2

Charlie Rich: Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Charlie Rich: Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow There is an anecdote about the legendary singer Elvis Presley, who walked into the office of Sun Records to do an audition. He was asked by receptionist Marion Keisker what kind of singer he was and Presley answered: "I sing all kinds."

The same could be said about another Sun Records-affiliate, the pianist, composer and singer, Charlie Rich. Rich never got as famous as Presley, even though he was just as talented, but he released a steady stream of high quality records on different labels and also scored a significant string of hits, the most well-known being the double smash from 1973, "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl."

Rich was billed as a country artist and recorded with Nashville session musicians, but he couldn't really be pigeonholed into a single genre. He drew from the deep wells of gospel, blues, jazz, country, soul, pop and rock 'n' roll. The result was a sophisticated kind of music that was earthy and rhythmically vibrant, but also luxuriously lush and elegant. The center of it all was his velvety soulful croon. Rich had a jazz singer's ability to sculpt phrases and could explore every nuance of sweetness and heartache with shades of blues.

Unfortunately, many of Rich's records are currently out of print, so it is cause for joy and celebration that the eminent reissue label, BGO Records, has chosen to rerelease four albums from his time at Epic Records: Every Time You Touch Me (I get High) (Epic, 1975), Silver Linings (Epic, 1976), Take Me (Epic, 1977) and Rollin' With The Flow (Epic, 1977).

The title track from Every Time You Touch Me (I get High) is a prime example of Rich's ability to sing a piano ballad. In a grand setting with harps, strings, steel guitar and choir, he maintains a tactile intimacy with a smoky voice that sings: "when you fingers touch my skin / that is when I start to live again." Many singers with less integrity than Rich would easily fall into the pitfalls of kitsch with lines like these, but somehow he is able to pull it off and it is simply because he sings with a heart full of conviction.

The key to understanding Rich's artistry is his ability to get into all kinds of material and sing it with passion. His eminent gospel album Silver Linings is a good example of this. Here, the strings are replaced by rollicking blues piano and gospel. Rich's version of "Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child" is hard to better as he embodies the desperation and blue mood of the lyrics, starting just with piano and voice and slowly adding choir, drums and sweeping steel guitar.

Rich also had a soft spot for jazz and his countryfied reading of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo" is filled with respect for the master while he adds new layers of meaning to the melody. Rich was so fond of the composition that he would return to it again on his late masterpiece, Pictures and Paintings (Sire, 1992).

Together the four albums in this package give a complete picture of the musical versatility of this gifted artist, but it is not enough Charlie Rich. The fact that only two songs from this package, "The Milky White Way" and " Since I Fell For You," found their way into the double-disc compilation Feel Like Going Home: The Essential Charlie Rich (Columbia Legacy, 1997) says something about the abundance of good Charlie Rich music and another package from BGO would be welcome.

However, the lengthy liner notes are slightly disappointing. It is often the nature of pop music liner notes to examine chart positions, but the writer seems to care too much about them and too little about getting into the heart of the music on the particular albums. He also voices his own negative opinion about the value of gospel albums, which is highly ironic, considering that Rich's album Silver Linings is considered as one of the great country gospel albums and a highlight of the set.

Still, there is some solid biographical information in the notes, but those who want to have a better and more passionate introduction to Rich are adviced to seek out the excellent portrait in Peter Guralnick's essay collection: Feel Like Going Home: Portraits in Blues and Rock 'n' Roll. The book is appropriately named after a Charlie Rich composition, just one of the great pieces that Rich contributed to the canon of American music.

Track Listing: CD1: Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High): Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High); All Over Me; A Little Bit Here (A Little Bit There); A Mellow Melody; Since I Fell For You; Pass On By; Rendezvous; She; You And I; Midnight Blues.

CD1: Silver Linings): Will The Circle Be Unbroken?; Down By The Riverside; Why Me; Were You There?; Old Time Religion; Just A Closer Walk With Thee; Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Amazing Grace; The Milky White Way; Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

CD2: Take Me): On My Knees; Easy Look; Even A Fool Would Let Go; Mood Indigo; Where Do We Go From Here?; Spanish Eyes; Take Me; Wisdom Of A Fool; My Lady; Road Song; Rollin’ With The Flow.

CD2: Rollin’ With The Flow): Somebody Wrote That Song For Me; Windsong; That’s What Love Is; Night Talk; Beautiful Woman; To Sing A Love Song; Love Survived; Somewhere In My Lifetime; That’s The Way A Cowboy Rocks And Rolls.

Personnel: Charlie Rich: vocal, piano + various session musicians, strings and choir.

Title: Every Time You Touch Me (I Get High) / Silver Linings / Take Me / Rollin' With The Flow | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: BGO Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Flying Machines" CD/LP/Track Review Flying Machines
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Over the Rainbow" CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "Uncharted Waters" CD/LP/Track Review Uncharted Waters
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 11, 2017
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.