Picks and Pans Review: Next to You

UPDATED 03/20/1989 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/20/1989 at 01:00 AM EST

Tammy Wynette

George and Tammy, related now only by a mutual label-in-law, don't have each other anymore. But country music fans are lucky enough to have both of them. While Jones and producer Billy Sherrill long since proved their acuity when it comes to finding appropriate tunes for George to twang around with, they've outdone themselves here. In one tune Jones sings Roger Ferris's lyrics about being so brokenhearted that he takes a bottle of bourbon shaped like Elvis Presley and pours some into a Flintstones jelly-bean jar: "Yabba-dabba-do/The King is gone/And so are you." One track sure to bring a tear to Tammy's eye and a scoff to her throat is "I'm a One-Woman Man," and Jones also recycles Hank Cochran's "Don't You Ever Get Tired (of Hurting Me)." Jones flaunts his cynicism too on Doodle Owens and Dennis Knutson's "Pretty Little Lady from Beaumont, Texas": "It's not because she's barrels of fun/ That my heart pumps so hard/ For that pretty little lady from Beaumont, Texas/ With the oil wells in her yard." If Jones has made a career of singing about the joys and pitfalls of tomcatting, Wynette has become a spokeswoman for put-upon women. This album includes a seminal statement of that theme, the Curley Putnam-Don Cook-Max D. Barnes song "If You Let Him Drive You Crazy (He Will)," as well as Bill and M. Sharon Rice's "Liar's Roses." Tammy brightens up some on "When a Girl Becomes a Wife," which she wrote with current husband George Richey, and "Thank the Cowboy for the Ride," a rare country music tribute to longevity in relationships. That's all right, Tammy; you're so good that everybody loves you even when you're happy. (Both Epic)

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