My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Don Williams – ‘Volume Three’

Don Williams’ breakthrough album, appropriately titled Volume Three, arrived in 1974 under his new label Dot/ABC. The album, which he self-produced, helped hone the laid-back sound that defined his career.

The Al Turney-penned “I Wouldn’t Want To Live if You Didn’t Love Me” was Williams’ first of his seventeen #1 hits. The track is an excellent mid-tempo ballad accented with steel. Although the album is credited to Williams as the producer, Allen Reynolds oversaw this track. It marked his first #1 as a producer. The second and final single, “The Ties That Bind” is slower than its predecessor but no less lovely. It peaked at #4.

Williams solely penned four of the album’s songs. “Fly Away” is mid to uptempo dobro-laced number, which could pass for having a slight spiritual bent. The sonic touches are similar on “Goodbye Really Isn’t Good at All,” which makes wonderful use of his gorgeous baritone. “Such a Lovely Lady” is one of his signature love songs and a high-quality one at that. He continues in the same vein, yet again, on “Why Lord Goodbye,” which features an ear-catching steel solo.

As with every album by Williams, there isn’t a stinker in this bunch nor can I find any fault with this recording at all. Like the two previous volumes before it, Volume 3 is a brilliant early example of what makes Williams such a unique artist with a style virtually unmatched. I have to also give him credit for his production choices, which sound as fresh today as they did forty-three years ago.

Grade: A

2 responses to “Album Review: Don Williams – ‘Volume Three’

  1. Alan Jobe May 8, 2017 at 9:01 am

    This is where I discovered Don Williams. My aunt really liked him and would play his music in her car when we would travel. There’s something about his voice and his style of music that just makes you feel great to be alive.

    All my favorites from the album are mentioned here: I Wouldn’t Want To Live, Goodbye Isn’t Really Good At All, The Ties That Bind, Such A Lovely Lady, and Why Lord Goodbye.

    I can’t recommend this album enough. One of his best.

  2. Paul W Dennis May 9, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Don’s early albums were consistently very good with few duds among the tracks. I purchased the first four albums, but money was tight for a while so for a few years I cut back on my purchases other than his greatest hits collections. Fortunately, most of his ABC/DOT/MCA material has become available on CD sets that collect two or three albums apiece

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