You Don't Mess Around with Jim
|You Don't Mess Around with Jim|
|Studio album by Jim Croce|
|Recorded||1971-1972, The Hit Factory, New York City|
|Producer||Terry Cashman, Tommy West|
|Jim Croce chronology|
|Singles from You Don't Mess Around with Jim|
History and release
The album was recorded over a three to four week period for approximately $18,000, with most funding coming from the PolyGram Group in Baarn, the Netherlands on the basis of hearing an 8-song demo tape assembled by production team Cashman & West. The deal with PolyGram was made after team attorney Phil Kurnit approached a contact within the record company who then had PolyGram executives to listen to the demo tape. After having the finished album rejected by up to 40 record labels, Croce was signed to ABC Records after Cashman & West had a chance meeting with ABC promotion man Marty Kupps. Kupps urged label head Jay Lasker to sign Croce after hearing cuts from a cassette tape of the finished album.
The record spent 93 weeks on the charts, longer than any other Jim Croce album. Due to the strong performance of the posthumous single release "Time in a Bottle" (#1 pop, #1 AC), You Don't Mess Around with Jim was the best selling album in the U.S. for five weeks in early 1974. It was listed at #6 on the 1974 Cash Box yearend album charts. Two singles were originally released from the album in 1972: the title track (#8 pop) and "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" (#17 pop).
The album was issued on CD by the Rhino Flashbacks record label on September 30, 2008.
The lyrics of the title track concern the fate of a 'pool-shooting son-of-a-gun' by the name of 'Big' Jim Walker when his 'mark,' Slim, from a south Alabama Honkytonk shows up to get a refund from being hustled or get revenge. The song is notable for the line "You don't tug on Superman's cape/You don't spit into the wind/You don't pull the mask off that ol' Lone Ranger/And you don't mess around with Jim." However, after the song ends with Jim being thoroughly thrashed by his victim ("he'd been cut 'n 'bout a hundred places/ and he'd been shot in a couple more"), the chorus now sings about how "You don't mess around with Slim."
Kid Rock covered "Box #10" in 1995 as part of The Bootleg Series. Jesse Malin covered "Operator" on his 2008 album On Your Sleeve. On an episode of the ABC drama Eli Stone, Victor Garber performed this song in one of Eli's visions.
Guitarist Jerry Reed has covered this song also, interpreting it with his own style.
All tracks written by Jim Croce.
|1.||"You Don't Mess Around with Jim"||3:02|
|2.||"Tomorrow's Gonna Be a Brighter Day"||2:57|
|3.||"New York's Not My Home"||3:10|
|4.||"Hard Time Losin' Man"||2:29|
|5.||"Photographs and Memories"||2:09|
|6.||"Walkin' Back to Georgia"||2:53|
|7.||"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"||3:50|
|8.||"Time in a Bottle"||2:29|
|9.||"Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)"||2:46|
|11.||"A Long Time Ago"||2:53|
|2006 edition - Disc 1[A]|
|13.||"Which Way Are You Going'"||2:20|
|17.||"Chain Gang Medley"||4:29|
|18.||"Ol' Man River"||2:26|
|2006 edition - Disc 2|
|3.||"Railroads And Riverboats"||3:12|
|4.||"(And) I Remember Her"||2:49|
|5.||"More Than That Tomorrow"||2:44|
|6.||"The Way We Used To Be"||2:30|
|7.||"Cotton Mouth River"||2:00|
|8.||"Circle Of Style (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||2:09|
|9.||"Carnival Of Pride (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||1:53|
|10.||"Wear Out The Turnpike (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||2:14|
|11.||"Can't Wait (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||1:53|
|12.||"(The) Migrant Worker (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||1:54|
|13.||"Railroad Song (featuring Ingrid Croce)"||2:55|
|14.||"Child Of Midnight"||2:48|
- A ^ Tracks 1-12 correspond to the original 1972 album
- Jim Croce - guitar, rhythm guitar, lead vocals, background vocals
- Maury Muehleisen - guitar, background vocals
- The Briggs - background vocals
- Terry Cashman - background vocals
- Tommy West - bass, percussion, piano, rhythm guitar, keyboards, electric piano, background vocals
- Joe Macho - bass
- Jimmy Ryan - bass
- Gary Chester - drums
- Producers: Terry Cashman, Tommy West
- Recording Engineer: Bruce Tergesen
- Photography: Paul Wilson
|1974||US Billboard 200||1|
|1974||Canadian RPM 100||1|
|1972||"You Don't Mess Around with Jim"||Pop Singles||8|
|1972||"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"||Pop Singles||17|
|1973||"Time in a Bottle"||Pop Singles||1|
|1973||"Time in a Bottle"||Adult Contemporary||1|
- Strong, Martin Charles & John Peel The Great Rock Discography[dead link]
- Ruhlmann, William. You Don't Mess Around with Jim - Jim Croce at AllMusic. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
- Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top Pop Albums 1955-1985, Record Research Inc., 1985, p. 88, 505.
- "The Cash Box 1974 yearend album charts". Retrieved 2012-10-06.
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