Let's talk about JIMMY WEBB

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about ten years ago i fell in love with the first zumpano album. i was in 10th grade. there was a song called "rosecrans boulevard" written by jimmy webb that i loved (and still do). as the b-side of their first single, zumpano also covered the fifth dimension's "orange air", also by jimmy webb.

while i knew he was a heralded songwriter, i never really got around to checking his solo work out until ten years later. i picked up rhino's 5-disc box set, "the moon's a harsh mistress", and hot damn, is this some good stuff!

i haven't had time to fully assimilate it all, but so far i most enjoy "words and music" which is great in a stripped-down, "two guys playing everything with overdubs" sort of way, and the george martin-produced "el mirage" which is quite the opposite. searching the archives here, there doesn't seem to be a lot on ILM about mr. webb. aren't there any closet jimmy webb obsessives out there???

j fail (cenotaph), Thursday, 5 May 2005 18:54 (fifteen years ago) link

S: Up, Up and Away (5th Dimension)
D: MacArthur Park (Richard Harris)

PappaWheelie (PappaWheelie), Thursday, 5 May 2005 19:03 (fifteen years ago) link

it's all great. "wichita lineman," duh!

tonight is what it means to be young (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 5 May 2005 19:07 (fifteen years ago) link

S. Macarthur Park by Donna summer, Tony Christie, Four tops, Vic damone, Waylon Jennings, Grimethorpe colliery band. Wicheta Lineman, By the time I get to Phoenix, Galveston, Up, up and away. Both fifth dimension albums (esp paper cup, carpet man but most of the others too) , If you see me getting smaller I'm leaving, both Richard Harris albums (the yard went on forever and the aforementioned Macarthur park), loads of other great Glen Campbell stuff (check out the two early 70's albums for some hidden gems) Quite a few of his solo albums right up until the mid/late 70's have songs of real merit. Loads of other great stuff...Sinatra did some great versions of his songs, as did fellow genius Neil Sedaka. Glen Gregory does a pretty good version of Wichita lineman, as do, bizarely, the Kings singers, also, David Snell from his album, Harp transplant and Johnny Harris from his album, Movements although both are very hard to find. John Denvers version of By the time I get to Phoenix is better than you'd think, Isaak Hayes version is barely recognisable but superb and Kurt Edelhagen's version is odd but haunting and actually changes the song radically while still keeping its essence.

D. Very little really...some of the 80's stuff is a bit iffie and the general rule of thumb is to avoid anything by artists you already hate. The Mantovani version of Macarthur park is grim, as is the Nina version of Phoenix from her golden hour album.

I've got over 300 different versions of Jimmy Webb tracks on all formats so I guess you could call me a fan!

He's a genius...simple as that. If pop is slowly eating itself, Jimmy Webb (or the best part of him) remains at the back of the freezer, yet to be discovered and devoured...

Kris England, Thursday, 5 May 2005 19:35 (fifteen years ago) link

And until recently, my E-mail was jimmywebbisgod so I guess that might well make me an obsessive!

Kris England, Thursday, 5 May 2005 19:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Good S&D, Kris. Count me among the obsessive, too. He's almost continually been a master craftsman, but a particularly big shout-out to his work in the late-60's.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:44 (fifteen years ago) link

s: his music
d: his explanation of his music in his book "tunesmith," in which he proves himself to be a humorless old man.

fact checking cuz (fcc), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:47 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm downloading this right now!

tonight is what it means to be young (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:51 (fifteen years ago) link


Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Incidentally, the 5th Dimension version of "Requiem: 820 Latham" may be my favorite Jimmy Webb song, period.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:54 (fifteen years ago) link

i still really want to read that. another great tune of his: "p.f. sloane".

