Behind Closed Doors (Sony Music/Legacy Recordings)
The latest installments in Sony Music's ongoing "American Milestones" series - offering lovingly remastered classic albums, all studded with rare bonus tracks - spotlight some of country's more eclectic, underappreciated and sometimes rebellious artists.
Charlie Rich never fit in Nashville either, but he became a megastar anyway. Producer Billy Sherrill's countrypolitan strings meshed gorgeously with Charlie's soulful vocals and rough-hewn style to create his breakthrough album, 1973's Behind Closed Doors. His contrarian ways - emblemized by setting ablaze the card proclaiming "outsider" John Denver as 1975's CMA Entertainer of the Year - would eventually make Charlie Rich an outcast himself in Music City. But Behind Closed Doors now towers over the work of many who once ostracized him.
-- Chris Neil