Monday, March 23, 2009

Rest Your Love...on Conway...

Oh my...today we're spotlighting one of my favorite Conway albums. This one came along in 1980 and it features 10 love songs...the singles for this album, ironically, are featured well within the album. Usually one of the singles is the first song or one of the first three songs but not on this one. This is a ballad heavy album, too. The very first single taken from this album was track number nine...yes...you read that correctly...the song, "A Bridge That Just Won't Burn", hit in the fall of 1980 and reached the Top-5, going as high as #2 in some publications in early 1981.

The title track was written by Barry Gibb, leader of the Bee Gee's. It's a wonderful song...and rather lengthy...given the long musical solo's by the electric guitar player. The single hit #1 in the spring of 1981 on the heels of "A Bridge That Just Won't Burn", which had reached the Top-5 in January of 1981. During this particular point in Conway's career he was all over the radio not only with that song, and "Rest Your Love On Me", but several duet recordings with Loretta were still actively played from 1979 and 1980...as well as "I'd Love To Lay You Down", his huge #1 from 1980.

"A Bridge That Just Won't Burn" and "Rest Your Love On Me" were the only two singles released from this album. The rest of the album is filled with love songs...and only two of them were on the heartbreak side: "A Bridge That Just Won't Burn" and "You'll Be Back Every Night in My Dreams". This album featured a tag-along single...something rare but not unprecedented. "I Am The Dreamer, You Are the Dream" was featured as a B-side tag-along in 1981 for most of the chart run of "Rest Your Love On Me". A tag-along as far as I know is what you call a song that gets airplay and publicity benefiting from it's association with the A-side of a single, which gets the official publicity and promotions from a record label. So, for several weeks it was shown as "Rest Your Love On Me/I Am the Dreamer You Are the Dream" on the national charts.

Earlier I mentioned that this was a ballad heavy album...not only is the title track well over 3 minutes in length but "For All The Right Reasons" has a similar running time and it's a much shorter song, lyrically. If you were to write the lyrics down to that song on a sheet of paper you will see that it's a short song but the music interludes make it longer. These songs have a very intimate and personal feel...almost like this was an album recorded exclusively for the women...although women were who made up his audience for the most part. Listen to the way he performs the songs "Hero For a Day", a ballad about a man who tells a woman all that he thinks she's wanting in life. "We're Gonna Try It Tonight" is one of those conversational songs which features a lyric that goes like "...we're gonna lay love down and keep it warm 'til morning light so when the fire ignites hold on tight...".

"Once Is Not Enough Kind of Love" is track number two while the opening song is "I Still Believe In Waltzes", which would become a Top-10 hit for him and Loretta in 1981 when they recorded the song for their Two's A Party album. The album closes with "When The Feelin's Right", a song about male-female relationships and how to tell when a woman's feeling that feeling and what to do as a result.

For those not familiar with Conway or his style of songs I must interject this bit of commentary. He became famous for picking songs that he felt women would love to hear and he also used to say that he wanted to pick songs that said things men wanted to say to women but didn't know how to express their feelings or weren't articulate enough to do so. So, a lot of Conway's songs were about relationships...both good and bad...heartbreak and heartache...love, lust, and regret and agony. All of the emotions that go along with love were featured in Conway's songs. The more positive a song was the bigger it became a hit...or, for those who don't know that much about Conway, you'll perhaps be more inclined to say the songs that were the most sexy were the biggest hits since he gained a reputation for what critics call bedroom ballads. One of the nick-names tagged to him was Master of the Bedroom Ballad...other nick-names were Heartland Heart Throb...Mr T...The High Priest of Country Music...and The Best Friend a Song Ever Had. Jerry Clower dubbed Conway the high priest because of all the women that piled into venue's to watch Conway perform on stage...and how in his eyes it reminded him of religious revivals where the church is filled to the brim with worshipers.

1. I Still Believe In Waltzes
2. Once Is Not Enough Kind of Love
3. Hero For a Day
4. I Am The Dreamer You Are the Dream
5. Rest Your Love On Me
6. For All The Right Reasons
7. We're Gonna Try It Tonight
8. You'll Be Back Every Night in My Dreams
9. A Bridge That Just Won't Burn
10. When The Feelin's Right

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