blues/soul album and its a treat unsure about whether to buy then check out Street People or I must be in a good place Now.
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on 2 February 2009
A classic record from the early seventies with the almost forgotten Bobby Charles. Lots of Band-sound with contributions from Rick Danko, Levon Helm & Garth Hudson and it sounds a lot like the solo-album, Danko put out a couple of years later, where he too played Small Town Talk, a high light here. Fine remastering by Rhino, but the booklet is a disgrace without any information of the players, studio and so on.
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on 7 June 2015
My step dad was over the moon when he received this rare purchase.
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on 7 April 2016
Just as I remembered it on vinyl all those years ago . Magic !
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on 8 November 2014
Re-issue Gold. Love the Band? Buy this.[they back him]
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on 31 January 2009
I had this album on LP when it first came out and always remembered it fondly - buying it on CD didn't disappoint. If you like laid back New Orleans music this is amongst the best on offer.
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on 14 December 2012
Superb album features all of The Band apart from Robbie Robertson , an underated gem! Buy this if you like the Bands Brown album.
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