GLEN CAMPBELL singing the music of Green Day and the Velvet Underground may not top the list of Great Moments in Pop Weirdness -- that’d go to Pat Boone’s heavy metal phase a decade ago when he got hip to Metallica and Alice Cooper. But it’s close.
“Meet Glen Campbell,” arriving Tuesday, also lets the veteran singer and guitarist apply his signature soaring tenor and deeply twanging electric guitar to U2’s “All I Want is You,” the Replacements’ “Sadly, Beautiful” and a pair of Tom Petty songs.
His vocals and guitar are bathed in a thick swath of orchestral support, a sound closer to “Galveston” and his other hits of yore than “American Idiot.""I told Julian [Raymond, the album’s co-producer], ‘I will sing it like I want to sing it; everything else you can handle,’ ” he said from his Malibu home before heading out for another day on the links. Highlights include Jackson Browne’s melancholy “These Days,” his aching reading of “Sadly, Beautiful” and the Velvets’ plaintive “Jesus.” Of the last, he said: “Julian played that for me and I thought, ‘Wow -- that’s really cool.’ ‘Help me find my special place.’ Somebody said that as a prayer, and then just put music to it.”
At 72, Campbell, who has sold something like 45 million records, doesn’t feign modesty about his latest effort. “I’d like to see it go up the charts, go platinum and win the Grammy,” he said. “Then I’d retire.”
-- Randy Lewis