on 23 November 2011
When George Jones joined Epic and Billy Sherrill in 1968, it took him 3 years to get around to a duet album with Tammy Wynette. That album, We Go Together is the highlight of this Thunderbird twofer. Issued in 1971, it certainly has the chemistry of attraction, and if there is any doubt, just glance at the CDs cover photograph where a smitten George is gazing hungrily at Tammy.
Its a very good album as well. Two songs are jointly written by George and Tammy, and for George to do that is exceptional. He really wasn't a writer, and whilst they make a good fist of It's So Sweet, its no masterpiece. Never Grow Cold, on the other hand, is excellent, despite being a re-recording. Two other re-recordings also excell, Take Me, and Someone I Used To Know. The album, as a whole, is bound together with lovely performances and that chemistry you really couldn't synthesize. It's real.
The second album, Let's Build A World Together dates from 1973, and shows Billy Sherrill ladling on the strings. That said, there are some good tracks. My Elusive Dreams suits George, and there is a surprisingly good version of Stand By Your Man. Perhaps the standouts are After The Fire Has Gone, which has the benefit of decent steel guitar, and When I Stop Dreaming which has the Louvin Brothers pedigree. Overall, this later album is not as good as the first. Whilst Tammy Wynette sings well, George has lost his honky tonk sound, and he sounds tamer somehow. It is probably no coincidence that this was the time that lurid rumours about his private life with Tammy were circulating.
In all though, it is an interesting package. It is good to have these albums back in the catalogue at an economical price, and despite the shortcomings of Lets Build A World Together, these albums should be heard. When George and Tammy got it right, the music was effortless, and very, very, good.