Behind Closed Doors
click the image to get it in cd-cover size
In 1973, after nearly 15 years on the fringes of success, Charlie Rich scored big with Behind Closed Doors
and was briefly catapulted to the level of superstar. The album is built around Rich's soulful singing and the dynamic and purposeful arrangements of producer Billy Sherrill. "Take It on Home" is typical: we begin with just Rich's deep, smoky voice, his own piano, and a barely audible drum tap. Soon, though, strings enter, climbing slowly, slowly, to an impassioned crescendo, then falling away entirely to underscore the declaration of fidelity that is the song's point: "I take it on home because I believe she'd do the same for me." Like most of the album, it'll give you goose bumps. --David Cantwell
Tracklist of Behind Closed Doors
His two biggest hits are both here
Charlie Rich was a hugely talented singer-pianist who, for whatever reason, never really fulfilled his potential. His career began in the fifties on Sun records in the early days of rock'n'roll. Charlie also recorded jazz and I suspect that he really wanted to sing but it was in country music that Charlie became successful for a brief period in the seventies.
This album, as originally released in 1973, spawned two major international pop hits - Behind close doors and The most beautiful girl. It also included other classic songs such as We lover each other (a minor UK pop hit), I take it on home (his first significant hit on the country charts, preceding the big two), Peace on you, Sunday kind of woman, Till I can't take it anymore and If you wouldn't be my lady.
Although Charlie recorded some other good songs and had further success on the country charts, he was never comfortable with country music and he never came close to matching this album for its overall quality and eventually faded into obscurity, eventually dying in 1995 of complications caused by a blood clot in one of his lungs..
This album, now re-mastered with extra but unnecessary tracks, remains the ultimate Charlie Rich album and shows just what a great singer he was at his best.
The reluctant, masterful '70s superstar at his peak.
This album was Charlie Rich's breakthrough to
massive popularity after fifteen years of gigs
in venues of "lesser" status. Charlie Rich was really
a jazz pianist and blues, soul singer who gained
his worldwide fame through the more "sophisticated"
country sound developed by producer Billy Sherrill. "Behind Closed Doors" is the standout album of this genre.
"You Never Really Wanted Me" is the song that made
me a Charlie Rich fan. It is really a blues song in
my opinion and playing it late at night in the dark will
affect you too. The rest of the album contains material
that showcases not only Charlie's magnificent voice but
the genuine emotion that Charlie conveys to the listener.
The release of "I've Got Mine" on this "expanded" album
is welcome because "never before" released material by Charlie is rare and to have the sterling "Ruby, You're Warm" on CD is a treat. Buy this one and then explore the rest of this man's catalog - you will discover blues, soul, gospel, jazz, standards and rock and roll. I challenge you to find
any other singer who is his equal.
The Silver Fox: My intro to Country Music
I foundly remember hearing "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Women in the World" and wondering out loud sometimes "Why is my mom playing this?" Well soon I realized why...the Silver Fox was a damn good singer and his songs had a profound meaning. Living in South Central Los Angeles it was rare to hear this type of music playing or played, but my mom played it and she played it often enough that I would go to school singing "The Most Beautiful Women in the World". Now 20 odd years later I play this for my kids and they appreciate the music and his voice just like I did.