“Same Ole Me”
Written by Paul Overstreet
Radio & Records
#1 (1 week)
April 9, 1982
George Jones’ tenure at Epic Records reached the decade mark in 1982, and the label took advantage of that milestone and Jones’ revival at country radio to release Anniversary: Ten Years of Hits.
The twenty track collection, which included such standards as “The Grand Tour” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” closed with “Same Ole Me,” which was his most recent No. 1 single at the time of the compilation’s release.
In a way, it closes the album on a forward-looking note. Paul Overstreet, who penned the song, would go on to become one of the most important songwriters of the burgeoning new traditionalist movement, as well as a successful singer in his own right.
“Same Ole Me” hits the typical Overstreet themes of family, monogamy, and a man’s identity being defined by his role at home. He would’ve been too young to make “Same Ole Me” work for himself as a recording artist, with the song’s references to wrinkles and the home stretch of an enduring marriage working perfectly for a vocalist of Jones’ age and experience.
As expected, Jones is flawless vocally, and during the verses, “Same Ole Me” holds up as well as any of his best records from his time on Epic.
But the syrupy production that made so many of Jones’ hits from this time period sound epic in their melodrama falls completely flat here on the chorus. The Oak Ridge Boys overwhelm Jones each time the chorus comes around, and undercut the intimacy of the message. Nobody died here, Billy Sherrill. Nobody even left home with the baby in tow.
Having the Oaks drown out Jones is a remarkably tasteless production choice, and Sherrill should’ve figured that out in the mastering stage and taken them off the damn record. Both acts deserved better.
“Same Ole Me” gets a B.
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