For you regular readers (all 5 of you) you should all know that Jerry Reed holds a special place in my heart. I think there are many of my generation who saw "Smokey And The Bandit" as a kid imagined themselves flying down the road in Bandit's Trans Am all while "East Bound And Down" rang through their head. Then as I god older, all of this became very uncool. Bandit, Car chase movies, Jerry Reed, all of it, but deep down inside I couldn't deny that I loved it all. So for years I was in the closet about the whole thing. But then I became a parent. When you become a dad, it gives you a license to tell your kids about all the things you loved as a kid and to be a big geek. It doesn't matter if it is cool or not. In fact if it kind of embarrasses your kids, I think it is all the funner. So such was the case with this record. The thing is, and the thing I still love a bout my kids is that they weren't embarrassed. They got it. They love this record as much as I do. By that I mean they love "East Bound And Down" the song. I haven't really exposed them to the whole album very much. The one song, though, has become a tradition in our family when heading out on road trips. I usually kick it on as we're driving on the on ramp to the expressway.
While the family isn't as familiar with the rest of the family, it has some pretty great songs as well. Side one is all songs from "Smokey". "Lightning Rod" & "Bake" are two instrumentals. "Bandit" and "Legend" are a couple with vocals. I love "Bandit". It is sort of the love theme of the movie. It plays when Bandit and Frog pull of the side of the road for a little breather. It's short and beautiful and there is this part where Jerry belts out "Bandit you're reckless" that gives me chills. That line sums up Bandit's character to a tee. The following lines don't pack the same vocal punch, but the lyrics are great still the same. He sings, "And you live much too hard. Bandit you're the joker in the deal of the cards. You're a legend to the old men, a hero to the child, Bandit steal a ladies heart with only a smile." That pretty much sums up the appeal of "Smokey And The Bandit".
"Legend" is a fun little song about Bandit as well that tells us a little bit more about the legend of Bandit. I can listen to this one as much as "East Bound And Down" when on a road trip. This one is more of a trucker song, telling Bandit's back story as a truck driver. If you wanted to know what Badit was doing before the black Trans Am this is the song for you.
Side two while not directly tied to "Smokey And The bandit", it contains some great songs. I think my favorite is the side opener "Framed". It is a blues song that I could imagine Jake and Elwood singing. It was a pleasant surprise hearing Jerry sing the blues. I never would have guessed and he is great. The song tells a great story with a good sense of humor. Give it a listen.
"You Took All The Ramblin' Out Of Me" is infectious. There are many a day when this song is stuck in my head. Great, great song.
"Rainbow Ride" is the oddity of the record. Part of me wants to scream "What the hell" and par of me just wants to laugh. I mean really what is this song. First of all it doesn't even sound like Jerry Reed. He's put on this singing voice that makes him unidentifiable. And the song is this completely sappy song. I have no explanation for this song.
"Just to Satisfy You" is another mellow song, but at least if sounds like Jerry. It is okay, but not great.
"Don't Think Twice It's Alright" is Jerry back to form. This is a great little number. Great lyrics, and a great little guitar thing going on underneath it all. Something about this song reminds me of a Beatles song. I can't really give much higher praise. I think you'll like it.
So nest time you are heading out onto a long road trip, make sure this one is in the car so you too can imagine yourself running from the Smokies.
01 East Bound And Down.m4a
02 Lightning Rod.m4a
03 The Bandit.m4a
07 You Took All The Ramblin' Out Of Me.m4a
08 Rainbow Ride.m4a
09 Just To Satisfy You.m4a
10 Don't Think Twice It's All Right.m4a
And here it the whole glorious thing.