This two-fer assembles a pair of mid-'60s LPs recorded by Brian Hyland for the Liberty label. As post-British Invasion pop zigged, the former teen idol zagged, channeling the influence of traditional American roots music to create the most thoughtful and personal records of his career. Following on the heels of Country Meets Folk, 1965's Rockin' Folk reinvents Hyland as a coffeehouse balladeer, and even if the transformation isn't entirely convincing, his affection for the material seems genuine. While the title portends a more contemporary, Dylan-inspired approach, Rockin' Folk is for the most part as old-fashioned and by the book as Hyland himself -- recorded in New York City with veterans of the Greenwich Village scene, the album concentrates on traditionals like "Rock Island Line" and "Walk Right In," employing his earnest vocals to good effect. Titled for the two comeback hits that shape its sound and sensibility, The Joker Went Wild/Run, Run, Look and See pairs Hyland with producer Snuff Garrett and arrangers Leon Russell and Al Capps to create an impressively sophisticated record with the sun-kissed textures of the emerging West Coast pop aesthetic. Hyland's vocals not only boast a soulfulness and vibrancy absent from his mass-market teen hits, but he also proves a charming songwriter as well, crafting effervescent sweet nothings like "One Night Jimmy" and "Yesterday I Had a Girl." Russell's evocative arrangements lend The Joker Went Wild much of its appeal, however, channeling the lessons of Phil Spector and Brian Wilson to create rich, bold pop far greater than the sum of its parts. ~ Jason Ankeny
67696MBrian Hyland - The Rockin' Folk / The Joker Went Wild (CD)http://oldies.scdn5.secure.raxcdn.com/i/boxart/large/12/5017261207586.jpg?v=319.9917.99USDInStock/Genre/Folk-Music/Music Categories/Rock-and-Pop-Folk-RockBgo - Beat Goes OnCDFolk-MusicBrian-Hyland2008-07-09
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