Buck Owens was riding high in the mid-60s. Every single he released (and there were fourteen of them) between 1963 and 1967 went to number one in the country charts.
His hit making didn't dissipate until the mid-7os but as a solid block of successful singles the 60s run is undeniably impressive.
This album by all accounts was made up of bits and pieces that were cobbled together because of the demand for Buck material.
The tracks were recorded between May 1965 and November 1966.
Although these tracks weren't originally recorded with an album in mind, the mid-60s Buckaroos were generating so much great material that everything was getting released.
The album features three #1 country hits, "Only You", "Your Tender Loving Care", and "Sam's Place", all which were released before the album.
It was obvious that they were needed to be put on an album with whatever other songs hadn't been released yet.
The result, "Your Tender Loving Care".
This hodgepodge type of releasing which seems to affect country, trad pop and Elvis Presley releases can be open to criticism. People, generally, like to think an album, is a collection of material specifically recorded for an album with a specific vision. But, as long as the songs are recorded in short compass of each other, the stylistic vision of the artist will come through. Their proximity to each other taps into what the musician was feeling at the time.
And so it is with Buck Owens. The sound, mood and feel is such that all these songs hang together well as if they were meant to be on an album all along.
Buck is amazing for his sheer consistency. This album doesn't, despite the hits, have some of the killer mid-60s tracks and isn't as contemplative as his late-60s or early-70s albums (which I love) but just about every song is solid.
Impressive is, Bucks writing.
It seems that the vast majority of country music (especially in pre-outlaw days) was about, your partner lying to you, your partner cheating on you, your partner leaving you, with a smattering of having no one to love songs which I wouldn't think would be a bad thing in country music, given that partners seem to be always lying, cheating, and leaving.
Yes there are a few true love songs, faith in the family songs, getting drunk songs and on the road songs but the dramatic edge seems to lie with the difficulties of life in love.
Buck, manages, in a well established genre to make the songs about the vicissitudes of love sound fresh.
There is an honesty in the twang of his voice and a sincerity in the lyrics which makes him sound like he isn't just refrying old themes, which I suppose he is. But, then again, maybe all of life is just refried old themes.
All songs by Buck unless otherwise noted.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Your Tender Loving Care – a country love ballad which Buck can pull off without schmaltz and cloying sentimentality.
- Song and Dance – an great up-tempo number with great twanging Telecasters and harmonies. A woman leaves her man for another but gets tired and comes back looking for a second chance.
- Only You (Can Break My Heart) – the pedal steel dominates here
- What a Liar I Am – another good song though not a standout.
- Someone With No One to Love – (Buck Owens, Red Simpson) – The pedal steel dominates again here is this of told tale of loneliness without love.
- Rocks in My Head – another great song about a a faithful and loyal man
- Sam's Place – (Owens, Simpson) – a great hoot of a song. I think we would all like to hang out at Sam's place. Good name for an alt country club also!
- If I Had You Back Again – apparently the narrator would walk the "straight and narrow" if he had his chick back again. I want to believe him.
- House of Memories – (Merle Haggard) – I'm not sure how this got recorded by Buck but Merle released his version on his "I'm a Lonesome Fugitive" (1967) album. But it makes sense to record a tune by fellow Bakersfield musician Merle Haggard, who had just started his climb to the upper echelons of country music. This is a good song and very Merle Haggard who writes about guilt so convincingly I'm surprised he isn't Catholic.
- Only You (And You Alone) – (Robert J. Wooten) – a Mexican Latin lilt in this song give this song a very pleasant air, A treat.
- Don't Ever Tell Me Goodbye – (Owens, Simpson) –
- You Made a Monkey Out of Me – (Owens and Don Rich) – they lyrics are pure country corn but resonate because they are spoken direct English (despite the analogy)
A joy … I'm keeping it.
1965 Only You (Can Break My Heart) – #1 Country
1965 Only You (Can Break My Heart) – #120 Pop
1967 Sam's Place – #1 Country
1967 Sam's Place – #92 Pop
1967 Your Tender Loving Care – #1 Country
1967 #1 Country
1967 #177 Pop
Your Tender Loving Care
Song and Dance
Only You (Can Break My Heart)
What a Liar I Am
Someone With No One to Love
Rocks in My Head
If I Had You Back Again
House of Memories
Only You (And You Alone)
Don't Ever Tell Me Goodbye
You Made a Monkey Out of Me