Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Audrey Landers-Weites Land (1986)


Fueling much of my 80's addiction for the past couple of weeks has been this lovely actress (and former star of the long-running daytime soap opera, "Dallas") and her wonderful songs presented on this 1986 album that was gifted to me some time ago. I believe "Weites Land" is the alternate German title for the English title "Country Dreams"; rest assured to the English listeners out there, all sixteen of songs here were all recorded in my native language. That's a good thing, because since I started listening more than a month ago, at least half of the songs are headed to my playlists of favorites, and I adore each and every word of them! The main one that's gotten embedded in my system and refuses to get out is perhaps one of the funniest songs I've ever heard in the music mainstream: "Squeeze Box". I got all sorts of excited when this familiar song suddenly popped into my ears when I had the whole album playing in my car, because I recognized it well! Though interestingly, it was the more rock-oriented version by the late Laura Branigan that I had heard first; I didn't even know that the original was performed by THE WHO up until a few days ago! I've since heard that said original—nice and breezy easy-listening soft rock that totally captures the sound of the classic rock era—but Audrey's more dancey pop rendition of it keeps spinning inside of my mental jukebox. It's a fun song no matter who's singing it—daddy and the dog not being able to sleep because mama's playing the accordion all night. Actually, it hadn't even occurred to me that 'squeeze box' was referring to the accordion when I heard Laura Branigan's version, but I should've caught on to that, considering the lovely instrumental that plays midway through. Besides the funny lyrics, additional humor comes in the form of the deep-voiced guy in the background echoing her word for word—it's totally and senselessly 80's! The tunes are much more serious than that, however, just about everywhere else, as love becomes the primary theme. I have so many favorites ones: the slowed-down, dreamy romantic ones where she's reflecting on fond memories of the past (like "Bank Of The Ohio" and "Tennessee Waltz"); the bittersweet "Yesterday's Love" (I'm attracted to the sing-along, bluesy/country sway of this one); "Rose Garden" ('I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden' and her words about there needing to be rain with the sunshine sometimes is the best message delivered in this down-to-earth truth lesson about love); "Tennessee Nights" (I like the hybrid arrangement of the tropical Spanish guitar/Caribbean island thing going on with the rhythm during the verses before the surprise chorus when the music suddenly picks up tempo and a lively pop-oriented rhythm takes over); "Let Your Love Flow" (this one is IMMENSELY catchy, right along the lines of "Squeeze Box"); "Some Broken Hearts Never Mend" (the combo of the skippy country beat and the sad mood of the song keeps me locked in); and "To All The Survivors", which is another excellent down-to-earth tune and fine tribute to anyone who's ever had a broken heart but has learned to live and love again. Nostalgia also graced my ears with the familiar one called "Lucky". I was sure Laura Branigan recorded a version of this song too until I realized she had a hit called "The Lucky One". Still, there is something very Laura Branigan-ish about the chorus, which I know and know very well. Nostalgia, it would seem, has been the recurring theme in my music-listening lately, and it certainly played a vital part in my enjoyment of this album:

1. Bank Of The Ohio
2. Blue Bayou
3. Tennessee Nights
4. Rose Garden
5. Yellow Rose Of Texas
6. Yesterday's Love
7. Some Broken Hearts Never Mend
8. Let Your Love Flow
9. To All The Survivors
10. Squeeze Box
11. These Silver Wings
12. A Woman In Me
13. Tennessee Waltz
14. Hey Sam
15. Lucky
16. Happy Endings

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