(yeow xp - "the last unicorn" - kenny loggins??)

jones (actual), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:55 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm partial to some of his latterday MOR stuff like "if these old walls could talk"

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:55 (fifteen years ago) link

Jimmy Webb's Immortal "Wichita Lineman"

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 5 May 2005 20:58 (fifteen years ago) link

there are about 1,340 wichita lineman threads

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Thursday, 5 May 2005 21:03 (fifteen years ago) link

(But that one is the best one)

Ken L (Ken L), Thursday, 5 May 2005 21:04 (fifteen years ago) link

no mention of montage from how sweet it is (i knew that you knew), by the love generation? its not even on that 2cd retrospective! unbelievable!

charltonlido (gareth), Thursday, 5 May 2005 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

"Incidentally, the 5th Dimension version of "Requiem: 820 Latham" may be my favorite Jimmy Webb song, period."

Great choice. Love the drums on that one. My vote goes to "Love years coming" by Strawberry Children though.

jazzhooligan, Thursday, 5 May 2005 23:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I love how easy it is to casually scoop up stacks of lovely Webb renditions from dirt-cheap thrift-shop vinyl... 5th Dimension, Glen Campbell, et al. Hmm, this thread has deposited "Carpet Man" into my brain now! : )

Nag! Nag! Nag! (Nag! Nag! Nag!), Friday, 6 May 2005 00:26 (fifteen years ago) link

"Where's the Playground, Susie?" is an unheralded masterpiece.

J (Jay), Friday, 6 May 2005 00:35 (fifteen years ago) link

fcc OTM re: _Tunesmith_ -- I'm a Webb fan, but the book was dull as dirt. Maybe he should try a DVD where he takes you through a few songs from conception to finished product.

I've got the one-CD '70s collection _Archive_ and found it to be pretty hit-and-miss, so I didn't spring for the box set -- anyway, if
you're looking for a less expensive intro to his records, you might try _Archive_.

Jeff Wright (JeffW1858), Friday, 6 May 2005 00:49 (fifteen years ago) link

"Where's the Playground, Susie?" is an unheralded masterpiece.

i've seen some heralds.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 May 2005 01:54 (fifteen years ago) link

I for one like those Richard Harris albums.

So, Webb stacks up how, in everyone's opinion, I am wondering, against: Brian Wilson, Jobim, Bacharach, Randy Newman? Now me, I think Jobim is better than any of 'em.

edd s hurt (ddduncan), Friday, 6 May 2005 02:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I really like the second Richard Harris record, The Yard Went On Forever -- it was the centerpiece of the feature I wrote a few months back for Stylus on Webb's song cycles. Harris's voice is still ridiculous, but the music, concept and orchestrations combine for stunning effect.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 6 May 2005 02:43 (fifteen years ago) link

jobim doesn't really even write songs in the same idiom though.

bacharach obv. the much greater songwriter than webb or newman, which says nothing against webb or newman.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Friday, 6 May 2005 03:48 (fifteen years ago) link

s: the negro problem version of "macarthur park"

joseph (joseph), Friday, 6 May 2005 04:52 (fifteen years ago) link

and yes, "where's the playground, susie?" "wichita lineman," the lot...

joseph (joseph), Friday, 6 May 2005 04:52 (fifteen years ago) link

Fuck I love those Richard Harris Lps.

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Friday, 6 May 2005 09:04 (fifteen years ago) link

Quick mention of Johnny Rivers' "Rewind" album, half of which is written by Jimmy Webb and which contains the song "Tunesmith" itself (alongside some other compositions unique to this album). I love "Tunesmith".

Dadaismus (Dada), Friday, 6 May 2005 09:10 (fifteen years ago) link

Yes to all above. Tunesmith (the song) is among his best; seek (along similar lines) "Parenthesis". Also Art Garfunkel's "Watermark" LP, all Jimmy Webb songs, all absolutely marvellous. If possible, seek out the withdrawn version which includes "Fingerpaint", one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written, ever sung.
Good piece on Webb in the latest Uncut.

harveyw (harveyw), Friday, 6 May 2005 15:30 (fifteen years ago) link

are there any single or double-disc webb retrospectives? or is that rhino box it? i like the idea of a compilation devoted to a songwriter.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 6 May 2005 15:34 (fifteen years ago) link

There's ...And Someone Left the Cake Out In the Rain and the above-mentioned Tunesmith for versions of his material by other artists — for his own versions, there's the single-disc Archive that Jeff mentioned and the box.

