Recorded in 1969 "The Real Thing" was Bobby Bare's final record for RCA before his acrimonious departure for Mercury Records following disagreements over artistic direction. Released the following year, and with little promotion, it soon became a forgotten footnote in his RCA catalogue for more than forty years. Produced by Chet Atkins (and some final tracks by Jack Clement) this remastered edition contains ten songs that should have been heard and appreciated during the past four decades.
Bobby Bare is one of the finest interpreters of the narrative ballad in the history of country music. His voice has an aching, yearning quality that just nails the essence of what loss, sorrow and regret is all about. These are the hallmarks of Bare's best work. Between Kris Kristofferson's sublime "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and Ray Corbin's evocative "Come On Home And Sing The Blues To Daddy" there are another eight lesser known songs that have those hallmarks and, with greater exposure, would have become essential Bare favourites.
From the bitterness of a loveless marriage, ("Maggie (I Wish We'd Never Met)") to the plea for truth from an accused rapist ("Barbara Joy") and the cheating soldier's wife ("Chicago Story"), this is the sound of Bobby Bare turning simple songs into an art form.
Two years later Bobby was back at RCA and he released the self produced "I Hate Goodbyes/Ride Me Down Easy". Both title tracks were country hits along with "You Know Who". His version of Mickey Newbury's "Poison Red Berries" is a reflective paean to a fading memory of love and, although not a hit, is among Bobby's best work.
With songs like the mournful "A Train That Never Runs", the sparkling "A Restless Wind" and the sadness of the Tanya Tucker classic "What's Your Mama's Name?" Bare demonstrates once again his talent for recording songs that, when heard for the first time, convinces you that you've known them forever!
As a bonus there are four absolute Bare classics: "The Streets Of Baltimore", "The Town That Broke My Heart", "A Rainy Day In Richmond" and "(Margies) At The Lincoln Park Inn", wonderful songs woven around the themes of prostitution, adultery and suicide.
So, two magnificent albums that have been lost for forty years and now reissued for the very first time.
on 26 June 2015
Fantastic collection from Bobby Bare, what a shame this wasn't released and promoted all those years ago, still we are enjoying it now, every cloud has a silver lining. That rich voice brings it all back how good he was. Great selection of tracks and thoroughly enjoying the experience now. Ten out of ten!