Buck Owens & Susan Raye – Together Again
A duet formula that worked. Capitol Records produced 5 LPs for Buck Owens & Susan Raye because together they had country chemistry. Among the songs in this 22-track album are songs they sing together (12) & Susan’s (10) solo spots. Among these tunes, 6 went Top 40 & 5 Top 20. It chronicles the work of 2 prolific artists (1970-5).
Together Again (Drops Dec 10–Omnivore Recordings) aims at the fine music Buck Owens recorded in the last 5 years he was at Capitol, & the story of the beginning of a stellar career for the attractive Susan Raye who hit the ground running.
This will also be the kick-starter for Omnivore’s series of 9 Susan Raye digitally re-released LPs (1970-3).
The majority may be considered retro country. A little echo on some for presence. But the whole of the lineup has no gimmicks or silliness. The musicianship is always vivid. Not what is commonly considered country by today’s standards. But the charm rendered on each selection is what made many of these songs so memorable. For younger ears, they may border on corny at times (“My Heart Skips a Beat”). But in many respects, the words, melodies & performances are clever, tight & pristine.
The duet “Together Again,” goes for the heart with excellent instrumentation. Owens’ & Raye’s vocals are ideal together. Their voices are a natural blend unified by the lyrics. “I Don’t Care (Just As Long As You Love Me),” borders on light-hearted country but listen closely – it isn’t silly at all. It has a well-written upbeat country melody & though it’s loaded with rhymes upon rhymes that’s what country music essentially was. This is the kind of country music you can listen to all day – it doesn’t make you have to think about what is being said – but how it’s felt.
Of course, Owens had expertise with this music. The majority on this LP were written by Buck, who knew exactly where the heart’s target was & seldom missed. Particularly rich is “Your Tender Loving Care,” a short ballad with country music colors spread generously. Susan’s voice makes it sparkle.
Then, Susan rocks out on 2 pop-oriented songs “How Long Will My Baby Be Gone,” & “I’ve Got You On My Mind Again.” Both are reminiscent of the typical hits of female vocalists of the mid to late 60s: Diane Renay (“Navy Blue”), Sandy Posey, & Sue Thompson.
The sound’s impeccable, all songs are sung with expressive vocals. The 53-minute CD was produced by Grammy-award winner Cheryl Pawelski & mastered by Grammy winner Michael Graves. A stitched 12pp full-color insert’s included.
Images courtesy of the Buck Owens Private Foundation. No detailed musicians since songs are from multiple LPs. Available @ http://omnivorerecordings.com/shop/together-again/