Kenny Rogers/Kenny

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Raven's 2007 two-fer pairs two eponymously titled albums from Kenny Rogers -- the 1977 United Artists release Kenny Rogers and 1979's Kenny. Kenny Rogers was the second album Rogers released for United Artists, following 1976's Love Lifted Me by a year. Love Lifted Me was a modest success, setting the stage for the breakthrough of Kenny Rogers. That breakthrough was largely fueled by "Lucille," the second single pulled from the LP. The first, "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't I Got)," was a solid country hit, building upon his initial 1976 success, but "Lucille" opened all the doors for Kenny, turning into a pop crossover hit not only in the U.S. but in other ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Raven's 2007 two-fer pairs two eponymously titled albums from Kenny Rogers -- the 1977 United Artists release Kenny Rogers and 1979's Kenny. Kenny Rogers was the second album Rogers released for United Artists, following 1976's Love Lifted Me by a year. Love Lifted Me was a modest success, setting the stage for the breakthrough of Kenny Rogers. That breakthrough was largely fueled by "Lucille," the second single pulled from the LP. The first, "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't I Got)," was a solid country hit, building upon his initial 1976 success, but "Lucille" opened all the doors for Kenny, turning into a pop crossover hit not only in the U.S. but in other countries as well, making him an international star. "Lucille" had a loping country beat but a pop sheen and was indicative of the rest of the album, which bounced between these two sides instead of balancing them the way the hit single did. For every pure country tune, such as Dallas Frazier's "The Son of Hickory Holler's Tramp" (made into a hit by Tom T. Hall) or even Don Williams' decidedly mellow "Lay Down Beside Me," there were tunes that took a bit of a broader, almost stereotypical view of country such as the 2-step "While I Play the Fiddle" and "Mother Country Music," a soft pop tune in every way but its title and sentiment. Even on this early LP, Kenny didn't avoid the middle of the road, turning in a loungey version of the standard crooner number "Green Green Grass of Home," but the best moments on Kenny Rogers was when he balanced his soft touch with songs that had a country backbone, as on those aforementioned hits, and tunes by Frazier and Williams, but also "Puttin' in Overtime at Home" whose easy rolling, slick country-rock pointed the way toward the future of country-pop not just for Kenny, but for country music at large. Kenny arrived two years after Kenny Rogers and those were eventful years for Rogers. During that time, he became a major star, largely due to his version of "The Gambler," a song by Don Schlitz that Kenny turned into his own on his 1978 album of the same name (although it has to be said that Rogers' version bears a startling similarity to Bobby Bare's version released that very year). Kenny was the follow-up to The Gambler and it's clear from how the album glistens and shimmers that Kenny was intended to be a consolidation of his crossover success. Actually, it could even be seen as the album where Rogers leaps from his self-created pigeonhole as a country singer -- a distinction that always seemed a bit like a commercial necessity by Kenny, as it was the easiest market for him to conquer in the mid-'70s -- and became a middle of the road pop star, a move aided considerably by this album's lovely smash hit "You Decorated My Life." Apart from the "Gambler"-esque "Coward of the County," there aren't many flat-out country tunes here, and even that tune is a bit cartoonishly country in both its story and arrangement. The rest of the album is heavy on grandiose ballads like "I Want to Make You Smile," and splashy showpieces like "Tulsa Turnaround," which blasts and blares like a Vegas showstopper. That's not the only tune that feels a bit campy: "Santiago Midnight Moonlight" is a breezy beach tune that cribs from Jimmy Buffett and "In and Out of Your Heart" pulsates with a TV-show disco beat, while "Old Folks" -- whose electric piano recalls Billy Joel -- lays on the schmaltz pretty heavily. Of course, the appeal of Kenny is that it is a schmaltzy, shameless album, perhaps the most schmaltzy and shameless of Rogers' career, but what's endearing about it is that he had yet to sink into the formless adult contemporary that turned his albums after Eyes That See in the Dark into snooze-fests, yet he had sharpened and broadened his tastes from his too-soft and sleepy early country albums, making Kenny the almost perfect mid-point between his first pop hits and his complacent latter-day ones. Raven's two-fer adds the 1979 hit "She Believes In Me" as a bonus track to these two albums.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/17/2007
  • Label: Raven [australia]
  • UPC: 612657025826
  • Catalog Number: 258
  • Sales rank: 74,600

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kenny Rogers Primary Artist
Donna McElroy Background Vocals
The Jordanaires Background Vocals
Tommy Allsup Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar
Pete Drake Steel Guitar
Steve Gibson Guitar
Bobby Wood Piano, Keyboards
Buzz Cason Background Vocals
Byron Bach Strings
Brenton Banks Strings
Lea Jane Berinati Background Vocals
George Binkley III Strings
Thomas Brannon Background Vocals
Larry Butler Keyboards
Jimmy Capps Guitar
Jerry Carrigan Percussion, Drums
Todd Cerney Background Vocals
Marvin Chantry Strings
Roy Christensen Strings
Johnny Christopher Guitar
Charles Cochran Piano, Keyboards
Bobby Daniels Drums, Background Vocals
Shane Keister Piano, Moog Synthesizer
Randy Dorman Guitar
Ray Edenton Guitar
Don Gant Background Vocals
Steve Glassmeyer Guitar, Saxophone, Background Vocals
Gene Golden Piano
Carl Gorodetzky Strings
Lennie Haight Strings
Buddy Harmon Percussion, Drums
Ricky Harper Guitar
Yvonne Hodges Background Vocals
Larry Keith Guitar, Piano, Background Vocals
Dave Kirby Guitar
Sheldon Kurland Strings
Kenny Malone Percussion, Drums
Bob Moore Bass Guitar
Farrell Morris Percussion
Steve Pippin Background Vocals
George Richey Keyboards
Hargus "Pig" Robbins Piano, Keyboards
Billy Sanford Guitar
Dale Sellers Guitar
Jerry Shook Guitar
Pamela Sixfin Strings
Steven Maxwell Smith Strings
Bobby Thompson Banjo
Gary VanOsdale Strings
Pete Wade Guitar
Bergen White Background Vocals
Tommy Williams Fiddle
Reggie Young Guitar
Fred Carter Jr. Guitar
Bob Moore & His Orchestra Bass
Edgar Struble Synthesizer, Piano, Background Vocals, Clavinet
Stephanie Woolf Strings
Joe Osborn Bass, Bass Guitar
Dave "Blind Boy" Briggs Piano
Charles "Chuck" Jacobs Bass
Johnny MacCrae Background Vocals
Charles 'Chuck' Cochran Keyboards
Steven Maxwell Smith Strings
Technical Credits
Bill Justis String Arrangements
Billy Edd Wheeler Composer
Larry Henley Composer
Roger Bowling Composer
Larry Butler Producer, Audio Production
Dallas Frazier Composer
Red Lane Composer
Harold Lee Engineer, Audio Production
Curly Putman Composer
Billy Sherrill Engineer, Audio Production
Keith Glass Liner Notes, Annotation
Warren Barnett Mastering
Kevin Mueller Preparation for CD Release
Peter Shillito Concept, Preparation for CD Release
Dedette Lee Hill Composer
Ian McFarlane Preparation for CD Release
Joe Nixon Composer
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