Monday, April 30, 2012

"Your Sweet Love Lifted Me" by Ferlin Husky (1970)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl.

Filed between: Whitney Houston and Billy Idol.  (Seriously?!)

Fun Fact:
In true classic country form, there's an Acuff-Rose song on "Your Sweet Love Lifted Me."

Key Tracks:
Sweet Misery is just what you want from an old-school country crooner.  Set Me Free is about the only song that picks up a good late-sixties country vibe.  So much so that I checked to see if it was a Tom T. Hall song.  It wasn't.

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses:
It could be argued that every song is a swing-and-miss.  However, This Little Girl of Mine is off the mark in a totally different way.  I love my daughter more than life itself, but I HATE maudlin daddy songs more than most anything.  (Revisiting Vinyl has sailed these seas before with Alabama's abyssmal Never Be One.)  And why do grown men always try to imitate a three year old girl?  And how do they never seem to think it sounds like a creepy-ass horror movie villain?

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Average (2/4 stars).  That's about the most damning review anybody can give.  Roger Ebert put it best when he said that most any movie will get at least two stars if you like movies at all.

There were a lot of country songs in the late fifties and early sixties that weren't so much country as they were rock 'n roll almost-novelty songs: White Lightnin', Wolverton Mountain, Sixteen Tons, Hello Walls, Saginaw Michigan - the list goes on and on.  Ferlin Husky had his own successful entry into this arena with 1959's Gone.  Eleven years later, he revisted that realm with another such song - Waterloo on "Your Sweet Love Lifted Me."  Unfortunately, the shelf life for a genre that specific is very short.

1970 was right on the cusp of country music's return to older songs, sounds and artists.  But when it did, it rewrote them in a new, interesting way (Exhibit A: Charlie Rich).  Songs stylings from the fifties couldn't sustain the same innocent charm when sung with the experience of Vietnam and the drug years - not mention heavy doses of our old friend, the nostalgia filter.

However, folks who had been in the game as long as Ferlin Husky know how to deliver a song.  Trouble is, they can be prone to toeing the line and are often happy to just stand pat, no matter how dated their once-innovative sound becomes.  "Your Sweet Love Lifted Me" sounds good, but it also sounds - to borrow a line from Mr. Husky - gone, even by 1970's standards.

So, is it an album?  No.  It's just a collection of songs.

Up next, score!  The random number generator gods are smiling on me.  First it was Seger, then Mellencamp, and now it's Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with their breakout release, "Damn the Torpedoes."  Booyah!

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