Mel Tillis

Mel Tillis

Mel Tillis

Your Body Is An Outlaw

Collectors’ Choice Music

This is a reissue Mel Tillis’ second record for Elektra and he sounds as smooth and consistent as any country star ever could. From the powdered and primped adultery of title track “Your Body Is An Outlaw,” to the country swing sound of “Stepping Out” to the vaguely racist “Cherokee Maiden,” both Mel and the ’70s country style found their golden age. It’s not like things ever really fell apart, but the large production values coupled with the modest intent of these songs formed a romance that wouldn’t last. The country genre was heading toward rock ‘n’ roll as bands like Flying Burrito Brothers and The Allman Brothers started making real money for the labels. Lush arrangements had crossed over to the wrong side of the tracks before, but soon they retreated to the middle-aged, middle-class market they had always attracted and left C&W to the Mods and the Rockers. But for one short and beautiful moment, country had become respectable without becoming self-conscious. Ahead lay the most embarrassing crime of all — it soon became self-referential.

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