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Jim Croce

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Jim Croce - You Don't Mess Around With Jim [ABC Records ABCX 756] (1972)

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ITEM# SR-ABABCX756
Ratings: C=G+; LP=G-

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Artist:

Jim Croce

Title:

You Don't Mess Around With Jim

Released: 1972
Label: ABC Records
Catalog: ABCX 756
Genre: Folk Rock


T R A C K L I S T:
01 You Don't Mess Around With Jim
02 Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Brighter Day
03 New York's Not My Home
04 Hard Time Losin' Man
05 Photographs And Memories
06 Walkin' Back To Georgia
07 Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)
08 Time In A Bottle
09 Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
10 Box #10
11 A Long Time Ago
12 Hey Tomorrow
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Album Review

You Don't Mess Around with Jim is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Jim Croce, released in 1972.

The album was recorded over a three to four week period for approximately $18,000, with most funding coming from the PolyGram Group in Baarn, the Netherlands on the basis of hearing an 8-song demo tape assembled by production team Cashman & West. The deal with PolyGram was made after team attorney Phil Kurnit approached a contact within the record company who then had PolyGram executives to listen to the demo tape. After having the finished album rejected by up to 40 record labels, Croce was signed to ABC Records after Cashman & West had a chance meeting with ABC promotion man Marty Kupps. Kupps urged label head Jay Lasker to sign Croce after hearing cuts from a cassette tape of the finished album.

The record spent 93 weeks on the charts, longer than any other Jim Croce album. Due to the strong performance of the posthumous single release ''Time in a Bottle'' (#1 pop, #1 AC), You Don't Mess Around with Jim was the best selling album in the U.S. for five weeks in early 1974. It was listed at #6 on the 1974 Cash Box yearend album charts. Two singles were originally released from the album in 1972: the title track (#8 pop) and ''Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)'' (#17 pop). [wikipedia.org]


Jim Croce - Time In A Bottle (Greatest Love Songs) (21 Records 90649-1-Y) (1985 Reissue) (1976)

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ITEM# SR-21906491Y
Ratings: C=NM; LP=NM

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Artist:

Jim Croce

Title:

Time In A Bottle (Jim Croce's Greatest Love Songs)

Released: 1976
Label: 21 Records
Catalog: 90649-1-Y
Genre: Folk / Rock
Note: 1985 Reissue
T R A C K L I S T:
01 Time In A Bottle
02 Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)
03 Salon And Saloon
04 Alabama Rain
05 Dreamin' Again
06 It Doesn't Have To Be That Way
07 I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song
08 Lover's Cross
09 Thursday
10 These Dreams
11 A Long Time Ago
12 Photographs And Memories
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Album Review

Stephen Thomas Erlewine [allmusic.com]

Since it contains only his love ballads, fans who prefer his sweetly sentimental songs like "Operator" and "Time in a Bottle," to story-songs like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," will find Time in a Bottle the essential compilation. Despite the amount of good material here, Photographs and Memories remains a better collection, because it presents both sides of the popular singer/songwriter.

Jim Croce's Biography

Barry Weber [allmucic.com]

In the music industry, arguably the worst tragedy that can befall an artist is to die in his or her prime, when just beginning to break through to the mainstream and reach people on a national or international level. One such artist was Jim Croce, a songwriter with a knack for both upbeat, catchy singles and empathetic, melancholy ballads. Though Croce only recorded a few studio albums before an untimely plane crash, he continues to be remembered posthumously. Croce appealed to fans as a common man, and it was not a gimmick -- he was a father and husband who went through a series of blue-collar jobs. And whether he used dry wit, gentle emotions, or sorrow, Croce sang with a rare form of honesty and power. Few artists have ever been able to pull off such down-to-earth storytelling as convincingly as he did.

James Joseph Croce was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on January 10, 1943. Raised on ragtime and country, Croce played the accordion as a child and would eventually teach himself the guitar. It wasn't until his freshman year of college that he began to take music seriously, forming several bands over the next few years. After graduation, he continued to play various gigs at local bars and parties, working as both a teacher and construction worker to support himself and his wife, Ingrid. In 1969, the Croces and an old friend from college, Tommy West, moved to New York and recorded an album. When the Jim and Ingrid record failed to sell, they moved to a farm in Lyndell, Pennsylvania, where Jim juggled several jobs, including singing for radio commercials. Eventually he was noticed and signed by the ABC/Dunhill label and released his second album, You Don't Mess Around with Jim, in 1972. The record spawned three hits: "You Don't Mess Around With Jim," "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)," and "Time in a Bottle," the latter ultimately shooting all the way to number one on the Billboard charts. Croce quickly followed with Life and Times in early 1973 and gained his first number one hit with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown."

After four years of grueling tour schedules, Croce grew homesick. Wishing to spend more time with Ingrid and his infant son Adrian James, he planned to take a break after the Life and Times tour was completed. Tragically, the tour would never finish; just two months after "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" topped the charts, Croce's plane crashed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Croce and the four other passengers (including bandmember Maury Muehleisen) were killed instantly.

Croce's career peaked after his death. In December of 1973, the album I Got a Name surfaced, but it was "Time in a Bottle," from 1972's You Don't Mess Around with Jim, that would become his second number one single. Shortly afterwards, "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" reached the Top Ten. Several albums were released posthumously, most notably the greatest hits collection Photographs & Memories, which became a best-seller. Several other compilations were later issued, such as the 1992 release The 50th Anniversary Collection and the 2000 compilation Time in a Bottle: The Definitive Collection. Listening to the songs Croce recorded, one cannot help but wonder how far his extraordinary talents could have taken him if he would have lived longer. Unfortunately, such a question may only be looked at rhetorically, but Jim Croce continues to live on in the impressive catalog of songs he left behind.
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