Sunday, October 12, 2014

Kenny Rogers-A Love Song Collection (2008)


I haven't gotten around to putting up my Halloween decorations yet, but I thought I'd roll out some early Halloween treats anyways. So let me start with this collection of oldies that are still goodies by contemporary music legend Kenny Rogers. Soft rock/easy-listening lovers—this one's for you! And if you're a child of the 80's like me, you'd wanna throw this one into your goodie bag just so that you could have a trio of memorable radio favorites at your immediate disposal: the timeless "Through The Years", and Kenny's magical duets with Kim Carnes and Sheena Easton, "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer" and "We've Got Tonight", respectively. At least, those were my personal Kenny Rogers favorites from the 80's. Oh, and I almost slipped on mentioning his warming cover of Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful", which I often forget about, as I probably haven't heard Kenny's version nearly as much as Joe Cocker's 1974 original. You know, I've come to realize that Kenny is quite the versatile singer, being able to cover songs very well in a variety of genres. And then at least one of his own songs have been covered very well: "Buy Me A Rose", which I'd first heard being performed by the late contemporary soul legend Luther Vandross (oh, such a beauty that Luther's version is!). I just recently became aware of the versions by Alison Krauss and Billy Dean—neither of which I've heard yet—who appear as guest vocalists on Kenny's original. In fact, there's so much music in Kenny's lifetime discography that I'm sure I'm not even fully aware of any other of his recordings that may have been covered. A song I've heard maybe once or twice that's still a pleasure to hear after all these years is another killer Kenny duet: "Islands In The Stream", performed with the great country legend Dolly Parton way back in 1983. Doesn't this song just simmer and glow with romance? Almost brings tears to the eyes. "Love is What We Make It": This one is a stellar ballad performance that appeared on his compilation by the same name, also back in 1983. I read that those songs hadn't made it onto any of Kenny's previous albums; thankfully, it wasn't forgotten and found it's way here. Then another I like that brings back those familiar feelings of my childhood is the starry ballad called "Crazy"; 80's soft-rock lovers would almost have to be crazy not to love this one as well. So there's plenty of sweet goodies to sink your teeth into here and whet that musical appetite for the more memorable oldies that are soon to follow.....

1. A Love Song
2. Love Will Turn You Around
3. You Decorated My Life
4. Love The World Away
5. You Are So Beautiful
6. She Believes In Me
7. Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer [ft. Kim Karmes]
8. Share Your Love With Me
9. Lady
10. We've Got Tonight [ft. Sheena Easton]
11. All My Life
12. Love Is What We Make It
13. Islands In The Stream [ft. Dolly Parton]
14. Crazy
15. Buy Me A Rose [ft. Alison Krauss & Billy Dean]
16. I Can't Unlove You
17. Through The Years

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