Wednesday, March 27, 2013

40 Year Itch : Alone in the Cold Gray Dawn


  There's no way to write objectively about Behind Closed Doors. It is one of the soundtracks of my childhood. I know every lyric, every drum fill, every piano trill by heart. Our copy of Behind Closed Doors was an 8 track my stepmother played in the Chevrolet Suburban on the way to the barn in the next town over. She competed in "cutting",  a western sport in which riders and their horses make sharp, breath-taking turns trying to keep young cows away from the rest of the herd. We drove all over New England for her competitions with Charlie Rich singing his suggestive Top 20 crossover hit  "Behind Closed Doors and his #1 classic "The Most Beautiful Girl". There truly isn't a a bad cut on the album.

Behind Closed Doors is the ultimate "countrypolitan" album combining soaring string sections with twangy steel guitars and Nashville accents. At first listen, it may seem sappy, but live with an album like Behind Closed Doors and you'll find it's all heart.

   The album is so much a part of me that I was surprised the other day to come up with an original thought: Behind Closed Doors sounds like the album Elvis Presley should have recorded in 1973. After all his backing vocalists, The Jordanaires, are present. And Elvis would have enjoyed himself , especially on the gospel tinged (and possibly blasphemous) "Peace On You" :

God ain't gonna love you any
 'cause you loved too many more
He ain't gonna trust you baby 
He never could before . 

 Elvis never cut "Peace On You" but it would be the title cut of  Roger McGuinn's (!) second solo album in 1974.

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