I have ...And Someone... which is quite a good overview of his best-known stuff, and Archive, on which I agree with Jeff that's it kind of meh (though "Piano" is one of his best "songwriters" songs). He didn't really develop his voice as a singer until later on. Ten Easy Pieces, in which he performs a lot of his more widely-known stuff mostly solo, is for the most part incredible — the version of "Galveston" that opens it is positively Schubert-ian in its conception and execution.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 6 May 2005 16:20 (fifteen years ago) link

What Naive Teen Idol is not pointing out is that he wrote a really good Jimmy Webb article a couple months ago!

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 6 May 2005 16:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Actually, I did (not so) casually throw that in one of the above posts. But thanks, jaymc!

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 6 May 2005 16:57 (fifteen years ago) link

Now I'm curious to hear that other version of "The Worst That Could Happen."

Ken L (Ken L), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Wow, I'm really not reading this thread well, am I.

jaymc (jaymc), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:15 (fifteen years ago) link

jaymc, if each of us posted every time we did that, we would all be poxy fules pretty quickly.

Ken L (Ken L), Friday, 6 May 2005 17:20 (fifteen years ago) link

Someone left a thread out in the rain

Ken L (Ken L), Friday, 6 May 2005 18:52 (fifteen years ago) link

it seems like people are generally bigger fans of songs he wrote for other people.... his voice is great though!

i really love comparing the george martin-produced "the highwayman" to the version by the highwaymen - you get candy-coated strings with martin, and that 80's country drum sound with messrs. cash, jennings, kristofferson and nelson....

j fail (cenotaph), Monday, 9 May 2005 16:55 (fifteen years ago) link

I'll take his Ten Easy Pieces version, myself.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 10 May 2005 00:22 (fifteen years ago) link

six months pass...
incidentally, i heard the Jefferson version of montage from how sweet it is, its nowhere near as good as the love generation version. i have still to hear the picardy verions though

terry lennox. (gareth), Friday, 25 November 2005 20:32 (fourteen years ago) link

search: sunshower, the thelma houston LP of jimmy webb songs. "pocketful of keys" is a favorite.


the jews (Jody Beth Rosen), Friday, 25 November 2005 20:35 (fourteen years ago) link

Does anyone have the Richard Harris version of "Requiem"? If so, could they YSI it?

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 25 November 2005 22:26 (fourteen years ago) link

I love 'Where's the Playground, Johnny?', Bobbi Gentry's 're-gendered' version of 'Where's the Playground, Susie'

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Friday, 25 November 2005 22:34 (fourteen years ago) link

"MacArthur Park" is of course an undisputed classic. Absolutely the best thing he's done. But "Wichita Lineman" was great as well.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Saturday, 26 November 2005 00:29 (fourteen years ago) link

i really like the later glenn campbell record with the moons a harsh mistress on it.

mullygrubbr (bulbs), Saturday, 26 November 2005 06:39 (fourteen years ago) link

six months pass...
So did he play piano on Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into The Fire," or was it somebody else named Jim Webb?

A Study In Redd Scharlach (Ken L), Monday, 19 June 2006 17:19 (fourteen years ago) link

I have "The Supremes: Arranged and Produced by Jimmy Webb" on vinyl, but I've never gotten around to listening to it. Now I'm inspired.

musically (musically), Monday, 19 June 2006 19:46 (fourteen years ago) link

So did he play piano on Harry Nilsson's "Jump Into The Fire," or was it somebody else named Jim Webb?

