Thursday, April 26, 2012

Eddie Rabbitt: "13 Original #1 Hits" (2012) CD Review

When I was growing up, there was one summer when Eddie Rabbitt's "Step By Step" played on the radio approximately every fifteen minutes.  I had the song memorized long before I bought the record.  Shockingly, that song is not included in this new collection, 13 Original #1 Hits, though it did reach #1.  However, all the songs on this disc were giant hits, and some of Eddie Rabbitt's absolute best songs are included.

There are some wonderful tunes in this collection, particularly "Every Which Way But Loose" and "Drivin' My Life Away" (and the ridiculously catchy "You Can't Run From Love").  Just to be clear, all of these songs reached #1 on the country chart, not the pop chart.  However, a lot of them did well on the pop chart too.  Most of these songs were co-written by Eddie Rabbitt.

"Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)"

This collection of #1 hits opens with "Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)," a fun, boppy country tune from 1976.  This one showcases Eddie Rabbitt's vocal talents, and is one of those great country honky tonk bar songs. So joyously he sings, "Drinking and thinking about facing tomorrow/Sinking, sinking in a sea of sorrow/Hey bartender, line 'em up down the bar." 

"Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)" was written by Eddie Rabbitt and Even Stevens, and was featured on Eddie Rabbitt's LP Rocky Mountain Music

"You Don't Love Me Anymore"

"You Don't Love Me Anymore" is one of those great sad 1970s tunes, this one from 1978. He says to her, "It would be a lie to say I don't still love you."  That line makes what follows even more heartbreaking: "And tomorrow I'll remember how you turned to me and said/It'd be a lie to say that I still love you/That I'll be thinking of you, boy/I'll drive by to say hello sometimes/Oh, but now you're gone/And all I have are five words on my mind/You don't love me anymore."

This is one of the few tracks on this collection not co-written by Eddie Rabbitt.  It was written by Alan Ray and Jeff Raymond.

"Every Which Way But Loose"

"Every Which Way But Loose" is my favorite from this collection.  This song was a big one for me in my childhood.  I really enjoyed the film, and its sequel, Any Which Way You Can, watching both many times.  I've recently revisited them, and they're actually not that great. In fact, the one thing that does really hold up is this song.  "Every Which Way But Loose" is truly an excellent song.

Written by Steve Dorff, Milton Brown and Snuff Garrett, it features lines like, "Those memories still keep calling me/From somewhere in my past/Better hurry if they want me/Because I can feel me fading fast/While you're turning me/Every which way but loose."  And Eddie Rabbitt's delivery is perfect.

"Drivin' My Life Away"

"Drivin' My Life Away" is a fun song with an interesting vocal line (which during the verses reminds me more than just a bit of Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues").  It also has a sweet-sounding chorus: "Ooh, I'm drivin' my life away/Looking for a better way for me/Ooh, I'm drivin' my life away/Looking for a sunny day." Eddie Rabbitt has a really good voice.  This is another of my personal favorites. 

"Drivin' My Life Away" was originally included on Eddie Rabbitt's 1980 record, Horizon. It was also featured in the 1980 film, Roadie.

"I Love A Rainy Night"

"I Love A Rainy Night" is possibly his most famous song, and with good cause - it's a seriously good and totally catchy tune.  It's one of those songs that makes you feel good every time you hear it. There's a reason we go back to these songs over and over. And I like that he throws in at the end, almost as an afterthought, "And I love you too." 

"I Love A Rainy Night" was written by Eddie Rabbitt, Even Stevens and David Malloy, and was included on Horizon.  It not only reached #1 on the country chart, but hit the top spot on the pop chart too.

"You And I"

There are two duets in this collection.  The first is "You And I," a duet with Crystal Gayle. They sing, "And I remember our first embrace/That smile that was on your face/The promises that we made/And now your love is my reward/And I love you even more than I ever did before."  Sure, it's a bit cheesy, but it's also pretty.

In addition to reaching the top of the country chart, "You And I" reached #7 on the pop chart.  "You And I" was written by Frank Myers.

"Both To Each Other (Friends & Lovers)"

This collection ends with its second duet, "Both To Each Other (Friends & Lovers)," which Eddie Rabbitt sings with Juice Newton.  Again, there is an undeniable cheesiness to it.  Keep in mind this song came out in 1986, the year everything went wrong in pop music. That being said, their voices blend well together as they sing, "And I'll be your friend/And I'll be your lover/'Cause I know in our hearts we agree/We can be both to each other."  And Juice sounds great on the verse she takes herself.

CD Track List
  1. Drinkin' My Baby (Off My Mind)
  2. You Don't Love Me Anymore
  3. I Just Want To Love You
  4. Every Which Way But Loose
  5. Suspicions
  6. Gone Too Far
  7. Drivin' My Life Away
  8. I Love A Rainy Night
  9. Someone Could Lose A Heart Tonight
  10. You And I
  11. You Can't Run From Love
  12. The Best Year Of My Life
  13. Both To Each Other (Friends & Lovers)
Eddie Rabbitt's 13 Original #1 Hits is scheduled to be released on May 1st, 2012 through Rhino Entertainment and Real Gone Music.

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