Carlene Carter

by Carlene Carter

Released March 14, 1978
Warner Bros. Records
Released March 14, 1978
Warner Bros. Records
"She steps out with a personal authority so sure it belies her 22 years just as Elvis Costello's belies his 23... Comparisons may be beside the point with Carter. We would do best to take her on her own terms, however she chooses to define them." ROLLING STONE
1. Love Is Gone (Alex Call)
2. Smoke Dreams (Carlene Carter / Rosey Nix)
3. Between You And Me (Graham Parker)
4. I Once Knew Love (Carlene Carter)
5. I've Been There Before (Tracy Nelson)
6. Never Together But Close Sometimes (Rodney Crowell)
7. Mr. Moon (Alex Call)
8. Alabama Morning (Michael Bacon / Thomas Cain)
9. Slow Dance (Carlene Carter)
10. Who Needs Words (Carlene Carter)

Produced by Bob Andrews and Brinsley Schwarz.
Co-produced by Martyn Smith.
Carlene Carter - vocals, piano, backing vocals.
Andrew Bodnar - bass.
Steve Goulding - drums.
Brinsley Schwarz - electric, acoustic, and slide guitars, percussion, backing vocals.
Bob Andrews - piano, backing vocals, Oberheim synthesizer, percussion, organ, electric piano, bass.
Nick Lowe - bass, backing vocals.
Graham Parker - acoustic guitar, backing vocal.
Terry Williams - drums.
Ray Bearis - tenor sax.
Chris Gower - bass trombone.
Dick Hanson - flugelhorn.
John "Irish" Earle - baritone sax.
Cover photography - David Montgomery.

TOPS IN POPS - ROCKIN' THROUGH SUMMER. Instead of following the family route, Carlene has enlisted some of the best young English rockers (Brinsley Schwarz, Graham Parker, Nick Lowe) to play and sing harmony behind her, buttressing her music with high-octane spirit. The result is an album so congenial and accomplished, it hardly sounds like a debut. You can hear a country inflection in Carter's voice, which may miss a certain roughhouse quality but has a crystalline sensuality full of flirtation and promise.
JAY COCKS, TIME (July 17, 1978)

IDLE RUMOURS. Both production and playing on "Carlene Carter" are near perfection. Carlene is a remarkable singer with a strong, vibrant alto. She's definitely a Carter in tradition and emotional range, but she can also rock with the best. Her originals are expectional; "Slow Dance" sparkles with both verbal and melodic hooks, and "Who Needs Words," a ballad accompanied only by piano and bass, is sung with depth and immediacy. In fact, Carlene's combination of talent and chutzpah gets more impressive with every hearing.

Carlene Carter is heir to as venerable a tradition as exists in the world of American popular music, and she has begun to live up to her legacy by taking herself to England and recording a first-class rock & roll album with The Rumour, Graham Parker's backing band. There's not a trace of self-consciousness on Carter's disc, and hardly a trace of what most would take as her "roots." Most often, she steps out with a personal authority so sure it belies her twenty-two years just as Elvis Costello's belies his twenty-three. Inevitable as they are with a new artist, comparisons may be beside the point with Carter. We would do best to take her on her own terms, however she chooses to define them.

CARLENE CARTER - ROCK & ROLL FROM A COUNTRY BLUE BLOOD. Her voice has that high, lonesome beauty, a rough but appealing timbre, and her words are cured with the same sweet drawl. But Carlene Carter doesn't sing country music, either newfangled or old-fashioned. Her debut album is, in fact, a rock & roll record. There are a few ballads and moments when that knife-sharp voice flicks into a yeilding, feathery falsetto. But the prevailing mood of these songs is tough-minded intelligence, fueled by the drive of electric guitars. When she attacks the opening song, "Love Is Gone," she reminds you how long it's been since a lady dared to come out with guns blazing.

Carlene Carter's first LP proves that she needn't rely on the obvious associative gimmicks to put herself over, because she's a surprisingly subtle and unapologetically tough singer. And she must be the first person to tie together the American country and British pub-rock (for want of a better phrase) strains in a convincing way, something that should have been done a long time ago.

RECORDING OF SPECIAL MERIT. Performance: Excellent. Recording: Very good. There isn't a weak song here, nor one in which she fails to do something vocally that makes me say "Yeah!" under my breath. We may have to add one more name to the list of real people.

The latest member of the Carter family of country music fame to record, Carlene's debut marks her as one of the best of the women country rock performers.

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New Carter Family CD!

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