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I Am What I Am
     

I Am What I Am

by George Jones
 

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George Jones's 1980 masterpiece I Am What I Am (whose ten original songs are augmented here by four previously unreleased tracks) opens with "He Stopped Loving Her Today." That aching ballad features a devastatingly heartfelt vocal by Jones - one that cuts close to the bone, given that the legendary Possum had just emerged from one of the most traumatic

Overview

George Jones's 1980 masterpiece I Am What I Am (whose ten original songs are augmented here by four previously unreleased tracks) opens with "He Stopped Loving Her Today." That aching ballad features a devastatingly heartfelt vocal by Jones - one that cuts close to the bone, given that the legendary Possum had just emerged from one of the most traumatic periods of his career, triggered by his 1975 breakup with his wife, frequent duet partner and fellow country legend Tammy Wynette. More than one observer has referred to "He Stopped Loving Her Today" as the greatest country song ever. There's lots of room for argument on that score, of course, and one need look no further than some of the songs on this very album. There's the self-explanatory "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" and the wry Tom T. Hall-penned "I'm Not Ready Yet," both Top Ten singles, and the heart-rending "I've Aged Twenty Years in Five." I Am What I Am, which features rich, fully realized production by Billy Sherrill, is the first album that Jones cut after cleaning up his act following years of drug and alcohol abuse that had undermined his career and his personal life. He makes the most of the moment here, delivering one searing vocal after another, baring his soul on a group of songs that seemed to have been written in his own blood. Never has an album title been more appropriate.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
I Am What I Am announced that George Jones had officially returned to form artistically and, in the process, it became his biggest hit album ever. It's easy to see why -- the production is commercial without being slick, the songs are balanced between aching ballads and restrained honky tonk numbers, and Jones gives a nuanced, moving performance. "He Stopped Loving Her Today," "I'm Not Ready Yet," and "If Drinkin' Don't Kill Me (Her Memory Will)" were the hits, but the remaining seven album tracks are exceptionally strong, without a weak track in the bunch. It's mature country, both in the laid-back approach and subject matter, but that doesn't mean it's dull -- like the best country music, these are lived-in songs that are simple, direct, and emotionally powerful, even with the smooth production. I Am What I Am is the sound of George Jones at his peak and it's the highlight of his later years. Four bonus tracks -- "Am I Losing Your Memory or Mine?," "The Ghost of Another Man," "It's All in My Mind," and "I'm a Fool for Loving Her" -- give the 20th anniversary version of the album an added richness.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/25/2007
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886971672626
catalogNumber:
716726
Rank:
36581

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

George Jones   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Jordanaires   Background Vocals,Group
Millie Kirkham   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Lou Bradley   Engineer
Bill McElhiney   String Arrangements
Ron Reynolds   Engineer
Billy Sherrill   Producer,Original Album Producer
Quaglieri   Re-Release Producer
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Rick Beresford   Composer
Karl Sanders   Composer
Harlan Sanders   Composer
John Christiana   Packaging Manager
E. Rowell   Composer
W. M. Emerson   Composer
J. Tipton   Composer

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