Glen Campbell is saying goodbye with Adiós, the poignant title track from country legend’s farewell album. The song brings Campbell’s career full circle by reuniting him one last time with his lifelong collaborator Jimmy Webb, who penned Campbell’s stratospheric crossover hits “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston,” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix.” Popularized in 1989 by Linda Ronstadt, who made it a Top Ten Adult Contemporary hit, “Adiόs” is a song that Campbell always loved but never recorded.
“Glen and I used to play that song all the time,” Webb, who wrote four of the 12 tracks on the album, says. “We played it in dressing rooms, hotels, we played it over at his house, we played it at my house. He always loved that song. I heard ‘Adiós’ this morning and my wife and I both broke down and cried all over this hotel room. It’s the first time we ever heard it. This album is just kind of a gift from the gods. This album is just kind of a gift from the gods.”
Adiós will be released June 9 on UMe and is available now for pre-order. All digital pre-orders receive an instant download of “Adiós” along with the recently released “Everybody’s Talkin’,” Campbell’s take on the Fred Neil-penned hit made famous by Harry Nilsson in the film “Midnight Cowboy.” Pre-order @ UMe.lnk.to/AdiosPR
Campbell’s massive 1977 hit, “Southern Nights,” which was #1 on three separate charts including the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart, is featured prominently in the summer blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and on the official soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2.
Adiós was recorded at Station West in Nashville following Campbell’s “Goodbye Tour” which he launched after revealing he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. As Campbell’s wife of 34 years, Kim Campbell, explains in the album’s touching liner notes, “Glen’s abilities to play, sing and remember songs began to rapidly decline after his diagnosis in 2011. A feeling of urgency grew to get him into the studio once again to capture what magic was left. It was now or never.”
She concludes, “What you’re hearing when listening to Adiós is the beautiful and loving culmination of friends and family doing their very best for the man who inspired, raised, and entertained them for decades–giving him the chance to say goodbye to his fans, and put an amazing collection of songs onto the record store shelves.”
For the Adiós recording session, the Campbell’s turned to Glen’s longtime banjo player and family friend Carl Jackson to helm the production, play guitar and help his old friend. In preparation for the recording, Jackson, who joined Campbell’s band in the early ’70s as an 18-year-old banjo player, laid down some basic tracks and vocals for Campbell to study and practice. Jackson encouraged him every step of the way and although Campbell struggled at times because of his progressing dementia, he was clearly ecstatic about being in the studio.
The 12-track collection features songs that Campbell always loved but never got a chance to record, including several of Webb’s. In addition to the bittersweet title track, “Adiós,” Campbell also sings Webb’s longing love song “Just Like Always”and country weeper “It Won’t Bring Her Back.” He revisits “Postcard From Paris” with his sons Cal and Shannon and daughter Ashley singing the line, “I wish you were here,” resulting in a powerful and heartfelt message of a family singing together one last time.
Adiós sees Campbell putting his spin on several classic songs including “Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right,” inspired by Jerry Reed’s version of Bob Dylan’s timeless tune and “Everybody’s Talkin’,” a banjo-filled take on the song that Campbell never recorded but famously performed on the “Sonny & Cher Show” in 1973 with a 19-year-old Carl Jackson. Campbell’s daughter Ashley plays banjo on the song and joins her dad on several tracks on the album. Other songwriters featured include Roger Miller with “Am I All Alone (Or Is It Only Me),” which begins with a home recording of Miller singing the tune at a guitar pull before going into Campbell’s rendition with Vince Gill on harmonies, Dickey Lee’s honky tonk heartbreaker “She Thinks I Still Care” and Jerry Reed’s Johnny Cash hit “A Thing Called Love.” Willie Nelson joins his old pal for a moving duet of Nelson’s 1968 “Funny How Time Slips Away” while Jackson tells Campbell’s life story in “Arkansas Farmboy.”
“I wrote ‘Arkansas Farmboy’ sometime in the mid- to late-‘70s on a plane bound for one of the many overseas destinations I played with Glen between 1972 and 1984,” reveals Jackson. “The song was inspired by a story that Glen told me about his grandpa teaching him ‘In The Pines’ on a five-dollar Sears & Roebuck guitar when he was only a boy. That guitar led to worldwide fame and fortune, far beyond what even some in his family could comprehend.”
Adiós was a labor of love and a way for Glen Campbell to have one more chance to do what he loves to do and leave a musical gift for fans. Campbell, who turned 81 on April 22, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease. He lives in Nashville where he is surrounded by his loving family and getting the very best of care.