United Artists 934
Released: November 1978
Chart Peak: #12
Weeks Charted: 112
Certified Platinum: 2/27/79
This latest outing, which shares the title of Rogers' best selling single, finds the artist in top form. Alternating between pensive ballads and lively upbeat numbers, Rogers has found his niche in country music and proceeds to give it full benefit of his smooth sensitive stylings. Distinctive arrangements with piano, percussion and acoustic guitar combined with cameo backup touches by special guests such as Mickey Newbury, Bill Medley and Tony Joe White give this album a definite pop-flavored appeal. This is one of Rogers' finest LPs to date and a definite crossover contender. Best cuts: "The Gambler," "I Wish That I Could Hurt That Way Again," "King Of Oak Street," "San Francisco Mabel Joy," "Making Music For Money."
- Billboard, 1978.
- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.
Kenny Rogers hit the jackpot with The Gambler, securing a new signature tune, one of his biggest-ever crossover albums and even the start of an acting career.
By the time of its release in November 1978, Rogers was already established as a country music veteran, but these recordings pushed him in front of a whole new audience and placed him among America's Top 20 pop albums for the first time. The album's title track went on to top the Billboard country chart at the end of 1978, reach the pop Top 20, win a Grammy and give birth to a small screen movie of the same name starring Rogers himself.
"She Believes In Me," another country Number One, was an even bigger crossover favourite as it topped America's adult contemporary chart and equalled his then Hot 100 peak of number five. The album lifted him to his highest position at that point of 12 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart in March 1979.
As of 2004, The Gambler was the #39 best-selling album of the 70s.
- Hamish Champ, The 100 Best-Selling Albums of the 70s, 2004.
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