11: I Got a Name (Jim Croce)

Album: I Got a Name
Artist: Jim Croce
Year: 1973

1. I Got a Name
2. Lover’s Cross
3. Five Short Minutes
4. Age
5. Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues
6. I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song
7. Salon and Saloon
8. Thursday
9. Top Hat Bar and Grille
10. Recently
11. The Hard Way Every Time

Released three months after his death, I Got a Name helped Croce achieve way more success than he ever did while alive. I Got a Name and I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song were both top ten hits and very deserving of such. The song that really does it for me is Lover’s Cross. Not to beat a dead horse, but it’s a song about leaving an abusive relationship and it really hits home for me. My favorite Croce line: “Still I hope that you can find another who can take what I could not. He’ll have to be a super guy or maybe a super god.”  Age is another classic Croce song about living a long-hard life. Again, he was thirty. Ugh.

The rest of the album is very solid. Five Short Minutes is reminiscent of Gary Puckett’s Young Girl and is kind of creepy, despite its intent to be humorous. It sounds nice, but is probably the weakest song here. Workin’ at the Car Wash Blues and Top Hat Bar and Grille are a couple of generic up-tempo country songs but are pleasant enough. The remaining four songs are great, especially the ballad The Hard Way Every Time, a fitting and somber end to this album and his career.

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