Glen Campbell has made an impressive chart debut with his remarkable new Surfdog Records release, Ghost On The Canvas. The album - which marks the iconic singer/guitarist/songwriter's final studio recording - entered the SoundScan/Billboard 200 at #23.
In the UK, Ghost On The Canvas entered the chart at #27 - the highest charting debut album in the UK. All told, the multiple Grammy Award-winner has charted 13 albums in the UK in just over four decades, reaching #1 with the 1976 compilation, Twenty Golden Greats. What's more, the success of Ghost On The Canvas marks the 75-year-old Campbell as one of the oldest artists ever to chart an album of new recordings, placing him alongside such icons as legendary bluesman John Lee Hooker and famed composer/bandleader James Last.
In addition to its popular success, Ghost On The Canvas has been greeted with unprecedented critical acclamation from all corners. USA Today declared the album to be "a museum-quality masterpiece," further extolling it as "not simply a coda to an impressive career but also the sort of artistic swan song that might receive serious consideration for album of the year come Grammy Awards time." The Boston Globe called the album "gorgeous and charming," while Pitchfork noted that "Campbell conveys a certain nostalgia for that defining sound of his prime...His voice remains strong enough that he doesn't need your pity to put these songs across."
In its four-starred review, American Songwriter observed "Glen's voice has barely lost a shade along the way...With the right material, this man as an artist has few flaws." "Campbell is in near-top vocal form," declared the Washington Post, while the L.A. Times hailed the album as "polished and full-bodied, with frequent echoes of Campbell's old countrypolitan hits." The years have added an edge to his singing," said Rolling Stone, noting "Dude's definitely not going out softly."
The A.V. Club praised Ghost On The Canvas as "emotionally hefty," with its "touching rendition" of Guided By Voices' "Hold On Hope" singled out as a "real highlight." The Wall Street Journal suggested "with his talent intact, and his seemingly native ability to appeal to pop and country audiences at the same time, the new album may find new fans for the 75 year old (Campbell)." The New York Daily News' Jim Farber waxed rhapsodic, suggesting that Campbell "has given his fans a final portrait of himself so vivid it feels like his prime." Perhaps The Village Voice summed it up best: Ghost On The Canvas is "maybe the finest album (Campbell's) ever made."
Ghost On The Canvas has met with similar acclaim across the Atlantic, where The Telegraphapplauded the album's title track for possessing "the spacious, yearning quality of 'Wichita Lineman,' and sounds like Campbell's last classic. Superb." The Independent's Andy Gill commended the album's "profound valedictory tone" while BBC Music declared the collection to be "the real deal, musical and emotionally true and sometimes devastating, on a par with (Johnny) Cash's performance on 'Hurt.'" "His voice is rich and clear," acclaimed The Guardian, "the songs intimate reflections on his 75 years." Uncutawarded the album four-out-of-five stars, applauding Campbell's "majestic storytelling" and "soaring vocal(s)." Mojo praised the album as an "ambitious attempt at telling a life's story via new compositions, choice covers, and instrumental interludes," noting "the man's glorious undiminished tones, particularly his reckoning with the hereafter on 'A Better Place.'"
As if all that weren't enough, the Associated Press hailed a recent Campbell concert in Biloxi, Mississippi - his first live date since announcing his illness - as no less than "a triumph," noting that "the 75-year-old Campbell brought the crowd to its feet after acing the delicate runs in the middle of his classic 'Wichita Lineman.'"
Campbell - who recently discussed the album, as well as his recent diagnoses of early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Terry Moran - will herald Ghost On The Canvas with a series of live TV performances, including NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on September 12th and ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 19th. You can also watch Campbell's interview on PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show tonight, check your local listings for show times.
Furthermore, Campbell will celebrate the new album - as well as his extraordinary five-decade-plus career - with a valedictory concert tour, dubbed "The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour." Among the highlights is a hugely anticipated show at Los Angeles' Nokia Theatre, set for October 6th. Campbell will then travel to Ireland and the UK for a major series of dates, including an October 22nd concert at London's Royal Festival Hall. A slate of additional shows will be announced.
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Ghost On The Canvas sees Campbell capping his brilliant career with one of his moving and energized works to date, a powerfully emotional song cycle that sees him accompanied by a truly dazzling line-up of songwriters and musicians. Among the tunesmiths contributing original songs to the collection are such modern luminaries as Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan, Robert Pollard, and Teddy Thompson, backed by a roster of players that includes Chris Isaak, Dick Dale, Billy Corgan, Brian Setzer, Rick Nielsen, Roger Manning, and The Dandy Warhols. The album is produced by Julian Raymond, who also co-wrote a number of new songs with Campbell.
The acclaimed collection is also being offered in a number of limited edition deluxe packages, featuring such exciting extras as an exclusive lithograph, a vinyl pressing, lyrics, rare photos, and five bonus tracks including versions of some of Campbell's greatest hits as performed on his classic TV show,The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. What's more, an extremely limited number of lithograph editions hand-signed by Campbell himself are currently available. Please see http://surfdog.com/glencampbellshow/index.html for full details and ordering information.