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Glen Campbell

British Live Performance – 2015 (Rainman)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

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CDs by Glen Campbell

Glen Campbell was in fine voice for this 1990 Doncaster, England concert that features strong performances of many of his classic hits and some rare gems, but at times the collection feels a bit dated by the presence of unmemorable tracks from his current album at the time. Campbell's association with songwriter Jim Webb is celebrated nicely not only with megahits "Galveston," "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" and "Wichita Lineman," but one of the highlights is a powerful acoustic solo take on "Highwayman."

Campbell gears much of the show to his British audience. His hit "Try A Little Kindness" is dedicated seemingly tongue in cheek "to the footballers," while the cover of Frank Ifeild's "I Remember You" showcases the yodeling that Campbell credits to the fact that he has quit drinking. He introduces Ralph McTell's "Streets Of London" by announcing his intention to record the song on his next album as "Streets Of Boston"--a recording that never came about though he does replace "London" with "Boston" in one verse of this acoustic performance.

Other standout cuts are Paul McCartney's "Mull Of Kintyre," on which Campbell plays bagpipes, and the theme song from "True Grit," before which Campbell quips "I made John Wayne look so good in 'True Grit' that he won his only Oscar." Elsewhere the cover of Lefty Frizzell's hit "She's Gone Gone Gone" from the 1990 album "Walkin' In The Sun" is solid and features some fancy guitar work from Campbell, but a pair of cuts from that album ("On A Good Night" and the title track) do not stand up well against the stronger material in the collection.

Though Glen Campbell was past his prime in terms of commercial appeal by 1990 he remained a preeminent performer. With Campbell's voice now silenced by Alzheimer's disease this recording is a welcome addition to his impressive catalog.