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Freddy Weller

Greatest Hits… and then some – 1998 (Tyneville)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by Freddy Weller

Freddy Weller is one of many stars of the '70's who have fallen into a black hole. Not recent enough to interest the HNC crowd, but not old enough to excite those exploring country traditions, his hits have been out-of-print since the dawn of the CD era. Tyneville, an internet label, has released two new Weller CDs as part of their "songwriter series."

"Greatest Hits" features new recordings of nine of Weller's biggest records. Weller didn't write his earliest hits, covering his friend Joe South, The Cowsills, and Chuck Berry. But he did write some later ones like "The Roadmaster" and "The Perfect Stranger." They're all here, with production intended to replicate the original sound. Weller still has his distinctive voice, with only a bit lost off the high end. The 10th track, "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers," was Bob Luman's hit (and later Steve Wariner's), but Weller wrote it, and it fits him perfectly. When his own hits stopped coming, Weller kept having success as a songwriter. He's had cuts by Reba McEntire and George Jones, among many others. "...and then some" features 10 new songs he co-wrote. The production is more modern, but not overly so. The songs come in a variety of styles. "The Garden" and "Your Memory Walks Through Walls" sound like they were written with Jones in mind. "Rock N' Roll Time Capsule" captures some of that Chuck Berry flavor. There are some fine ballads and some silly redneck rockers.

Both CDs are extremely short but cheap - just $10 apiece. Weller's fans shouldenjoy them.