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"The Poet Laureate"
on March 7, 2005
This "Greatest Hites Of Rod McKuen" is a fantastic collection of his best recordings. Rod has a most "poetic" delivery as well as abilitiy to write lyric verses.
I first hear "Doesn't Anbod Know My Name" on a Kingston Trio album ears ago . . . i have alwas had a special place in my memory for that song . .and to hear Rod himself deliver his own words in music is a great treat. His voice wraps around his words and thoughts and sends them out to touch our hearts and souls. He succeeds so well on this song.
another McKuen classic is "Jean" from the motion picture "The Prime Of Miss Jean Brod" -- i first heard this song of Rod's composition by "Oliver" . . and i love both renderings, Oliver's and Rod's . . . the both evoke the lonsome feeling of being out alone in the heather, missing a lost love (lost by death? or lost by a departure perhaps) . . . and it is difficult to not tear-up a bit whenever you play this track.
Rod does an exccellent job with Gale Caldwell's "Cycles" . . a song i first heard by Frank Sinatra . . . andRod also wrote an entire album of songs for Mr. Sinatra . . two kindred souls. And Rod on collection also has his "Love's Been Good To Me" which Frank recorded on his album of Rod McKuen penned songs.
Ahhhh! and then there's the Jaques Brel song which Rod put english lyrics to: "If You Go Away" . . . i first heard this song sung by Australian songstress Lana Cantrell . . . and i fell in love with Lana and this song . . . and now i get to hear it by the man who wrote the english verses.
There are twenty-two tracks on this collection . . and every one a "keeper" . . . i'm forever glad that they are now preserved for all posterity: examples of a true artist at his best!
I thank you od McKuen for your contribution to the wonders of our musical and poetic heritage. You are "the best" . . .and this album presents some of "your ver best" so this it can touch our souls.
(ha . . and i seem to remember Rod McKuen in some "beach movies" from the early sixties . . . Rod, you certainly have experienced it all!) :)