My Kind of Country

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

Album Review: Conway Twitty – ‘Southern Comfort’

By the dawn of the 1980s, Conway Twitty had collected 23 solo number one singles and another five from duets with Loretta Lynn. Changes were afloat in the new decade, the least of which was a tweak in appearance, from his trademark pompadour hairstyle to the head of curls that would carry him through until his death in 1993.

Twitty parted ways with Decca/MCA Records after fifteen years with the label in 1981. He would release his next two albums on Eleketra, a move that would continue his success and allow Twitty to venture into new realms of his career. His first release for the label, Southern Comfort, would give him two more chart-topping singles. The album was produced by Jimmy Bowen.

The first single, “The Clown” was a slow and prodding ballad, typical of the period, with zero country signifiers. The follow-up, “Slow Hand” had been a big hit for The Pointer Sisters a year earlier. “Boy Next Door,” “Love And Only Love” and “It Turns Me Inside Out” are more of the same mid-paced to slow warmed over balladry.

“When Love Was Something Else” is an excellent change of pace, with twangy guitar added into the mix and noticeable effort to resemble country music. “She Only Meant to Use Him” employed the same techniques for another winning number. “Something Strange Got Into Her Last Night” continues the upward trend and could’ve easily been right at home under the care of Ronnie Milsap. “I Was The First” has an engaging melody I really enjoyed. The title track is an awful throwaway, with a cheesy lyric and intrusive background vocalists.

Despite the two singles, which Conway Twitty pursuits consider low points in his catalog, all hope is not lost with Southern Comfort. The majority of songs on the album are good and engaging, but not earth-shattering or remarkable. I wouldn’t rush to seek out a copy, the album can be easily streamed on YouTube, but it’s better than the singles and album cover would suggest.

Grade: B

10 responses to “Album Review: Conway Twitty – ‘Southern Comfort’

  1. Razor X November 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Trivia question: does anyone know who that model on the cover with him is?

  2. Paul W Dennis November 15, 2017 at 9:43 pm

    I’m afraid that leaving MCA/Decca was Conway’s biggest mistake. Although his music had been deteriorating for several albums, the descent into sludge would accelerate with the move to Elektra. There would not be a Conway Twitty single I liked for several years until “Lost In The Feeling” in 1983

    I would give this album a C

  3. Luckyoldsun November 17, 2017 at 12:44 am

    I didn’t care for “The Clown,” but “Slow Hand” was certainly a late-career highlight for Twitty. I’ve wondered if Conway ever had an opportunity to perform the song on the same stage with the Pointer Sisters. That would have been fun. But a Google search doesn’t turn anything like that up.
    I thought Conway was clever to rework “Slow Hand” as a man’s song, but I discovered that that was not his doing. The alternate male version had actually been first released–as a country single–a year before Conway, by, of all people Del Reeves. Del’s version was not bad, and was in some ways quite similar to Conway’s but it lacked the smouldering vocals that were Conway’s trademark.

  4. Paul W Dennis November 17, 2017 at 6:50 am

    Radio barely played Del’s 1981 recording – it got to #53. By 1981 Del’s hit making days were over and he was recording for the small Koala label

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