Eddie Rabbitt

Eddie Rabbitt

Eddie Rabbitt

13 Original #1 Hits

Rhino / Real Gone Music

If country music sounds too “country” for you, consider the music of Eddie Rabbitt. He grew up in the mountains of East Orange, New Jersey and played fiddle and guitar just like his daddy (who worked in an oil refinery, which is sort of like a coal mine). Rabbitt wrote a stack of albums and cranked out 20 number-one singles in his life, and this tight compilation picks thirteen of them that the Rhino Boys like best.

“Drinking My Baby (Off My Mind)” opens the tour, and in my humble opinion it’s the most memorable song to sing along to in the collection. Rabbitt’s style is lumped in the country crossover pile, which means the chords and lyrics are yee-haw, but the arrangements and productions are pure uptown Broadway. “Every Which Way but Loose” themes an old Clint Eastwood flick — the one where he tongues an orangutan — and like the movie, this song showcases a sappy and syrupy sound, but that was the best thing about the movie. “Suspicious” hardly feels country at all; it’s a smooth jazz Kenny G style number suitable for a pick-up bar in an airport Holiday Inn. Crystal Gayle joins in on “You and I,” which is long and moody and even with Rabbitt’s scratchy voice works well as a romantic ballad. Of course, it’s best not to listen too closely to pop love songs — they can be absolutely brutal, although “You Can’t Run From Love” views things positively, and overall Rabbit presents a balanced take on life’s most troublesome emotion.

Rabbitt’s sound is right out of the ’70s and ’80s music boom. He’s not so much old school country as classic lounge, but still engaging and as smooth as a well-made piña colada.

Real Gone: realgonemusic.com

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