Pretty sure it's him -- Jimmy liked to go by "Jim" for a bit in the 70's, and that's his scene.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Tuesday, 20 June 2006 01:00 (fourteen years ago) link

eight months pass...
S: The Four Tops' Do What You Gotta Do

Cunga, Friday, 23 February 2007 05:53 (thirteen years ago) link

Jimmy Webb wrote "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" when he was 18!..hard to imagine...(I was probably still collecting beer cans when I was 18)...

henry s, Friday, 23 February 2007 21:56 (thirteen years ago) link

the world is still sleeping on his 1970s solo records for some reason

up there with the very best IMO

I dunno. (amateurist), Saturday, 28 February 2015 09:29 (five years ago) link


Deverly (Bangelo), Saturday, 28 February 2015 09:34 (five years ago) link

I like Ten Easy Pieces from the 1990s better than any of his 70s records. It's not that they don't have their moments – "Piano" for instance is deadly. But a number of these records feature him trying on various vocal affectations (see "PF Sloan" from Words & Music or "If Ships Were Made to Sail" from And So: On) or laying on overwrought orchestral arrangements (the case on most of El Mirage). I don't think Webb began recording definitive versions of many of his own songs until his voice got a bit richer with age, he began to simplify his arrangements and he probably became a little more comfortable in his own skin.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 28 February 2015 22:51 (five years ago) link

i don't find them overwrought, or rather, i appreciate their overwroughtness.

and even among those records there are some stunning--not overwrought at all--arrangements, e.g. his own version of "when does brown begin," which wraps a faintly embarrassing lyric around one of the most extraordinarily beautiful pop-song melodies and arrangements i've ever heard.

I dunno. (amateurist), Saturday, 28 February 2015 23:36 (five years ago) link

See, I actually prefer the version of "When Can Brown Begin" he produced for the Supremes to the one on Letters.

Or "Christiaan No," a good song but where Glen Campbell's take is sublime, Webb's own is treacly somehow.

There's just something about these 70s records that should be amazing and...aren't.

This is my favorite version of "PF Sloan," BTW:


Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 1 March 2015 05:36 (five years ago) link

oh, the supremes one is at least as good, sure.

we'll have to agree to disagree about some other things.

I dunno. (amateurist), Sunday, 1 March 2015 07:38 (five years ago) link

two years pass...

Interviewed on Gilbert Gottfried's latest podcast. Halfway through it now and there's been some choice gossip about Nilsson and Lennon. And a bit of Jimmy & Gilbert duetting on "MacArthur Park."

Josefa, Monday, 24 April 2017 21:30 (three years ago) link

three years pass...

s: Linda Ronstadt's version of "Do What You Gotta Do". Her vocals in that song are absolutely amazing. Additionally, she performed it in the way Jimmy Webb intended, and not like Nina Simone's inadequately upbeat version.

d: Brooklyn Bridge's 1968 version of "Worst That Could Happen". I never really liked the song's lyrics; it felt like Jimmy's lowest point in songwriting to me. Then when Brooklyn Bridge recorded it I couldn't believe how much attention it got. The backing vocals are awful and the band sound like a group of beginners. The only good part of the song is Johnny Maestro's voice.

Jamie Hartigan, Friday, 14 August 2020 23:59 (one month ago) link

I sort of like that one but yeah

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:01 (one month ago) link

scary revive

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:08 (one month ago) link

Another few good Webb songs are "Still Within The Sound Of My Voice" performed by Linda Ronstadt, "Sunshower" by Thelma Houston, "Skywriter" and "Another Lullaby" both performed by Art Garfunkel, "Once In The Morning" and "When Can Brown Begin" both by The Supremes, "Paper Chase" by Richard Harris, "Song Seller" by The Raiders, "Postcard from Paris" by John Denver, "It's A Sin When You Love Somebody" by Joe Cocker, "Which Way To Nowhere", "Speaking With My Heart" and "Hideaway" performed by the 5th Dimension, and finally "All My Love's Laughter" by Art Garfunkel.

Jamie Hartigan, Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:21 (one month ago) link

That will keep you busy for a while lol.

Jamie Hartigan, Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:23 (one month ago) link

I follow his social media page, sometimes some interesting stuff on there.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:36 (one month ago) link

Yeah, it's very interesting reading about his relationships with other great musicians. I've been thinking of buying his memoir.

Jamie Hartigan, Saturday, 15 August 2020 00:41 (one month ago) link

It’s his birthday today.

