Music Week's round-up of the latest album reissues and catalogue releases, including Dan Fogelberg & Tim Weisberg, The Flying Burrito Brothers and Tanya Tucker
DAN FOGELBERG & TIM WEISBERG
Twin Sons Of Different Mothers (Floating World FLOATM 6368)
An experimental collaboration between already established soft rock singer/songwriter Dan Fogelberg and the less well known jazz flautist Tim Weisberg, Twin Sons Of Different Mothers – presumably so-called for the visual similarity they had at the time – was released in 1978, and became an unexpected million-selling Top 10 album for the pair in America. Forty years on, it remains a beautifully realised fusion of disparate musical forms. Six of its 10 tracks are elegant, melodic instrumentals - including the pastorally classical Twins Theme and the light bossa nova style of Guitar Etude No.3 - while a seventh, Lazy Susan, includes some light, wordless harmonies. The real meat here, however, is provided by the three vocal tracks, the first of which is a sprawling seven minute version of a fairly obscure Hollies track, Tell Me To My Face, which shifts into overdrive a couple of minutes in, with Weisberg’s beautifully fluid, virtuoso flute playing and some blistering guitarwork upping the ante. Since You’ve Asked could barely be more different, being an almost hymnal and superbly uplifting version of a Judy Collins original. The album’s closer, The Power Of Gold, is even better. With backing vocals from Don Henley of The Eagles, it was a substantial hit in America, and finds Fogelberg contributing a beautifully light vocal and a great guitar solo, and Weisberg again on top form with the flute. The pair were to reunite for No Resemblance Whatsoever – a pleasant but less stellar set - 17 years later but fell out, and were estranged when Fogelberg succumbed to cancer in 2007.
THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS
Airborne/Flying Again (Floating World FLOATM 6360)
The Flying Burrito Brothers were pivotal in the development of country rock, thanks primarily to Gram Parsons, who left the group in 1970, and died tragically young in 1973. The band’s subsequent reformation, with steel guitarist Sneaky Pete the prime mover, resulted in a number of further albums, of which the most notable, 1975’s Flying Again and the following year’s Airborne, are included on this twofer, sequenced, for some reason, in reverse order. Although not recapturing the glories of their Parsons era material, they comrpise a highly serviceable and largely laidback mixture of original material, with Sweet Desert Childhood and Out Of Control in particular aspiring to match their former glories, while Stevie Wonder’s She’s A Sailor is a rollicking good track that features Wonder himself on keyboards. There are some poor choices too, like a cod reggae version of John Prine’s Quiet Man, but overall it’s a nice, if not vital, addition to any library of country rock, and restores to catalogue the albums which were most recently released on T-Bird in 2010.
Delta Dawn/What’s Your Mama’s Name/Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)/You Are So Beautiful (Morello MRLL 88D)
Bundled together in a 2 CD set for the first time, Delta Dawn (1972), What’s Your Mama’s Name (1973), Would You Lie With Me (In A Field Of Stone) (1974) and You Are So Beautiful (1977), were all recorded prior to Tanya Tucker’s 16th birthday, though the last of the four - a compilation of previously unreleased tracks - didn’t see the light of day until she was 19. Delta Dawn was an auspicious debut for the precociously-talented Tucker, who was just 13 at the time she recorded it, under the safe and steady stewardship of Charlie Rich’s producer Billy Sherrill. Even then, she had a gritty edge to her voice and the success of the title track in particular, provided a launch pad for her career. It is the first of 10 hits – four of them country No.1s – on these CDs, and set the template for what was to follow. What’s Your Mama’s Name followed only six months after Delta Dawn, and is arguably a better album, with Dallas Frazier’s excellent title track, Harlan Howard’s The Chokin’ Kind and Rainy Girl – Tucker’s own first published song – all noteworthy. Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone) is more poppy, and includes a fine cover of Olivia Newton-John’s country hit Let Me Be There. You Are So Beautiful includes more familiar material than the other albums, with a passable version of Joe Cocker hit as its title track, The Eagles’ Best Of My Love and Tom Jans’ Loving Arms all passing muster.