Monday, October 24, 2005:

Walkin' Back to Georgia

Jim Croce -- Walkin' Back to Georgia
Jim Croce is a big figure in American pop history, or at least in the singer/songwriter niche. He's probably well-enough known that he doesn't need an introduction, or a mention of the helicopter crash (and, honestly, except for the occasional evil person, doesn't everyone die too soon?) "Rapid Roy," "Bad Bad Leroy Brown," and "Roller Derby Queen" all are broadly humorous songs, and entertaining in their own right, but I think what I'm most interested in in his work is his ballads. His ballads seem almost to have been written by a different person; they tend to have a real warmth and kindness to the lyrics that I find wonderfully embracing, like a trip home to a family you love.

"Walking Back to Georgia" is not one of his best-known songs, but that's probably just because it's not on that shortest greatest-hits comp he has. It's still a solid track: guitar, melody, lyrics are all on point weaving together a short poppy distillation of goodwill and longing. This one is digitized from the Don't Mess Around with Jim LP; it's available on CD as well.
[]: Jim Croce -- The Definitive Collection

The Del Vikings -- When I Come Home
The Del Vikings had some splits and some lineup changes that make tracking their catalog a bit of a challenge, especially since they split into the "Del Vikings" and the "Dell-Vikings." The Vikings' best known tracks are probably "Come Go With Me" and "Whispering Bells" (both, if I remember right, on the Stand by Me soundtrack), but their less-famous tracks are solid too. This one has all the typical doo-wop charms: mid-range lead, soaring backup, low accents. It would be easy to take it as simple, nostalgic music, sweet and harmless, but there is some real anxiety at play in the lyrics. I think the track is fitting enough thematically, as I've cut the walking short.
[]: Come Go With Me: The Best of the Del-Vikings Dot/ABC Recordings

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