Time Will Show Leo Weiser (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 15 August 2020 15:35 (one month ago) link

Interesting passage in the Webb memoir about how Lennon and Nilsson showed up at Webb's house early in the morning after the Troubadour incident, hoping that he would lie to the press about how he (Webb) was at the club the entire time and did not see Lennon ever lay a hand to the female photographer who documented the melee.

henry s, Saturday, 15 August 2020 16:24 (one month ago) link

I got see Webb play a solo piano show here some years back, and iirc there were lots of Richard Harris stories. I wish I could remember them but I did find this when I looked:

The lyrics to MacArthur Park infuriate some people. “Someone left the cake out in the rain/ I don’t think that I can take it/ ‘Cause it took so long to bake it/ And I’ll never have that recipe again.” They think it’s a psychedelic trip. But everything in the song is real. There is a MacArthur Park in Los Angeles, near where my girlfriend worked selling life insurance. We’d meet there for lunch, and there would be old men playing checkers by the trees, like in the lyrics.

I’ve been asked a million times: “What is the cake left out in the rain?” It’s something I saw – we would eat cake and leave it in the rain. But as a metaphor for a losing a chapter of your life, it seemed too good to be true. When she broke up with me, I poured the hurt into the song. It was always around seven minutes long – not 22 as has been written.

Bones Howe, a fellow producer, had asked me to create a pop song with classical elements, different movements and changing time signatures. MacArthur Park, more of a suite than a song, was everything he wanted, but when we presented it to his new act, the Association, they refused to record it. It was the late 1960s and I was doing music for an anti-war pageant with some Hollywood stars, including Mia Farrow and Edgar G Robinson. Richard Harris and I started hanging out after rehearsals and drinking Black Velvets: 50% Guinness, 50% champagne. One night after a few, I said: “We ought to make a record.” He’d starred in the movie Camelot and sang every song in it beautifully. A few weeks later, I received a telegram: “Dear Jimmy Webb. Come to London. Make this record. Love, Richard.” He always called me Jimmy Webb.

I got a flight and stayed with Richard in Belgravia. Over the course of two days, we tore through 30 or 40 of my songs. I was playing the piano and singing. He was standing there in his kaftan, waving his arms and expressing excitement at some songs, not so crazy about others. The best went into his debut album, A Tramp Shining. MacArthur Park was at the bottom of my pile. By the time I played it, we had moved on to straight brandy, but Richard slapped the piano. “Oh Jimmy Webb. I love that! I’ll make a hit out of that, I will.”

I recorded the basic track back in Hollywood, with myself on harpsichord accompanied by session musicians the Wrecking Crew. We rehearsed it a few times, then played it right through, using the first take and adding the orchestra painstakingly later. When Richard did the vocals at a London studio, he had a pitcher of Pimm’s by the microphone. We knew the session was over when the Pimm’s was gone. I never could get him to sing the title correctly. He’d say: “Jimmy Webb, I’ve got it!” Then he’d sing: “MacArthur’s Park ...” It was wonderful to hear him growing in confidence. At one point, he said: “I think the vocals are a little loud. We need more orchestra.” A few months later, he was saying: “Jimmy Webb! The damn orchestra’s too loud!” He’d gone from wanting to hide his voice to wanting people to hear it.

At first, we felt like the guys who’d created the A-bomb: we were a bit afraid of what we’d done. I didn’t know I could write something like that. We had doubts about releasing it as a single, but when radio stations began playing it from the album in its entirety, I was asked to do a shorter version as a single. I refused, so eventually they put out the full seven minutes 20 seconds. George Martin once told me the Beatles let Hey Jude run to over seven minutes because of MacArthur Park.

