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    Jimmy Dean

    A Thing Called Love

    Jimmy Dean - A Thing Called Love

    1968

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    All Music Guide Review

    Chet Atkins and his associates didn't seem to know what to do with Jimmy Dean when the future sausage-maker moved to RCA in the late '60s, resulting in a series of unfocused and sometimes unappealing recordings. A Thing Called Love actually has a few cuts that work, which is more than can be said for some of Dean's other RCA Victor albums. "A Thing Called Love" is one of the best songs Jerry Reed ever wrote, and Dean was the first to take it to the charts; one suspects that its success had more to do with the strength of the composition than with Dean's interpretation, which isn't as good as Reed's or Ed Ames'. "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" is one of Dean's very best ballad performances, which comes as a shock in the middle of an otherwise mixed album. "She Burnt the Little Roadside Tavern Down" is an uptempo novelty of the sort Dean used to cut with Don Law, and "Me and Red and Bill" is a recitation that, in retrospect, sounds like a cross between "The Reverend Mr. Black" and "Colorado Kool-Aid." Those two songs are more similar to Dean's popular Columbia recordings than anything else on A Thing Called Love. Aside from a workmanlike cover of Henson Cargill's "Skip a Rope," the rest of the album meanders along with so-so ballads. "Born to Be By Your Side," with its curiously soft-spoken vocal performance, was a minor hit and the album itself was one of only two of Dean's RCA albums that charted. ~ Greg Adams, Rovi

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