Sound Off: Glen Campbell, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"

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August 14, 2008

In a surprising move, music legend and Country Music Hall of Famer Glen Campbell has chosen contemporary material for his upcoming covers album, Meet Glen Campbell.   One of the songs included is the modern standard  “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”, originally recorded by Green Day.

Here's the press release:

In a legendary music career that spans more than five decades, Glen Campbell has achieved chart-topping, platinum-selling pop and country success singing everyday tales of life, love, work and heartache. For Meet Glen Campbell, his inspired, dynamic new studio album, the music icon has returned to his longtime label home, Capitol Records. Meet Glen Campbell will be released on August 19 on CD, limited edition vinyl and digitally.

The songs on the album all strike a personal and musical chord with Campbell. He has reinterpreted and re-imagined both older and contemporary songs with his own signature vocal and guitar arrangements. A true musician’s musician, Campbell’s distinct guitar playing, along with th

e clarity and emotion of his powerful vocal performance, come together to give new life to the songs he selected for Meet Glen Campbell.

The influential singer, guitarist and stylist, who has long made others’ songs his own, is doing it again, recording high-spirited, emotionally charged versions of tracks that have personally moved and inspired him. Campbell’s intimate performances convey an autobiographical and deeply personal connection to the album’s songs, which include Travis’ “Sing,” Tom Petty’s “Angel Dream” and “Walls,” The Replacements’ “Sadly Beautiful,” U2’s “All I Want Is You,” The Velvet Underground’s “Jesus,” and Jackson Browne’s “These Days,” among others.

“I really like all of the songs and I had a great time recording them. While I didn’t write these songs, this sounds like a Glen Campbell album, which is important to me,” says Glen Campbell.

I can't wait to hear your reactions to this one. Please keep the comments focused on the music. Enjoy!

Listen: Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

Official Site: Glen Campbell

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22 Comments

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  1. JarheadDadNo Gravatar says:

    What’s a Green Day? Aren’t they that tree hugger rock band from the 90s? Save The Cheerleader – Save The World! ruh-roh!

    Just pickin’ at ya’! ;-)

    Glen’s choice of contemporary material doesn’t surprise me in the least. He’s always been a good bit pop. Plus good songs are good songs no matter the genre.

    Only George/Tammy could match Glen/Tanya for drama back in the day. No, the material is no surprise to me at all.

    I tell you what does surprise me, but it’s only from hearing this one cut, is the strength of his voice. Glen sounds really, really good on this one. Good to hear!

    I’m guessin’ everyone else was expecting “Rhinestone Cowboy – The Sequel” I reckon. This one should get interesting as well. Look forward to it.

  2. Dan M.No Gravatar says:

    I’ve always loved Campbell’s voice, and he’s always been very good at straddling the line between pop and country with considerable integrity, IMO. I was really interested when I first heard about this release a few weeks ago.

    …But this number doesn’t do it for me. Not that the song itself is at all bad; it just doesn’t quite seem to fit the bill for country adaptation, especially once the drums come in, so it just sounds sort of awkward. And Campbell’s voice sounds a little shrill (and possibly auto-tuned) on it to me.

    But I’ll bet he does a great cover of that Velvet Underground song; it’s a natural candidate for getting the country treatment.

  3. Chris N.No Gravatar says:

    This is easily the weakest track on an otherwise really outstanding record.

  4. JarheadDadNo Gravatar says:

    I didn’t find his voice shrill at all Dan. I was actually expecting a lot worse. A couple of years ago I heard Glen sing (and no, I don’t remember where) and his voice was very weak.

    Maybe it is enhanced? I just didn’t get that impression.

    And what the WiskeyTangoFoxtrot is a Velvet Underground? Sounds like a drink served on Bourbon Street. *sigh* I’m just so not hip and cool anymore! :-o

    What’s the best track Chris?

  5. Philly JeffNo Gravatar says:

    Since he’s covering the Velvet Underground, he should have done “Heroin”. Then he could toss Tanya Tucker through a plate glass door, and it’d be 1979 all over again.

  6. charlieNo Gravatar says:

    Does anyone else think the production reminds of “Just to See you Smile”?

  7. Dan M.No Gravatar says:

    Charlie – YES! I knew it sounded familiar! Just sans the steel guitar. You called it.

  8. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    There’s so much to say here.

