Mickey Newbury found success in the late 60s as a songwriter, but was dissatisfied with his debut album when it was released in 1968. He negotiated his way out of his contract with RCA, and signed with Mercury Records on the condition that he got total artistic control. For his second album therefore he left the Nashville recording establishment and went to the tiny Cindarella Sound studio. Here he succeeded in created a truly remarkable album.
Looks Like Rain came out in 1969, and introduced Newbury's new style. It was masterfully produced, with delicate, atmospheric arrangements built around softly picked acoustic guitar and his brilliant voice, the songs interspersed with the sounds of thunder and rain. The result was a melancholy soundscape full of elegance and mystery, quite unlike any other country music (if indeed it is to be labelled as country). It also featured some more fantastic songs, including two of his best-known - "She Even Woke Me Up To Say Goodbye" and "San Francisco Mabel Joy", both of which have been heavily covered over the years.
It was an obvious work of genius, and is generally considered his true recording debut. It didn't see any commercial success, but is today considered a masterpiece.
Harlequin Melodies (1968) <|> Frisco Mabel Joy (1971)
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