My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Kenny Rogers – ‘Love Will Turn You Around”

Kenny Rogers’ thirteenth album, Love Will Turn You Around, was his second studio release since parting ways with longtime collaborator Larry Butler. The album, released in 1982, was a platinum-selling success.

The title track, one of my favorites in Rogers’ catalog, was issued as the lead single. The whimsical mid-paced ballad, the theme to his film Six Pack, peaked at #1 on both the Country and Adult Contemporary charts.

The second and final single, “A Love Song” was written and originally recorded by Lee Greenwood on his Inside Out album the same year. The lush ballad, which peaked at #3, is a bit too slow and delicate for my tastes.

Bobby Harden’s “Fightin’ Fire with Fire” is the story of a man being tormented by a woman named Diana and the new flame she’s literally rubbing in his face. “Maybe You Should Know,” composed by Peter McCann, is a forceful confessional from a man to his woman.

The funky R&B leaning “Somewhere Between Lovers and Friends” was co-written by Brent Mehar and Randy Goodrum, who were enjoying ample success during this period writing for everyone from The Judds and Anne Murray to Ronnie Milsap. With that degree of pedigree, it’s odd this wasn’t chosen as a single.

“Take This Heart,” by J.P. Pennington, moves Rogers’ further away from country with a lyric and melody that would’ve perfectly suited Crystal Gayle. The straight-up rock of “If You Can Lie A Little Bit” recalls his work with the First Edition. “The Fool In Me,” another Goodrum co-write (with Dave Loggins), is one of the album’s strongest tracks, complete with horns.

The best album cut on Love Will Turn You Around is closing track “I Want A Son,” co-written by Steve Dorff and Marty Panzer. The reflective ballad isn’t particularly country but that doesn’t diminish its quality in the least.

Love Will Turn You Around is a mixed bag at best, melding a slew of different styles both effective and ineffectively. The title track is the obvious classic and easily the most memorable cut from this set.

Grade: B

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One response to “Album Review: Kenny Rogers – ‘Love Will Turn You Around”

  1. Ken October 18, 2017 at 9:44 am

    “Love Will Turn You Around” is a remarkably strong song when you consider that it was created in just one week’s time out of necessity. The writers were under a deadline to compose a song for the already completed “Six Pack” movie and they rose to the challenge Based upon a brief portion of a melody that was composed by Kenny, the song was finished by his producer David Malloy, Thom Schuyler and Even Stevens. Seven out of the eight previous Kenny Rogers’ solo singles or duets were ballads so the tempo change worked to his advantage. But as Jonathan pointed out Kenny’s next single was yet another ballad. Although becoming a #3 country hit “A Love Song” is not one of Kenny’s best remembered hits.

    “Six Pack” was a very cute movie that reinforced Kenny’s “good guy” image. He seemed to work quite well with the kids who stole many of the scenes. The movie also starred a teenage Diane Lane whose acting career was just starting. Burt Reynolds makes a cameo appearance and says just one line to Kenny during a walk through in a bar scene. “Love Will Turn You Around” is played during the opening credits.

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