It was a surprise when the song went to No 2 in America and No 4 in the UK. It’s since been recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Aretha Franklin. Donna Summer’s disco version is my only American No 1, which was quite a thrill. I always knew the girl who inspired the song would hear it and know what it meant. A long time after I had written it, I found out she had moved to Lake Tahoe and become a dancer. When I came into some significant money, I hired a Lear jet, flew up there, and said: “I’m not going back without you.” We lived together for three years. Then it turned into a soap opera.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 15 August 2020 16:38 (one month ago) link

Love how Richard Harris always addressed him as "Jimmy Webb."

henry s, Saturday, 15 August 2020 16:52 (one month ago) link

happy birthday, jimmy webb

the richard harris story is great

budo jeru, Sunday, 16 August 2020 02:54 (one month ago) link

jfc at that last paragraph

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Sunday, 16 August 2020 15:57 (one month ago) link

Here is a fact I learned from Gergely Hubai's book on rejected film scores, "Torn Music":

Jimmy Webb was originally contracted to write the soundtrack to "Love Story". What he turned in featured a composition for oscillator-repitched car horns. They decided not to go with it.

He later reused the recording as the intro to "Music for an Unmade Movie: Songseller".

Kate (rushomancy), Sunday, 16 August 2020 16:50 (one month ago) link

scary revive

― unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Saturday, 15 August 2020 01:08 (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

Whenever I see an old artist thread revived, I assume they’ve either died or been accused of sexual misconduct. Glad to see Jimmy fits neither category.

Dan Worsley, Sunday, 16 August 2020 17:01 (one month ago) link

I keep finding myself saying "well that all sounds about right" in response to some really gross stuff which is probably insensitive, but, well that all sounds about right

unpaid intern at the darvo institute (Simon H.), Sunday, 16 August 2020 18:49 (one month ago) link

Um indeed.

Dan Worsley, Sunday, 16 August 2020 18:51 (one month ago) link

Well, it was the 60s and 70s...

Jamie Hartigan, Sunday, 16 August 2020 23:38 (one month ago) link

"Up, Up and Away" creepy af now with that knowledge

popeye's arse (Neanderthal), Sunday, 16 August 2020 23:41 (one month ago) link

I've theorised in my head before about the meaning of that song, knowing about his history with marijuana.
I decided to stop thinking about it that way though, because I realised it's supposed to be perceived as a soul-pop feelgood song and not a drugs song about a guy getting high.

Jamie Hartigan, Monday, 17 August 2020 00:02 (one month ago) link

I have a server on Discord for discussions about Jimmy Webb. I'll leave the invite here in case anyone wants to join. https://discord.gg/dst3AWC

Jamie Hartigan, Monday, 17 August 2020 13:37 (one month ago) link

Another good Jimmy Webb song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OitDIBHO0ew

Jamie Hartigan, Tuesday, 18 August 2020 21:11 (one month ago) link

I, for one, would love to know what Harry was going on about here.

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 19 August 2020 02:19 (one month ago) link

They all look like they're about to hop into a Cadillac and head out to Malibu to teach that nosey Jim Rockford a lesson.

"...And the Gods Socially Distanced" (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 19 August 2020 02:28 (one month ago) link


Isinglass Ponys (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 19 August 2020 02:38 (one month ago) link


Jamie Hartigan, Thursday, 20 August 2020 15:54 (one month ago) link

I don't know how many of you use Spotify, but tell me what you think of my choices.

Jamie Hartigan, Thursday, 20 August 2020 20:06 (one month ago) link

Another good song written by Jimmy here

Jamie Hartigan, Tuesday, 1 September 2020 19:31 (three weeks ago) link

I think this place is dead again...

Jamie Hartigan, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:36 (two weeks ago) link

I love "Saturday Suit" but I think I'd take Art Garfunkel's breezy melancholia over Cass's, which (though still vg obv) feels a bit overdone by comparison. I am always a sucker for an electric piano.

Tim, Wednesday, 2 September 2020 14:46 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah that version is great. I just thought I'd share Cass Elliot's version because of how underrated/unknown it is.

Jamie Hartigan, Thursday, 3 September 2020 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

Oh yeah, I was very pleased to hear that version, I didn’t know it existed.