    First of all, I can’t decide if I like it or hate it. It *is* interesting that Campbell’s version is less acoustic than the rock version.:)

    JHD, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought his voice sounded stronger than I had heard it a few years ago. Everyone over at The9513 seemd to think I was crazy.:)

    Dan, ultimately, I 100% agree with your description of the song. His voice does seem a bit “shrill”, though I wonder if it’s because he’s singing it higher than the original version, which is sung somewhat low. Likewise, the drums are kind of surprising when they kick in and they seem to be contending with the vocals too much.

    Chris N., I’m glad to hear that the record is good from your point of view. While I’m not sure what I think of this single, it doesn’t make me want to avoid the album, which a step in the right direction.

  9. Matt C.No Gravatar says:

    Re: Campbell’s voice. It really sounds like trash on the first track (“Sing”) of the cover album. Other than that, it’s passing, though I wouldn’t describe him as at the peak of his abilities anymore.

  10. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Oh yeah, I’m sometimes taken aback by how clear his voice was when I listen to an old recording of his.

  11. JarheadDadNo Gravatar says:

    “JHD, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought his voice sounded stronger than I had heard it a few years ago. Everyone over at The9513 seemd to think I was crazy.”:)

    Naw, you’re not crazy Leeann. Well, about Glen’s voice anyhoo! ;-)

    When I heard him last he sounded like he’d had a bender with a bottle of Jack Black. For about a month. Huh!

    I still don’t hear the shrill so I guess I’m the carzy one now! (no comments from the peanut gallery required!) :-o

  12. JarheadDadNo Gravatar says:

    crazy

    Aw geez!

  13. Miss KittyNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t yet heard it, but am ambivalent about any new Glen Campbell…he’s been through/put himself through a lot of hell the last few decades, and serious drug/alcohol abuse tends to mess up the voice. And I’d never heard the episode about his throwing TT through a plate-glass door (LOL @ Philly Jeff).

  14. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    I think I’ve finally reached a conclusion on this song. It’s a good effort, but I like Green Day’s version better. Campbell’s version isn’t as raw as Green Day’s, which was part of the appeal of the song in the first place for me.

  15. Chris N.No Gravatar says:

    I’m afraid my favorite track on the album is also the least adventurous: a version of Jackson Browne’s “These Days.” It’s just perfect for Campbell’s style. He also does a very nice version of my favorite Replacements song, “Sadly Beautiful.”

  16. TrailerNo Gravatar says:

    I like it, but I won’t give it many more listens. It runs too close to novelty to me, but he sounds great. The album isn’t bad at all, but probably not a long player for me.

  17. MarcNo Gravatar says:

    That’s…. AWFUL

  18. JonathanNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve been curious about this project since I first heard about it a couple of months back– I certainly wouldn’t consider Campbell on the same plane as Johnny Cash or Loretta Lynn, so the idea of his attempting a similar type of rock-cred late-career reinvention struck me as more than a bit calculated. But I liked the tracklisting for his covers album well enough to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But I don’t care for this much at all.

    As LeeAnn mentioned, it loses the rawness of the original version, though I’d argue that its production and Campbell’s delivery also lose the bitterness and the melancholy in the song, which are what it has going for it in the first place. If there’s any effort at interpreting it, it’s a lost cause once that peppy little drum machine backbeat kicks in.

    And I agree with Matt C. that Campbell’s voice sounds especially rough on his cover of Travis’ “Sing.” What’s interesting is that the original version of that song by Travis, a band that’s made a name for itself as an even more heavily pop-leaning variation of Coldplay, features a banjo more prominently in the mix than Campbell’s does.

  19. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    Yeah, I think that’s the oddity about this song too, that it’s less acoustic than the original rock version, as I said earlier. It’s kind of like Rascal Flatts taking the harmonica, the more traditional instrument, out of their supposed country version of “Life Is A Highway.”

  20. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    By the way, if anyone happens to be interested in increasing their Campbell collection, Amazon has digital versions of four or five of his albums for $3.68 each.

  21. Dan M.No Gravatar says:

    Leeann, you da bomb. I’m on my way to Amazon right now.

  22. Matt BNo Gravatar says:

    I have always thought that Travis had a few songs that would make for great country songs in the right people’s hands but Jonathan is right, Travis’ version is much stronger with the banjo licks.

    Glen does a pretty good job with the material in general though. We can’t forget that he’s in his 70s now and he has a strong voice when one considers that.

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