10 Classic Country Albums Turning 40 This Year

From Tanya Tucker's decidedly Outlaw 'T.N.T' to Waylon Jennings' romanticizing 'I've Always Been Crazy'

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Ronnie Milsap, 'Only One Love in My Life' (RCA Victor)
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Ronnie Milsap, 'Only One Love in My Life' (RCA Victor)

Milsap is a bit like fellow country-soul pianist Charlie Rich in his phrasing and range, but he sings more like, say, piano man Mickey Gilley, with less texture and intensity – that is, until he doesn't. He tends to start quiet, conversationally, but by the end he's shouting his broken heart at the top of his lungs, as he does here on the pedal-steel filigreed hit "Back on My Mind." Either that or he's blaring his romantic devotion, a real Milsap specialty, as on the chart-topping power ballad title track. Along the same lines, "Let's Take the Long Way Around the World" is like an updating of M.O.R. country classics "Take Me" or "Walk Through This World with Me," except that Milsap is singing long after vows have been exchanged and when the long-haul labor of love is just getting started. "I Got the Music in Me," Milsap declares on the disco-country closer. "I got the good ol' country music…in me!"

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