Earl Thomas Conley passed away in April of 2019 at the age of 77, but we haven’t heard the last of him just yet. On Friday, September 25th, his final album called Promised Land: The Lost Album will be released. Consisting of twelve songs all written or co-written by Conley, the tracks were originally recorded as demos in the early and mid 90’s, but Conley never did anything else with them. Then in 2000 and 2001, he took the songs and recorded them in proper studio fashion, though they were never released.
“This collection of music was one of dad’s last endeavors of putting together an album,” says Conley’s youngest daughter, Erinn Scates. “Here you will find some of his most thoughtful lyrics and heartfelt mementos. Dad was a man who wore many hats. A painter, a craftsman, a sketch artist. But music, most of all, was his truest passion. To his loyal fans, thank you for loving him as much as we did. This last album is dedicated to you and the man who spent the last years of his life devoted to it.”
Produced by the late Nelson Larkin, and recorded in Nashville in multiple sessions at Omni Studios, Cartee Studios, Scruggs Studios, and Alpine Studios, Conley recorded the album after his sole independent release, 1998’s Perpetual Emotion, after recording seven records for RCA throughout the 80’s and into the early 90’s.
“This album is long overdue as Earl had always wanted to release just ‘one more album,’” says Carole Scates, Conley’s longtime significant other. “The sound and composition of these songs reflect the ’90s, the time period which they were originally written. Earl Thomas Conley was an artist in every sense of the word. His talent knew no bounds, and he will remain in our hearts for the rest of our days.”
One of the most successful country music artists through the 80’s decade—and known for his “thinking man’s country” style of country where heartbreak, story, and character played a critical role in creating the deep appeal for his music—Conley helped define country music in the 80’s when he charted more than 30 singles, including 20 that went #1 between 1981, and 1989.
But like so many older country legends, time passed Conley by. He lost his major label deal and not much was heard from him prior to his death, though many fans still cherished his music, and his legacy found a champion in Blake Shelton who regularly spoke about the singer and songwriter.
Promised Land: The Lost Album is now available for pre-order. New song “Better Said Than Done” can be heard below.
1. Better Said Than Done (Earl Thomas Conley, Charlie Allen Bouton, Nelson Larkin)
2. Love’s the Only Voice (Earl Thomas Conley, Carole Scates)
3. Workin’ My Way Down (Earl Thomas Conley, Bob Corbin, Bat McGrath)
4. How Much Heartache (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
5. My Heart’s Just Her Old Stompin’ Ground (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
6. That’s What a Fool Deserves (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
7. Takin’ Me Away From the Promised Land (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
8. Those Clouds I’ve Been Walkin’ On (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
9. I Still Love the Girl (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)
10. Your Love is Worth It All (Earl Thomas Conley, Nelson Larkin, Ron Reynolds)
11. Physical Attraction (Earl Thomas Conley, Wade Kirby, Randy Scruggs)
12. She Just Wants to Dance (Earl Thomas Conley, Ron Reynolds)