|Studio album by Jimmy Webb|
|Studio||Cherokee Studios, Hollywood, California|
|Jimmy Webb chronology|
El Mirage is the sixth album by American singer-songwriter Jimmy Webb, released in May 1977 by Atlantic Records. This was the first album for which Webb handed production and arrangement duties on to another person, George Martin, producer of The Beatles. The album is notable for containing "The Highwayman", a song that later provided both the name and first hit for The Highwaymen, a country supergroup comprising Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. Jennings also recorded the track "If You See Me Getting Smaller" for his album Ol Waylon (1977). The cover was photographed at El Mirage Lake, Mojave Desert, California.
In his review for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann called the album "his most polished effort yet as a performer". Ruhlmann noted the "lush tracks full of tasty playing and warm string charts", and continued:
Webb brought several typically strong compositions, beginning with the time-spanning saga "The Highwayman" ... and including the autobiographical "If You See Me Getting Smaller I'm Leaving" (released simultaneously by Jennings), about life on the road as a struggling performer, and "Christiaan, No," a heartfelt message from a parent to a child that actually had been introduced on record the previous year by Glen Campbell. Also featured was the sad, lovely ballad "The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress," already recorded by Campbell, Joe Cocker and Judy Collins. The album's second side was somewhat weaker than the first, including an unnecessary remake of "P.F. Sloan", which had appeared on Webb's debut solo album in 1970; a nod to faithful backup guitarist Fred Tackett in a recording of his song "Dance to the Radio"; and a concluding instrumental, "Skylark (A Meditation)." But El Mirage was an album crafted to reshape Webb's image as a performer and relaunch his performing career.
The AllMusic website gave the album four and a half out of five stars.
All tracks written by Jimmy Webb, except where noted.
|2.||"If You See Me Getting Smaller I'm Leaving"||3:53|
|5.||"Moment in a Shadow"||3:39|
|7.||"Where the Universes Are"||3:34|
|9.||"Dance to the Radio"||Fred Tackett||3:06|
|10.||"The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress"||3:06|
|11.||"Skylark (A Meditation)"||Jimmy Webb, Paul A. Skylar||3:37|
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