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  • Ode to Billie Joe / Touch Em With Love
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Ode to Billie Joe / Touch Em With Love


Price: $21.93 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, October 14, 2008
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$21.93
$14.27 $24.34
Vinyl, January 1, 1967
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Ode to Billie Joe / Touch Em With Love + Patchwork / Fancy + Delta Sweete: Local Gentry
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Raven [Australia]
  • ASIN: B001EQPCVG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,454 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Mississippi Delta
2. I Saw an Angel Die
3. Chickasaw County Child
4. Sunday Best
5. Niki Hoeky
6. Papa, Won't You Let Me Go to Town with You
7. Bugs
8. Hurry, Tuesday Child
9. Lazy Willie
10. Ode to Billie Joe
11. Touch 'Em with Love
12. Greyhound Goin' Somewhere
13. Natural to Be Gone
14. Seasons Come, Seasons Go
15. Glory Hallelujah, How They'll Sing
16. I Wouldn't Be Surprised
17. Son of a Preacher Man
18. Where's the Playground, Johnny
19. I'll Never Fall in Love Again
20. You've Made Me So Very Happy
See all 27 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Combined for the first time on one CD, two unique albums by the legendary Grammy-Award winning singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry. With superb quality audio, seven rare bonus tracks, deluxe booklet and detailed liner notes. Best remembered for her first and biggest hit, the bittersweet 'Ode to Billie Joe', Gentry continued to prove herself a performer and writer of rare talent, issuing a string of high quality albums until her retirement in the mid 1970s. Her recordings have undergone serious re-evaluation in recent years. Her debut album Ode to Billie Joe (1967) and Touch 'em with Love (1969) are superb examples of her artistry at work. Ode to Billie Joe went to #1 on both the Billboard Country and Pop charts. 27 tracks total.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. Wade on October 16, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The legendary Bobbie Gentry's superb 1967 debut, Ode To Billie Joe, and the very worthy 1969 pop album, Touch'em With Love at long last receive a proper remastering by Australian retro label, Raven Records.

In 1967, Gentry recorded for single release the self-penned "Mississippi Delta". The song was a dead ringer for the style of songs by Creedence Clearwater Revival. The b-side recorded for "Mississippi Delta" was an acoustic story song with an unresolved mystery. The song featured Gentry's own acoustic guitar work and composer Jimmy Haskell's ominous string arrangement. When it was released, the fine A-side was more or less ignored as deejays all over the country preferred the flipside. "ode To Billie Joe" became a Billboard number one pop and country song for no less than four weeks in the fall of 1967. The song would launch Bobbie Gentry's career and later spawn the first motion picture crafted from a song. The popular film was directed by Max Baer [yes, that Max Baer, Jethro of Beverly Hillbillies] with the screenplay by Herman Raucher (Summer of 42) and would star the heartthrob of the mid-70s, Robbie Benson.

The entirety of the Ode To Billie Joe album has a similar theme that of life in the Mississippi Delta region. It is partly autobiographical and an interesting glimpse of the heat, poverty, church, and something any southerner knows about - bugs. Yes, long before Pearl Jam sang of bugs on their Vitalogy album, Bobbie Gentry wrote this amusing ditty lamenting the omnipresence of bugs naming ten different ones in the process. The only song not written by Gentry was the "Niki Hoeky", but it fits in nicely.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Prouse on December 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ditto the review by J. Wade.

I would like to add that there is only one Bobbie Gentry album left which Raven has not released, but it is a duet record, made with Glen Campbell. It is the fourth album, between 1968's LOCAL GENTRY and TOUCH 'EM WITH LOVE, from 1969.

This last pairing is fascinating for displaying Bobbie's artistic evolution in one big jump from her first to her fifth record. Although I do see some parallels on TOUCH with DUSTY IN MEMPHIS (the inclusion of Bobbie's version of "Son Of A Preacher Man" invites comparison), the overall quality of this record is rougher and swampier. Unlike Dusty, Bobbie was a real Southerner by birth. MEMPHIS is a polished, sophisticated and reverential homage, whereas Gentry's work is flavored by its authenticity. ODE was and is a startling and unique creation, as were Bobbie's second and third albums. But the stylistic approaches and song selection of these two Bobbie Gentry albums are quite different, which is why their coupling is so interesting. For one thing, the covers outnumber the originals on TOUCH, whereas Gentry's debut contains but one cover. Other differences include a cohesive, vividly individualistic quality on ODE, and more of a pastiche approach on TOUCH. The guitar rhythms on the first album are mostly based on the same figure, which counts toward a unified feel and consistency of mood, even between the fast and slow songs. TOUCH seems to have been a bid for greater commercial appeal, with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" becoming a huge hit in England as proof of its success. Gentry's followup album, FANCY, would continue in this same vein, but its title song, Gentry's own, harkens back to "Ode To Billie Joe," as it is a "story song" concerning rural people.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Killian on March 18, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I got Bobbie Gentry's Touch 'em With Love album when I was very young and have always enjoyed listening to it. Happy to find it on CD along with the second album, Ode to Billy Joe. Wasn't familier with many of those songs but they've grown on me and I find myself singing along. Well worth the money.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
We bought the CD to have Ode to Billie Joe on hand but found that we liked this album in it's entirety. Lot's of great songs.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It was great to find this CD. I was listening to Galaxie on TV and one of her songs was played "Ode to Billie Joe" and it brought back so many great and bittersweet memories of my teenage years, being 13; starting high school; boyfriend; best friends; and meeting the love of my life and getting married.
Good memories.... It was therapeutic among so many of the "not-so-good-memories' over the past 40 years.
I'm sorry Bobbie Gentry retired so young; but then, maybe it was best. We remember her at the height of years.
I highly recommend buying the CD... :)
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Format: Audio CD
The first album here, Ode to Billie Jo yielded the American #1 hit Ode to Billie Joe, which made the UK top 20. Bobbie wrote all the songs except Niki Hoeky, which had been a UK top 10 hit for P J Proby. While Bobbie is often described as a country singer, this album (including the title track) owes at least as much to blues influences. The other songs offer plenty of variety, but I particularly like Bugs and Chickasaw county child.

The second album here, Touch 'em with love, was the fifth album of mew material Bobbie's career, following two other solo albums and a duets album with Glen Campbell. Those albums can be found elsewhere in their entirety, but three of the duets are added here as bonus tracks. Those tracks sound to me more like Glen Campbell solos with Bobbie providing harmony vocals, but as a fan ob both singers, I don't mind that. There are four other bonus tracks, the pick of them being two of Bobbie's own songs, The girl from Cincinnati and You and me together.

Getting back to Touch 'em with love, there are two excellent songs written by Bobbie (Seasons come, seasons go, Glory hallelujah, how they'll sing), both excellent, with the remaining songs all being covers. They include the UK #1 hit I'll never fall in love again, which was not released as an American single, allowing Dionne Warwick to have the American hit with the song. Of the other songs, I don't remember ever hearing Greyhound goin' somewhere, but I love it, as well as the other great covers here.

This is an excellent CD that provides a look at all aspects of Bobbie's music.
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Was this what "Ode To Billie Joe" was about?
No, there are not. I always took Billie Joe's suicide to be the result of the killing of an unwanted baby, the something that was thrown off the Tallahatchee bridge. In remorse for that act, Billie Joe committed suicide.

There was a movie made based on the song. The storyline of the movie was... Read More
May 15, 2012 by Nom de pomme |  See all 2 posts
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