Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Conway Twitty

  • Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits Vol. I [Decca, 1972] A-
  • Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits Volume II [MCA, 1976] B
  • The Very Best of Conway Twitty [MCA, 1978] B

See Also:

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits Vol. I [Decca, 1972]
"My reasons for cheating, they're as good as lies can be," laments Conway in a properly ironic tag line for this concept-album-cum-compilation. Reversal follows upon reversal, but in the standard pattern the husband does wrong and then suffers hideously as the wife follows suit. Very convincing--right down to "Fifteen Years Ago," cunningly designed for everyone who ever thought he or she wouldn't get over it after a month of hideous suffering. A-

Conway Twitty's Greatest Hits Volume II [MCA, 1976]
Twitty has grown artistically, which I guess is admirable in a forty-three-year-old country singer. I can only guess because although I'm glad he's traded big-ballad stolidity for honky-tonk stretch and catch, I'm not so glad he's writing his own songs. Too often he muddles country's adult themes with the teen romanticism of his early rockabilly success, and sometimes he's just inept--in "The Games That Daddies Play" a seven-year-old makes a speech that could have been written by the seven-year-old's therapist, while in "Don't Cry Joni" there are plot details that could have been devised by a seven-year-old. B

The Very Best of Conway Twitty [MCA, 1978]
For me it's simple. I like Conway on classic--which means guilt- or pain-ridden--cheating songs. I don't like him so much when he starts comparing his wife invidiously to some idealized Linda, Georgia, or honky-tonk angel. And on ordinary country songs he's a slightly better than ordinary country singer. B

Further Notes:

Distinctions Not Cost-Effective [1980s]: His polite courtly-macho speeches turned sheer pettifoggery whether he was running for stud or hubby.