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The Unissued Paramount Album

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The Unissued Paramount Album album cover
Big Mouth USA
2:33   $0.99
He Turns My Radio On
3:11   $0.99
Family Tree
3:25   $0.99
Mixed Green
3:26   $0.99
Rising Sign
3:42   $0.99
I Call Her Baby
3:39   $0.99
If There’s A Will There’s A Way
3:33   $0.99
If I Go Country
3:13   $0.99
Big Bouquet Of Roses
2:34   $0.99
Whicha Way
4:29   $0.99
Album Information

Total Tracks: 10   Total Length: 33:45

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They Say All Music Guide

Three years after failing to get an album out the door for Capitol, Jim Ford tried once again at Paramount Records. He got a lot farther this time, issuing a 45 — “Big Mouth USA” backed with “Rising Sign,” two songs he cut in slower, hazier form for Capitol — and even having an acetate of a finished album circulate before Paramount pulled the plug. Bear Family resurrects this LP as Big Mouth USA: The Unissued Paramount Album, the fourth entry in their ongoing Jim Ford reissue series. Like its companion, The Unissued Capitol Album, “Big Mouth USA” is sorely in need of some explanatory liner notes and is largely recycled from Bear Family’s first two Ford comps, The Sounds of Our Time and Point of No Return with all but three of its ten songs appearing on these two previous discs. Unlike the Capitol record, these are all new, unearthed songs: the funky, kind of silly “Family Tree,” the lazy almost vaudevillian shuffle “I Call Her Baby,” and the sweet, smooth soul of “If There’s a Will There’s a Way.” These three songs cover greater ground than The Unissued Capitol Album, which all tended to stay within slow Southern soul, and are a good, accurate indication that Big Mouth USA is a looser, livelier record, if not necessarily a better one. Certainly, it feels its year more than Capitol, with every element of its production — wah-wah guitars, clavinets, strings, plinking pianos, horns, echoing backing vocals, funky rhythms — signifying 1973, which may make this seem somewhat dated, but it gives a good indication of Jim Ford’s range, how he could go from the white-boy Sly Stone workout of “Mixed Green” to the pure Bakersfield country of “Big Bouquet of Roses” within one album. This impresses, as do many of the songs; cut for cut, it’s not as deep as The Unissued Capitol Album, but it’s hard to argue with any album that serves up “Big Mouth USA,” “He Turns My Radio On,” “Rising Sign,” “If There’s a Will There’s a Way,” and “Whicha Way.” Despite its slicker production, the music again doesn’t quite seem commercially viable, but this time it’s because Ford shows too much personality to be easily pigeonholed — a great problem to have artistically, even if it doesn’t make for chart-busters. – Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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