My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Crystal Gayle – ‘We Should Be Together’

we-should-be-togetherThe end of the 1970s saw Crystal Gayle in a point of transition as she left United Artists for Columbia. Her sixth and final album for longtime label, We Should Be Together, was released in mid-June.

The album, helmed as per usual by Allan Reynolds, produced two top ten hits. Lead single “Your Kisses Will” came from a recording session three years prior in November 1976. It peaked at #7 upon release. The song was written by Van Stephenson, a then unknown singer/songwriter who would go onto a solo career with MCA Records in the 1980s, while continuing to compose hits for other artists. In 1992 he joined Henry Paul and Dave Robbins in the formation of Blackhawk, his biggest success as an artist. He passed from Melanoma in 2001 at age 47. “Your Kisses Now” was the start of his career.

Another 1976 recording session produced “Your Old Cold Shoulder,” which peaked at #5. The track reunited her with Richard Leigh and was a rare instance where a single by the pair did not top the country singles chart. Leigh had another track on the album, “Too Deep For Tears,” a lovely piano ballad.

Harlan Howard provided “Time Will Prove That I’m Right,” a jaunty horn-drenched slice of ragtime complete with honky-tonk piano. Reynolds wrote the title track, an excellent up-tempo number. Gayle and Bill Gatzimos had two cuts on the album, the re-record of “Beyond You” and “Through Believing In Love Songs,” a lush ballad without much pep. “Sneakin’ Out The Back Door” is one of the records’ most uptempo numbers.

The album itself is very good, although a bit too pop-leaning for my tastes. I just couldn’t get into the AC balladry this time around. But this is a solid set from Gayle nonetheless.

Grade: B+

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3 responses to “Album Review: Crystal Gayle – ‘We Should Be Together’

  1. Alan Jobe January 16, 2017 at 9:59 am

    A nice album but not one of my favorites of hers. It always seemed that this album was thrown together to satisfy a contract obligation. I say that because her first Columbia album was released just a couple of months later.

    My favorites are Sneakin’ Out The Back Door, Your Old Cold Shoulder, You’re The Best Thing In My Life, and the beautiful You’ll Be Loved Someday.

    Unlike the later re-recording of the song When I Dream where there are destinctive differences from the original recording, this version of Beyond You is almost identical to the original version. As a result, it’s kind of head-scratching as to why it was included here instead of a new song.

    Your Kisses Will is my least favorite of all of Gayle’s singles releases. Her voice is fine and the song is nice enough. But it’s one of the rare times that I didn’t care for Reynolds’ arrangements.

    Again, it’s a nice album, but it is definitely of lower quality than her first five albums for United Artists.

  2. Ken January 16, 2017 at 11:44 am

    To be clear at the time that this album was released in mid-1979 Crystal was no longer officially on the United Artists roster. She had completed recording sessions for her first Columbia album and there was no “obligation” to be fulfilled. United Artists simply could not compete with the big money offered to Crystal. Columbia saw continued cro$$over potential given her pop/AC chart succe$$. United Artists was heavily invested in Crystal’s career but when she finally achieved major success she jumped to a larger label. Can’t blame her – that’s how the music business works. So U.A. turned to previously unreleased vault material to recoup their investment. That’s why this release is a bit inconsistent. It’s in fact a compilation album drawn from sessions recorded over several years although the songs received a new remix by Allen Reynolds & Garth Fundis.

    That said you can clearly hear that the overall quality of Crystal’s material on this album was very high. Even sides initially overlooked for release are strong performances. “Your Kisses Will” kept Crystal on the charts during the summer of 1979 until the release of her first Columbia single in late August. “Half The Way” adversely affected the potential of “Your Kisses Will” due to Columbia’s intense promotional efforts for their new act. Many radio stations dropped “Kisses” from their playlists to add the brand new single. U.A. released “Your Old Cold Shoulder” that Fall just as “Half The Way” was peaking. That single was able to climb into the top five just as Crystal’s second Columbia single “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye” was released.

    U.A. released one more Crystal Gayle compilation album “Favorites” in 1980. Two singles from that collection “River Road” [peaked @#64] and “Heart Mender” [peaked @#58] failed to catch fire. In late 1980 the U.A. imprint became Liberty and in late 1981 “A Woman’s Heart” album was issued containing additional vault material.

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