- Album name: The Gambler
- Artist name: Kenny Rogers
- Year: 1978
- Number of discs: one
- Label: United Artists
- Collection: Essex
- Buy it on Amazon: $19.99
Level of familiarity before listening
I’ve always considered The Gambler to be a very silly song, and have long appreciated the send-up it got in The Americans, but don’t know much else of Kenny Rogers’ ouvre. His atrocious song on the Urban Cowboy soundtrack is not on this record.
What I expected
Country and country rock.
What it was actually like
This was pretty bad.
A bunch of the songs were just forgettable easy listening garbage: I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again, The King of Oak Street, She Believes in Me and Sleep Tight, Goodnight Man.
A Little More Like Me (The Crucifixion) and San Francisco Mabel Joy were more soft rock, and relatively ok.
One thing I was not expecting on this record was two disco songs, The Hoodooin’ of Miss Fannie Deberry and Morgana Jones. And I get that it was 1978, so everyone had to be experimenting with disco, but if you make one disco song and it’s hopelessly cringe, why would you then proceed to make another one?
Tennessee Bottle was the record’s most interesting and unusual song, strongly rock and country while also incorporating a noticeable funk sound. Making Music for Money was also more of a rock song, slightly Oompa Loompa, but much more upbeat and fun.
The title track The Gambler was also Oompa Loompa (far more than I remembered), but actually was a good song – just totally different from all the others. I know that Rogers wasn’t technically a one hit wonder, but that is how I’ll always think of him!
2/5: weak, but I was able to listen to the whole thing