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Rogers, Kenny - 1986 They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

ARTIST: Rogers, Kenny
ALBUM: They Don't Make Them Like They Used To
SERIAL: 5633-1-R (LP), 5633-2-R (CD)
YEAR: 1986
CD REISSUE: 2003, Cale Music (UK), CMRCD773


LINEUP: Kenny Rogers - vocals * Guests - numerous

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Love We Share * 02 If I Could Hold On To Love * 03 You're My Love * 04 Time For Love * 05 They Don't Make Them Like They Used To (Theme from Tough Guys) * 06 Life Is Good, Love Is Better * 07 Just The Thought Of Losing You * 08 Anything At All * 09 After All This Time * 10 Twenty Years Ago


It shouldn't be jarring by now to see an artist like Kenny Rogers grace the Glory-Daze site. Especially when Rogers has been very successful, charting more than 70 hit singles across various music genres since the late 50's. However, by the time the 80's rolled around Roger's sound was challenged by young country gunslingers like George Strait hot on his trail. By the mid 80's, Roger's work with David Foster took on a somewhat AOR sheen, and with Jay Graydon taking the helm here you know where things are headed. Graydon's contributions to AOR are well documented and his slick presentation makes 'They Don't Make Em Like They Used To' worthy of mention on Glory-Daze! Reading like a smorgasbord of AOR elite, from songwriters to a baker's dozen of notables who lent their talents to what is considered one of Roger's finest releases. How couldn't it be - when the likes of Graydon, Peter Beckett, Steve Lukather, Dan Huff, Jonathan Cain, Tommy Funderburk, Bill Champlin, Richard Page, El DeBarge and Jason Scheff are among the cooks in the kitchen here. Obviously this ain't no country kitchen either, although it is fair to say Roger's roasted up a few AOR-style nuggets before.

The Songs
'This Love We Share' kicks things off on a high note with Graydon's signature keyboards and lusty guitar at the forefront! Next is 'If I Could Hold On To Love', a far cry from the ballads of Kenny's country- coated past with Steve Lukather's guitar re-affirming we're wading in West-Coast waters. 'You're My Love' is next with excellent background vocals from El Debarge. Other highlights include the Michael Bolton/Jonathan Cain penned 'Just The Thought Of Losing You' and Peter Beckett's 'After All This Time' - proving Kenny's AOR gamble pays off in spades in terms of West Coast/AOR credibility. Unfortunately it's the Burt Bachrach/Carol Bayer Sager penned title track that could be only considered snake eyes on Roger's roll of the AOR dice.

In Summary
No, they don't make 'em like they used to, especially very good albums from country-pop singers trying they're hand at West Coast AOR!... And the Gambler sure knew how to hold em here! Roger's still had a large fan base at the time of this release and it sold enough to go Gold - with it's strongest chart placing still in the Country market!! The album's only single 'Twenty Year's Ago' also helped album sales - itself a #2 hit. The title cut was used as the theme song to the movie 'Tough Guys'. It doesn't matter that Kenny never went down this AOR trail again, the album merely serves as another AOR milestone in terms of the incredible talents of Jay Graydon.

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#1 | jefflynnefan on May 11 2008 22:45:27
This was around the time when a lot of country acts were doing the crossover thing. This isn't a bad album, if you like Kenny Rogers' pop stuff. I remember liking some of Eddie Rabbit's crosssover stuff like 'Suspicion', 'Rainy Night' and the Dylan swipe 'Driving My Life Away'. Interesting thing about Kenny Rogers is in 1973 he aided the rock band Gunhill Road by remixing and redoing their 1972 debut album. And producing the hit song for them 'Back When My Hair Was Short'. Albeit with different lyrics because the original version was said to have had drug references in it? So Kenny really has done a lot of different things.
#2 | kim_hp on August 20 2014 13:28:17
Incredible westcoast stuff and I must admit I love the title track as well - AOR or not. Very good album!
#3 | gdazegod on August 20 2014 21:09:18
Love this album. Glad Jeff Duran pointed it out for us..
#4 | gdazegod on April 02 2016 23:36:28
West coast masterpiece.

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