For his 1981 Columbia encore album Gimme You, Billy Burnette stepped away from the stripped-down attack of its eponymous predecessor to incorporate a fuller sound, spiced by occasional horns and backing vocalists. He recorded the album in Sheffield, Alabama with the vaunted Muscle Shoals studio band that played on countless soul and pop smashes during its long residency: guitarist Jimmy Johnson, bassist David Hood, drummer Roger Hawkins, and keyboardist Barry Beckett, who shared production credit with Billy’s co-manager, Barry Seidel.
Why the switch of recording sites from the Los Angeles area, where his previous long-player was laid down? “Just a change of scene, the scenery,” says Billy. “I don’t think I had my band then, so doing a solo record, I fell in love with Barry Beckett. I loved Barry, and the guys down there were so great. And they were such great players.”
That previous album showcased several solo compositions from Burnette, but this time every selection but one was a collaboration with one of his songsmith friends. “I’ve always been a co-writer,” says Burnette. “I like to get with people and write.” Billy’s acclaimed co-writers on Gimme You include Mentor Williams (“Drift Away”), with whom he collaborated on four of the album’s tracks. Gimme You also introduces “The Bigger The Love (The Harder The Fall),” a goosebump-inducing ballad later recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Tanya Tucker, and recut by Burnette for his 1993 album Coming Home. Billy’s rockabilly roots come to the fore on the frantic scorcher “Gone Again” and the album’s infectious title track.
Gimme You is the perfect midpoint between Billy Burnette’s rock and country work, certain to unite fans of his wherever they came in.