Friday, October 29, 2010

Bellamy Brothers, "Back In the Day"

When was the last time the Bellamy Brothers were in regular rotation on country radio?  Nineteen-eighty-something?  This new single from their Anthology, Vol. 2 compilation won't return them to radio playlists.  There would be about a one in a million chance of that.  But it will be enough to provide four minutes of fun for loyal fans of the legendary duo.

No young-gun country rocker could ever pull of the nostalgia theme better than a veteran act with a three-decade career under the belt.  In "Back In the Day," a man reminsces about romantic flings with his woman from back when she was "hotter than a pistol."  The relationship has long since fallen apart, and the narrator has became more and more weighed down with the anxieties of life.  A running undercurrent in the lyrics is a desire for, not just lovemaking and french-kissing, but a return to the carefree life of days gone by.

But there's no need to overthink it.  When the instrumental arrangment sounds this cool, you could probably get away with singing the phone book.  As "Back In the Day" begins, the production does sound slightly dated (refer back to the song title if you find that surprising).  But it gradually builds until it includes the sounds of one hammering away on a honky-tonk piano.  We then hear a few cheeky-sounding organ chords, followed by a jazzy guitar solo.  Catchy, catchy, catchy!

Granted, "Back In the Day" is by no means a reincarnation of the Bellamy Brother's best-known classics.  But it is enough to prove that, like good ol' George Jones, David and Howard Bellamy don't need nobody's old rockin' chair.  They sound completely rejuvinated!  A walk down memory lane has never been so much fun.

(Scores are given on a scale of 1 to 10)