Tim, Thursday, 3 September 2020 16:40 (two weeks ago) link

Jamie, your solo Webb playlist is really nice, with just a couple of glaring omissions. I would have included "Met Her On a Plane" from And So: On, which I think is an utterly perfect recording of one of the greatest psychedelic country songs--the truest "Cosmic American Music" by anyone not named Gene Clark. I also would add "Crying In My Sleep" from Land's End (his best album imo). It definitely goes hand in hand with "Just This One Time" from the same album--sad-bastard music par excellence, with some of his most emotional vocal performances.

I'm glad you included so many tracks from Suspending Disbelief, which is one of the only Webb albums I'm not familiar with, along with Angel Heart. I'm really digging it so far. Any thoughts on Angel Heart? Looks like the only album not represented on your playlist.

One fun thing about Jimmy Webb albums from the 70s is that they're full of amazing industry-clout flexes, despite their utter commercial failure. Like, "NBD, just having Joni Mitchell sing backup on a few songs, getting my buddy George Martin to produce" lol.

J. Sam, Thursday, 3 September 2020 17:55 (two weeks ago) link

I'm glad you looked at it! I didn't add "Met Her On A Plane" because I was never really that fond of the vocals and humming in it. I just thought it was a bit exaggerated. I see why it can be much liked though; the lyrics are very poetic and the piano is really nice. "Crying In My Sleep" I never really grew to love that song because to me it feels slightly self-pitying, but I guess we all look at lyrics differently. And I think "Just This One Time" has to be one of his most powerful songs.
Suspending Disbelief is one of my favourite Webb albums. The production is amazing (thanks to George Massenburg and Linda Ronstadt) and the song lyrics are so meaningful. It shows just how much Jimmy had grown as a songwriter at that point and how well he can connect with listeners through music.
Angel Heart, on the other hand, has some really drawn-out and tiring songs on it. At least the first 2 times I listened to Angel Heart all the way through I was zoned out for half the time. I haven't really analysed the lyrics in the songs yet though, and that might change my opinion in the future.
Again, thanks for responding. I might change the playlist around if my taste changes and I start discovering more tracks I like.
And yeah, he was very all-in in the 70s lmao. Did you know he had Ringo Starr and Elton John's backing band accompanying him on his album Land's End?

Jamie Hartigan, Saturday, 5 September 2020 00:13 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry for the late response, I don't really use this website.

Jamie Hartigan, Saturday, 5 September 2020 00:13 (two weeks ago) link

The band in this is amazing.

Jamie Hartigan, Thursday, 10 September 2020 19:31 (one week ago) link

I've had 5:30 Plane stuck in my head all day. Such a good song.

Jamie Hartigan, Sunday, 13 September 2020 17:35 (one week ago) link

Wichita Lineman is the song of his i love most

Neanderthal, Sunday, 13 September 2020 17:59 (one week ago) link

I still have problems with Webb as a solo artist in the 70s but I’m listening to this playlist and liking it.

Some funny things I’m observing: both And So: On tracks are ... kind of wild jammy guitar fests? I somehow never noticed this. Meanwhile, the production on the Land’s End tunes is kind of typical 70s but for some reason the tom toms are positively thunderous (I still can’t get with his vocal on ”Just This One Time,” it’s way outside his range – unfortunately I find Glen Campbell’s version on Reunion weirdly bombastic).

“Where the Universes Are” I didn’t really know, great tune.

There’s always a good excuse to share my favorite version of P.F. Sloan, the Cassell Webb version from the late 80s: https://youtu.be/Y8cBEZG0S7Q

The chorused (Dean Parks?) guitar and slapping backbeat on “Too Young To Die” are kind of shocking when they first hit. This is a great example of how he grew into his voice.

Tales from the Crypt, LOL (actually, a pretty good instrumental!)

Paul Gaugin in the South Seas – I’ve never heard this. Wow.

Thanks for sharing!

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 17 September 2020 11:28 (five days ago) link

If you like the Clientele then you'll like their version of "Where The Universes Are", which sounds just like The Clientele.


Tim, Thursday, 17 September 2020 15:37 (five days ago) link

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