After Glen Campbell lost a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease on Aug 8, it is but natural to pay tribute to him and the legacy he left. The social media and news are all full of write ups about him and the aforementioned.
It also makes perfect sense for us to be reminded of him when we hear “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Galveston,” “Gentle on My Mind” and the like. In any case, all those songs rightfully belongs in the great American songbook.
Still, Campbells’ amazing song catalog captures the great versatility and memoirs as we can hear in these deep cuts.
“Quits” (bonus track for the 40th anniversary of Rhinestone Cowboy, 1975)
Danny O’Keffe covered this song for the 40th anniversary CD release of Rhinestone Cowboy which adds a countrypolitan class. On the other hand, Campbell sustained success as an interpreter of great songwriter’s works.
“I Love My Truck” (The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia soundtrack, 1981)
This song is from the 1981Dennis Quaid and Mark Hamill film The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia. It may seem like it has an outlaw vibe to it and even a trucker song if you may. However, Campbell could still fit it in the Tompall Glaser’s Hillbilly Central in the ‘70s.
“Highwayman” (Highwayman, 1979)
Campbell’s Highwayman album became the signature tune of another group Highwaymen. It is a song that talks about an outlaw, a seaman, a construction worker and a spaceman. One vocals on the highwayman, the sailor, the dam builder and the starship pilot. a workman-like spirit that continues to live, whether it be a reincarnation or of society’s dependence on the working class.
“Keep On Smilin’” Featuring Oscar the Grouch (Sesame Country, 1980)
In the story here, Big Bird accidentally booked a human named Glen Campbell instead of “Wichita Trashman.” Still, it all worked out well for all of them. This just proves Campbell’s versatility and that also has something to offer for the whole family. Other than being on Sesame Street, he also voiced over the character of Chanticleer in the 1991 film Rock-a-Doodle.
“Cowboy Hall of Fame” (It’s Just a Matter of Time, 1985)
This one right here celebrates the Old West. It is a nice reminder of Campbell’s deep country roots. However, the album where this song came from is underrated but was anchored. A cover was done by Marty Robbins’ “Gene Autry, My Hero.”
“She’s Gone, Gone, Gone” (Walkin’ In the Sun, 1990)
Campbell’s start in the 1960s was embodied by the final top 10 country. His version sounded like it was fresh off the streets of Bakersfield when a backing band featuring Bela Fleck on banjo was made.
“Who’s Minding the Garden” (Wings of Victory, 1992)
In the ‘80s and ‘90s, Campbell’s output is sprinkled with religious albums, featuring either old-time hymns and county gospel standards or more contemporary Christian rock. Among his more rocking cuts, he also made a plea for environmental awareness, spoken through the lens of personal faith. Think of it as Campbell’s version of Alabama’s “Pass It On Down.”
“Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)” (Meet Glen Campbell, 2008)
When Campbell covered Green Day’s prom-like song, it sounded classy. His 60th full-length album features covers of U2, John Lennon, Lou Reed and Tom Petty. It wasn’t a mid-life rock music crisisbut Campbell was simply adding his own spin to pop-accessible songs, as he’d done for over 40 years.
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