Glen Campbell is best known for his chart-topping hits of two decades: the sedate countrypolitan ballads such as "Wichita Lineman" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" in the 1960s and radiant pop smashes like "Southern Nights" and "Rhinestone Cowboy" in the '70s. Campbell worked his way up from a highly-regarded session guitarist to a full-fledged star -- he was part of the notorious LA studio aces known as the Wrecking Crew, who backed countless recording artists in the early '60s, including the Beach Boys, who he toured with as a bassist and harmony singer. Campbell's first real chart success came with his hit version of John Hartford's "Gentle On My Mind," a 1967 single that propelled him towards the top of the Pop charts and made him an icon of the nascent "countrypolitan" sound. Here's a quick look at his work...
Glen Campbell "The Glen Campbell Collection: 1962-1989" (Razor & Tie, 1997)
This generously-programmed 2-CD set has wa-a-a-a-ay more of Glen's work than I need... but it's probably perfect for the devoted fan! Includes "Southern Nights" and "Rhinestone Cowboy," so this son of the Seventies is happy. Also branches back to his early country-folk/countrypolitan hits -- "Gentle On My Mind," "Wichita Lineman," et. al. -- and fast forwards to his later, less-well known work in the 1980s. If you really wanna check Campbell's career out, this collection is a great option.
Glen Campbell "The Capitol Years: 65-77" (EMI-Europe, 1999)
Glen Campbell "The Legacy: 1961-2002" (Capitol, 2002)
From early soft country to country-folk smashes like "Galveston," "Gentle On My Mind" and "By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and onto his fab '70s hits such as "Rhinestone Cowboy," "Country Boy" and "Southern Nights..." One thing you can say about Glen Campbell: he sure had range and longevity! This 4-CD set covers a lot of ground, including an entire disc of live material. The song selection -- drawn from folk, pop and gospel -- is pretty ambitious, but it should be mentioned that the string sections are often rather intrusive and unsubtle. Okay, so maybe it doesn't have "Tequila" or "Record Collector's Dream," but as a representative portrait of this old countrypolitan superstar, this is a pretty good set.
Glen Campbell "Greatest Hits" (Capitol Nashville, 2009)
Glen Campbell "Hey Little One/A New Place In The Sun" (BGO, 2009)
Glen Campbell "Rhinestone Cowboy/Bloodline" (Raven, 2002)
Glen Campbell "Southern Nights/Basic" (Raven, 2003)
Glen Campbell "Merry Christmas" (Capitol, 1991)
Glen Campbell "Christmas With Glen Campbell" (Delta, 1995)
All standards, some with kinda jazzy, swinging arrangements... Not bad for this brand of commercial holiday records, and Glen is in fairly fine fettle as well. A fan would not be disappointed. (For more Christmas music, see my Hillbilly Holiday section...)
Glen Campbell "Jesus And Me: The Collection" (KTel, 1998)
Glen Campbell "Good Times Again" (Time-Life, 2007) (DVD)
A selection of performances from Campbell's TV show, which ran from 1969-72...
Hick Music Index