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Various Artists

For The Good Times: The Songs Of Kris Kristofferson

Ace Records

Released: 22nd February 2021

CD£12.99Out of Stock

A deep dip into the impressive catalogue of one of the USA’s finest songwriters. Classics and obscurities bridging country, soul, rock and pop, many on UK CD for the first time.

Kris Kristofferson wore many different hats during a long career. Roles in 85 films and a catalogue of more than 30 albums attest to his activity as an actor and a singer. However, he is probably best known as a songwriter, particularly for the cluster of timeless numbers he penned in the late 60s and early 70s that forged his reputation as a master craftsman. There won’t be many people out there in Ace-land who have not heard at least one version of ‘Help Me Make It Through The Night’, ‘Me And Bobby McGee’ or ‘For The Good Times’, which between them have amassed almost 1000 cover versions.

“For The Good Times” brings together 23 of his very best compositions from approximately his first 10 years of prolific activity. Some of these have been recorded dozens, even hundreds of times, while others have just one or two versions to their credit besides the author’s own. All of them display a lyrical genius that makes them endure in their own ways, and that reinforces just what a sublime songwriter Kris is.

The brilliance in these songs is reflected in the diversity of the artists who perform them here. Stars such as Isaac Hayes, the Everly Brothers, Willie Nelson, Scott Walker, George Jones and Waylon Jennings were always quick to spot quality, and most of them recorded more of Kris’ songs than the one featured here. The repertoire for this collection was chosen specifically to highlight the many ways in which Kris’ compositions have been performed, from soul to pop balladry, folk, MOR, rock’n’roll and inevitably country – truly a catalogue for all styles and all seasons.

Now 84 years old, Kris can look back on his career with immense pride and a sense of true accomplishment as a songwriter. Singers will still be performing and recording his all-time classics long after anyone reading this is around to enjoy them. “For The Good Times” is a testament to the talent of an extraordinarily gifted man.

TONY ROUNCE / Ace Records