Billy Ray Cyrus -
Wanna Be Your Joe
Peden, CSO Staff Journalist
want my mullet back/my ole Camaro and my 8 track/fuzzy dice
hangin' proud/ ZZ Top they’re playin’ loud…”
doubting Billy Ray Cyrus has moved beyond the frantic days of
“Achy, Breaky Heart”. The then hip tossing and stage
prancing chartbuster, who nailed Billboard in ’92 with his
line dancing anthem, a tune that when it strikes its first
urgent opening chord either creates ready acceptance or morbid
dislike, shaped a craze hard to live down.
There was a time
when good ol’ Billy Ray couldn’t put a foot wrong.
Literally. The Chest of the West, The Mullet Man, call him what
you will, he was big. He was bigger than big. The tune
catapulted him into country consciousness. His debut album, Some
Gave All, from which the tune came, sat chart topside for an
impressive 17 weeks and sold 9 million copies – outselling
Garth in that year. The single was also a CMT staple. The rugged
Kentuckian – he keeps his form sharp with rumored six hour
daily work-outs -- was here, he was there -- he was the
identifiable persona of country music. But as soon as one hero
arrives, another’s needed. The public move on, and with Billy
Ray, quickly. He never really regained the local popularly and
widespread adulation that came from a song that was as annoying
as it was unforgettable.
But while the
defining moment for Billy Ray came and went, the singer with the
catchiest tune in country continued to deliver. Albums such as It
Won’t Be The Last, Storm in the Heartland, and the
revealing Trail of Tears, with other latter-day releases,
have all kept the fan base happy. The applauded role of a rural
doctor making the city life transition in TV’s Doc kept the
profile high, too.
And while the
dizzy days of fleeting fame may have passed, Cyrus has still
been able to record and offer worthwhile music. His latest
album, the mainly co-written Wanna Be Your Joe proves
beyond doubt Billy Ray Cyrus isn’t a manufactured idol from
the past. His fans may be older, sure, and the stage moves a
little more controlled, but that’s fine. Billy Ray’s music
has mellowed into something far removed from the lust-filled
frenzy that once was part of the BRC theatrics.
“Wanna Be your
Joe” is a point in proof. There’s no tush-pushin’ here.
The tune, mellow with the revealing truth that ”Joe may never
be a rich man, a lawyer or a movie star,” no worries; his
contentment comes from the domestic pride of a loving wife and
the chance to watch his babies grow. And while the sedate side
of life might be an ideal album opener, the tongue-in-cheek ‘I
Want My Mullet Back” is a hankering for times past. Billy Ray,
who holds the title of Mullet God on a dedicated web site, rocks
out with a tune pointing fun at a style cut he made an art form.
performers George Jones and Loretta Lynn are guest vocalists on
“Country Music Has The Blues”. The tuneful trio ponder, on a
tune Cyrus wrote with his son, Trace, just what’s to become of
country music now the legends have passed. Further reflection on
life’s fragility plays on “The Man” (Tribute to Dale
Earnhardt), and on the crafted remembrance to Lynyrd Skynyrd,
“The Freebird Fell”.
Keeping the music
in the family, daughter Miley joins Dad on a tale of human
values and personal commitments with “Stand”, while a wish
is granted on “Hey Daddy”. The song is a tribute to Cyrus’
father, who, sadly, died earlier this year. As Billy Ray shares
in the liner, his father only heard the song a week before he
passed. He asked that he not be the only one to ever hear it.
is a rock-out radio track for sure, while “Ole What’s Her
Name” pokes fun at the love game, while the bonus cut” A
Pain In The Gas” pumps octane realities with its barbed social
commentary on rising prices.
mullet. Forget the push and pull of a line-dancing train. Forget
the past. Making music with lasting meaning, not for notoriety
and not for quick passing chart success, is where this average
Joe now finds himself. And there are many who couldn’t be
Click on the
picture above to order your copy now!
|1: Wanna Be Your Joe
2: I Want My Mullet Back
3: The Man
4: I Wouldn't Be Me
5: What About Us
6: Country Music Has the Blues - (with George Jones/Loretta Lynn)
7: The Freebird Fell
8: I Wonder.
9: Lonely Wins
10: How’ve Ya Been
11: Ole What's Her Name
12: Hey Daddy
13: Stand - (with Miley Cyrus)
14:A.Pain In the Gas - (bonus track)
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a "Real People Review"
George Peden ROCKS! That is THE best review ever about BRC. Rock on, George. You are awesome.
~ Fans from Texas