Well, now, we're up to studio album sixteen in the Golden LP Series...it's the second album of 1978 from Ray Stevens titled Be Your Own Best Friend. The album was a much more conventional release...although this particular LP features 9 selections rather than 10 or 11. There was only one single released, the title track, and it reached the Country Top-40 in America.
One of the highlights, among the many, is "You're Magic". It, too, is an easy-listening pleasant sounding catchy song. The song, armed with a bright and sunny arrangement and breezy vocalization, became an immediate favorite when I heard it for the first time. The song, basically, is about the enthusiasm and uncontrollable desires of a man who definitely has quite a passion for the woman he's singing about. On the other side of the emotional roller coaster is "Comeback"...this particular song rises the volume quite considerably compared to the soft and slow ballads that fill most of the album. In this song we hear a lover's plea in the most urgent kind of way...the hook of the song is the repetitive use not only of the title but also the demonstrative usage of it. When you finish hearing the song you'll have no doubt how much he wants the woman to comeback!
A more pop-flavored offering is heard on "The Feeling's Not Right Again". In this performance, Ray sings about a man who always comes so close to finding true love but without fail it always turns out not so good. "Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right" is a catchy mid-tempo love ballad about a man who falls victim to adultery and he initially wants to get revenge on the woman but ultimately he has a change of heart which leads to the song's title.
"L'amour" is a breathtaking song all about love. It's a song that has a unique origin in that it was written by French artist, Gilbert Becaud, who had a massive hit single with it in his native language. Ray reworked the lyrics and it has a catchy arrangement, too. The feel of the song is French...long before I knew much about the song's origins I suspected that it had some sort of international connection because the song's melody sounds foreign compared to American music. I originally assumed the song had connections with the United Kingdom or even Canada...but then I researched the song and found out it's origins.
One of the interesting trivia notes concerning Ray's stay at Warner Brothers is the lack of strong publicity that his albums and singles had generated. I wish I had a time machine and could go back to the late '70s and see just what was happening. One of the main reasons why I like to Google news archives on Ray is so I can get a feel of the media coverage, or lack of coverage, during certain points in his career. Whenever I search for news articles on Ray from the late '70s, 1977-1978 specifically, what I end up with are news articles mentioning any number of his TV appearances or maybe a write-up promoting an upcoming concert or one that already took place. I rarely find news articles that publicize his albums or singles from that time period...which leads me to believe the publicity machine wasn't cranked up all that high for Ray during that point in time. It's a shame, too, because the music he put out during this late '70s period is just as good as anything else you'll hear.
In the meantime, since there wasn't another single being pushed from Be Your Own Best Friend in the latter half of 1978, fans had to wait several months before the next project hit the market...and it hit in the spring of 1979. It was a novelty single...his first novelty release since the chicken-clucked "In the Mood" in late 1976. The novelty was rooted in parody...and chances were a listener had to at least have some sort of knowledge or familiarity with the subject being spoofed in order to really get the humor. Join me in the next installment as I discuss this 1979 novelty single from Ray Stevens...one that was such a hit that Warner Brothers compiled an album of previously recorded songs from Ray in an effort to have an LP to tie in with the surprise hit single.