Sunday, November 08, 2015

HEARTACHES BY THE NUMBER

“In ‘Farewell Party,’ [Gene Watson’s] wrenching signature song, Watson plays a lovelorn man who’s about to take his own life . . . his anguish aggravated by the realization that his wife will be only too glad to see him go. . . . Wailing the final three words ‘when I’m gone’ with the agony of someone who knows he’ll never awaken from his dark night of the soul, Watson gets off a parting shot that, he hopes, will ring in her ears for all eternity.” —Bill Friskics-Warren, Heartaches by the Number


Gene Watson • Farewell Party • 1979


Find it: Gene Watson – Reflections / Should I Come Home

4 comments:

  1. I'm surprised - I didn't expect country from the '70s to sound this good! Thanks for posting it.

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    1. Yes, isn’t this just a killer record! And what a singer, ruefully holding it all back until the last line when he lets rip with “when I’m gone!” And this from a fairly drecky decade that a spawned a few more drecky decades. This is one of my choice discoveries from the book Heartaches by the Number. (Doesn’t hurt that it’s Lloyd Greene on steel, either. . . .)

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  2. I clearly enjoy a great deal more of seventies country than you do, Mr. Jive: those Billy Sherrill produced records with George and Tammy, Charlie Rich, etc are my gold standard, really, with seventies sides from Conway, Merle, Dolly, Waylon, Loretta, Jerry Lee, Sammi, and so on close behind. Most of the best stuff is in the first half of the decade, I'd say, but as Watson's Farewell Party hints, there was still plenty of swell stuff later on too.

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    1. Hey, David, probably because I came up with folks like Merle Haggard, then Buck and Waylon (and even Willie), not to mention Dock Boggs, a lot of that Billy Sherrill stuff seems way overproduced to me. But then there's good stuff that we do agree on; that's what makes it all interesting I guess, and diverse points of view keep us all from going insane. . . .

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