Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"Mister Sandman" by Emmylou Harris

Song#:  0513
Date:  02/28/1981
Debut:  83
Peak:  37
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Country Crossover

Pop Bits:  Here is an artist/songwriter with a distinct voice that has had 27 Top 10 country hits, including 7 #1's and 12 Grammy awards, and yet she has appeared on the pop charts only four times with this single being her only Top 40 showing. With the exception of her debut disc, all her outings beginning with 1975's "Pieces of the Sky" through to her first disc of the 80s, "Evangeline," were gold records and country Top 10's. She would continue to place songs and albums in the country Top 10, but this would be her final pop chart showing and "Evangeline" would be her last gold-selling solo album. This remake of the 1954 #1 hit by The Chordettes would also reach #10 on the country chart.

ReduxReview:  I have been in love with Emmylou's voice forever. There is just something about it that makes me think of a kind, comforting, weary angel. I think it is stunning. And as a background vocalist, none can touch her. She is a great songwriter and a wonderful interpreter as well. And although this song is well-done and fun in a nostalgic way, it is unfortunate that this was her biggest pop chart song. Originally from an abandoned Trio project (see below), it kind of feels like a leftover. I'd say forget this song and listen to a hits disc or some of her later projects like the incredible "Wrecking Ball" from 1995, produced by Daniel Lanois.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  With Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, Harris formed the group Trio and they had a successful, Grammy-winning self-titled album in 1987. What a lot of folks don't know is that they tried to record a Trio album in the late 70s. But due to their schedules and their different label affiliations, the project just didn't gel. However, there were some recording sessions and a few of these found their way to some other albums. "Mister Sandman" was one of them. The track from the Trio sessions was used on the "Evangeline" album, but when it came to the single, Parton and Ronstadt's labels would not allow them to appear. So Harris replaced their voices with hers and the single version was all her voice while the Trio version remained on the album.


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