The girls’ third album was released in 1987 following their successful duet with the Bellamy Brothers and subsequent Brothers and Sisters concert tour. Without a strong contender for a follow-up single from their previous album, Warner Brothers went ahead and started issuing singles from this set, which was released in the Spring.
“Too Many Rivers,” written by Harlan Howard was originally recorded and released by Brenda Lee in 1965, where it charted modestly on the country chart but was a major #2 pop hit. The girl’s version, which updates the torch ballad with a modern arrangement peaked at #5 and is quite wonderful.
They would return to #1 with the album’s title track, which was penned by the incomparable Paul Overstreet and Don Schlitz. It’s an excellent and perfectly produced ballad about an undoubted love:
Looking in my life
Through the eyes of a young girl growing older all the time,
Maybe just a little wiser
I can clearly see
All my mistakes keep coming back to visit me
Pointing out the roads not taken
So much I’d like to change but one thing I’d do the same
I’d choose you again, I’d choose you again
If God gave me the chance to do it all again
Oh, I’d carefully consider every choice and then
Out of all the boys in the world
I’d choose you again
Times weren’t always good
Seems like the Lord gave all the easy parts away
But every time the road got rocky
You’d look at me and say
Had all you needed long as I was there with you
You’re the reason I kept going
If I could start my life anew
The first thing that I would do
Their artistic winning streak continued on “Lyin’ In His Arms Again,” the album’s third and final single. The mid-paced ballad, which isn’t quite as strong as “(I’d Choose) You Again,” is still very good and peaked at #5.
The girls open You Again with “That’s What Your Love Does To Me,” a twangy up-tempo number about an irresistible partner. “Before You” is an excellent mid-tempo ballad and one of the more traditional-leaning songs on the album.
One of the record’s highlights is a tender ballad “My Mother’s Eyes,” which follows the captivating tale of a woman raising her kids after their father has abandoned the family. “Sooner or Later” is an uptempo change of pace with a synth-heavy arraignment that dates it to the time period.
They continue in that vein on “Wrap Me Up,” but with less synth and more percussion. “I Can’t Lose What I Never Had” is forgettable while “Down The Road” is a sweet tale of life back home with mom and dad.
I apologize for not having much information about the album so I wasn’t able to identify which sister sang lead on which songs. That being said, You Again is a very pleasant listen with some pretty great tracks.
Nice review of this great album. I have it on vinyl & CD so I can fill in some additional info.
The Forester’s previous album included an inner sleeve with extensive notes that listed the lead singer for each track. Track-by-track vocal credit was not provided for this release so it’s left up to sharp-eared fans to determine which sister sang each lead.
Unlike the first two Forester Sisters albums produced by J.L. Wallace & Terry Skinner the production duties for their third release was shared among multiple producers. Perhaps the disappointing performance of their previous album led Warner Brothers to seek more diversity. J.L. Wallace & Terry Skinner returned to produce three of the tracks including two of the hit singles “Too Many Rivers” and “Lyin’ In His Arms Again.” James Stroud & Barry Beckett contributed three songs including the hit title track. Emory Gordy, Jr. produced the remaining four sides. The concept worked as it resulted in an album with a lot of variety, interesting arrangements and three big hits. To list all of the musicians, engineers and studios used on the various sessions would take up most of this page.
“Too Many Rivers” was a #13 pop hit for Brenda Lee in 1965. Although written by country tunesmith Harlan Howard and produced in Nashville by Owen Bradley the song did not garner significant country airplay at that time so it did not chart on the Billboard country survey. In the early 1970’s when Brenda began to have country hits like “Nobody Wins,” and “Big Four Poster Bed,” many country stations added her earlier “pop” hits to their oldies libraries. “Too Many Rivers” was one of the key tracks often played along with “I’m Sorry,” “Fool #1,” and “As Usual.”
Two songs on this album became hits for other artists. “That’s What Your Love Does To Me,” was a top 5 single for Holly Dunn in mid-1988. Holly’s arrangement has a more acoustic sound. “Sooner Or Later” hit the top ten for Eddy Raven in early 1990. Raven’s version went much heavier on the 80’s synthesizers, rock guitar & drums than the Forester’s rendition.
There is an inconsistency between the album and the single regarding the title track. The album lists the song title as “(I’d Choose) You Again,” while the single release (and the album title) is simply “You Again.”
Demonstrating the girl’s strong family ties the liner notes include a sweet acknowledgment to a beloved relative: “This album is dedicated to the woman from whom we’ve all drawn strength – Granny.”
You Again was the first Foresters album to be released on the brand new compact disc format. At that time the CD industry was in it’s infancy so there were few production facilities. Many CD’s were manufactured in Japan until more facilities could be built in the U.S. As a result the U.S. music industry initially had to focus primarily on CD releases for brand new albums rather than re-releasing back catalog titles. Of course whenever extra production capacity was available pop catalog titles received priority treatment. One long-lasting result of that situation was that many country albums released prior to 1987 were never issued on CD. Unfortunately that includes the first two Forester’s LP’s. However both are now available as downloads.
Except for their Greatest Hits package, this was the only Forester Sisters album I bought.