Live in Japan by Glen Campbell

When this Tokyo performance was recorded in May of 1975, Glen Campbell’s chart activity and airplay were anemic at best. Glen had maintained a presence on TV and the concert stage, but his future as a relevant recording artist was uncertain. 

Live in Japan—an album unreleased in the U.S. until now—shows the entertainer in good form, doing a lightweight, crowd-pleasing set especially indicative of the dead-center-mainstream approach that had cemented his fame. He offers “Galveston” in full, its pastoral grandeur augmented by an orchestra, though his other hits appear in abbreviated form in a showbiz medley. His spritely cover of John Denver’s “Annie’s Song” points to Denver’s appropriation of Campbell’s own country-informed crossover fare; elsewhere, he sums up the soft-pop climate of the polyester-clad mid-’70s with such piano-lounge fare as “The Way We Were” and “I Honestly Love You.”

Mere days after this show, the release of the multimillion-selling  “Rhinestone Cowboy” allowed Glen to say sayonara to radio purgatory, making the timing of this Japanese snapshot perhaps most interesting of all.

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