The connection between music and memories is as fundamental as that between heart and soul. We write songs about things we’ve done and people we’ve loved and those songs remind us that we are human. To be robbed of either is heartbreaking, to be robbed of both is tragic.
Glen Campbell has been frank about his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He announced his affliction in 2011 and embarked on a farewell tour—one that he had to take while he still could. If you love songs but aren’t familiar with Campbell’s work then you are missing some of the 20th century’s most endearing music. The towering shadow of his career is summarized in just the opening paragraph of his Wikipedia entry:
Campbell has released more than 70 albums. He has sold 45 million records and accumulated 12 RIAA Gold albums, 4 Platinum albums and 1 Double-Platinum album. He has placed a total of 80 different songs on either the Billboard Country Chart, the Billboard Hot 100, or the Adult Contemporary Chart, 29 in the Top 10 of which 9 peaked at number one on at least one of those charts.
And now he has one more song and album. His 78 years are reflected in this video, his last.
Glen Campbell at the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort
September 5, 2010, Riverside, Iowa
It was the smell of active cigarette smoke that made me feel a little unsettled. I suppose that’s a testament to the various laws that have been put in place for the past few years, prohibiting smoking in public places like bars and restaurants.
Public places other than casinos, which are exempt in my state.
I was walking aimlessly around the Riverside Casino, the one-armed bandits providing an endless G note from the continual chirp of electronic sounds.
Finally, I stopped and asked a casino worker to point out where Glen Campbell was playing that Sunday afternoon.
I know there’s money to be made, but for the life of me, I don’t understand why we’re talking about a new Glen Campbell greatest hits album. There’s well over a dozen of them out there already, the most recent one a very comprehensive 25-song set (All The Best) of remastered material from five years ago. And then there’s a string of low-budget best-of compilations that you can find for cheap at drug stores, truck stops, or any other retail outlet that happens to stock a few dozen cds near the cash register for impulse purchases.
All of them probably serve Campbell well financially, and Lord knows he’s entitled to it. The man is a legendary crooner and an overlooked picker, all of which screams for higher quality control when it comes down to releasing compilations to a market that’s already flooded with them.
Campbell played guitar on some of the best records of all time as a member of the Wrecking Crew, he toured and recorded with the Beach Boys, and he sang the definitive versions of two of my favorite songs from my childhood: “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.” His latest album has him covering the Replacements and the Velvet Underground, among others.
Spinner also has a Glen Campbell in-studio Sessions performance where he performs “These Days” (Jackson Browne), “Sing” (Travis), “Angel Dream” (Tom Petty), “All I Want Is You” (U2), “Good Riddance” (Green Day), “Witchita Lineman,” and “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
More full album streams after the jump… And, as always, let us know if you hear anything good!