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It's All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Pam Tillis ~ It's All Relative: Tillis Sings

Amazon.com

Tribute albums often suffer from a lack of cohesion, but not in this case. That's because the delightful It's All Relative features just one singer--Pam Tillis--and the artist she celebrates just happens to be her father, the legendary singer-songwriter-actor Mel Tillis. Daughter Pam tackles 13 of her dad's songs, some of them famous ("I Ain't Never," "So Wrong"), some of them more obscure ("Violet and a Rose," "Not Like It Was with You"). High-profile guests include Emmylou Harris, Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, the Jordanaires, Delbert McClinton, Marty Stuart, Ray Benson (who produced four tracks), and Papa himself, who helps out on the rousing closer "Come On and Sing." Pam's arrangements are mostly familiar--she does "Burning Memories" in the same honky-tonk shuffle style that Ray Price used on the hit version--but she takes liberties with Price's "Heart over Mind," here done as a heartfelt ballad, and Bobby Bare's "Detroit City," played as an orchestrated, "Ode to Billie Joe"-style folk song. It all hangs together, though, making It's All Relative a success from start to finish. --David Hill
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 3, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00006FN8G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,618 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dennis Brislen on January 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Has it really been 15 plus years since Pam Tillis had her breakthrough hit Don't Tell Me What to Do? Much has happened since then, most of it good. Tillis has recorded quality material with several mega-hits that have established her as a great talent.
With the arrival of Faith, Shania, and Leanne Womack, Pam has been played less than in her glory days. This is due more to the vagaries of Nashville than any slippage in her talent level. Indeed, if anything, she is better now than in the past. Her voice still retains its distinctive resonance and her inflection and presentation of lyrics are better than ever.
This CD love letter to her father is a tour-de force! She is as good as she has ever been on this project. She takes each Tillis song, those that were hits for her father and those that hit for others and makes them her own. Listen to Heart Over Mind and you will get the idea...she creates a new tempo and in doing so, creates a totally unique version. Ditto Detroit City.
I don't know whether or not this CD will sell well or not...I can only say what OUGHT to happen. This OUGHT to be a BIG seller. Faith and Shania are talented ladies but this CD is much better than either of their latest efforts. Go Pam Tillis...you go girl!!!
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Format: Audio CD
As one of country's first ladies to produce her own discs, Pamela Tillis stands tall among aging country stars' performing daughters such as Rosanne Cash, Carlene Carter (Cash's stepsister) and Lorrie Morgan. No one's better suited than Pam to do It's All Relative, a tribute to her famous singer/songwriter father Mel Tillis. Snug in her hillbilly crib (a guitar case on the floor), she was sometimes the first to hear his works in progress.
Mel's songs touch a lot of bases, as does his eldest daughter's delivery. "Mental Revenge" gets a slow, smoky blues groove (whereas Waylon Jennings charged through it on his 1967 rendition). Her playful western-style "I Ain't Never" contrasts to honky-tonk hit versions by Webb Pierce in 1959 and Mel himself in 1972 as well as the 1973 retro-rockabilly cover by John Fogerty (as The Blue Ridge Rangers). "So Wrong" recalls Patsy Cline's torch-and-twang 1962 rendition, while on "Detroit City," Pam's quiet moan "I want to go home" is one of most primal hooks in all of country music. With not a dud in sight, dad should be awfully proud.
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By A Customer on September 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Just got "It's All Relative" and it's wonderful. Every song on the album is hot. From "Mental Revenge" to "Detroit City" I found myself enjoying the full range of emotions. As a tribute album to Mel Tillis it's an eye opener about his music but even better it really showcases Pam Tillis -- she simply shines.
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Format: Audio CD
I always like the idea of tribute albums becuase most all tributes start off with the idea of doing songs by someone who is a highly regarded singer or songwriter, so there is a good chance that the songs are proven well written songs. However, it is difficult to honor the past and also sound new and refreshing at the same time. Here on this tribute to Mel Tillis, Pam pulls this off extremely well. She takes very well written tunes and gives the the best and freshest treatment making for what a great modern country CD should sound like. This CD proves that if radio would ever give traditional music a chance again it could still be modern and COUNTRY at the same time.

Pam excels on most all songs here. Some of the highlights include her duet with Ray Benson on "Honey Open That Door". Such a great recording that it is a shame most country fans will never get to experience it. She also sounds great and extremely believable on the slower songs "Detroit City" and "Heart Over Mind". On "Violet And A Rose" she harmonizes with Dolly Parton for a magical & beautiful musical moment. Another highlight is a duet with her Dad, Mel Tillis, on "Come On and Sing". While this song doesn't have the freshness that the other songs do its a great idea on a tribute album to include a vocal contribution from the subject himself, and he does still have a fine voice. The above mentioned tunes are the ones that I feel makes this album great, but the other songs are good too. I have a feeling I will continue to play this for many years to come.
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Format: Audio CD
This CD is a true MASTERPIECE and I highly recommend it. From the opening twin fiddles of "Burning Memories" to the catchy ending, "Come On And Sing" (with her entire family pitching in on this one) every song is a winner, and this album should make it to alot of reviewers "Best of Year" lists. It is so good, I feel that it is worthy of a Grammy. She has an all-star lineup helping her out (Dolly Parton/Emmylou Harris/Tricia Yearwood/Rhonda Vincent/Marty Stuart/Ray Benson/The Jordanaires/Delbert McClinton/ and last, but not least, her family and dad, Mel)
There is a little of everything here- the slow songs are so good they make the hair stand up on your arms- some fun songs like "Unmitigated Gall" ( I call this one the "Queen Of Denial has come to her senses and booted the bum out" song) and some good old fashioned texas two step music-
how refreshing to actually hear country music on a country album!
I applaud Pam for putting out an album like this- especially in this day of record companie$"what have you done for me lately" attitude, and "country" radios preference to play "bubblegum-pop" music.
She has done her dad and country music proud, and this is a most welcome, refreshing, and excellent addition to anybodys CD collection!
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