Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Ashes By Now" by Rodney Crowell

Song#:  0159
Date:  05/10/1980
Debut:  90
Peak:  37
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Country Crossover



Pop Bits:  It's quite surprising that this is Crowell's only pop chart song. With several hits on the country chart and accolades for his songwriting, his solo work seemed like it would have broken through a bit more in pop. The song is from his second solo album "But What Will the Neighbors Think." Over the course of eight years Crowell's country audience grew and in 1988 he released his most famous album "Diamonds & Dirt." Five singles were released from this album and all of them hit #1 on the country chart. Yet, all of them failed to hit the pop chart and even the album failed to make it. Very strange. However, other artists had success with Crowell's songs and even this one was remade in 2000 by Lee Ann Womack and became a #4 country hit and a #48 pop entry.

ReduxReview:  Crowell is an excellent songwriter. This one is no exception. It may take a couple of listens to really click, but when it does, you might find yourself hooked. It's a slow burner and has a nice late-70s country pop sound. Womack's version adds some percussion and kicks up the beat a bit. It's a good reading, but I actually prefer Crowell's simmering statement.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) On the same album that this song appears, Crowell included "Queen of Hearts," written by Hank DeVito who also plays guitar on the song. It was originally recorded by Dave Edmunds a year earlier, but the song would go on to be a big hit in 1981 by Juice Newton.  2) Crowell was married to Roseanne Cash and they often collaborated. He produced her first six album before their marriage ended in 1992.

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