Lost Rock & Roll Masterpieces, Volume 8
By Gregory Curtis

(FORTUNE Magazine) – "I Count the Tears" by Rosanne Cash, on Till the Night Is Gone: A Tribute to Doc Pomus (Forward/Rhino)

This 1995 CD is full of lost masterpieces. There's Shawn Colvin's slow, steamy "Viva Las Vegas"; Lou Reed reciting a passionate "This Magic Moment"; Bob Dylan's swinging "Boogie Woogie Country Girl"; and Aaron Neville's ethereal "Save the Last Dance for Me." But even in this imposing company, when Rosanne Cash sings "I Count the Tears," you know you're in the presence of greatness.

Except for Bob Dylan, Doc Pomus was the greatest lyricist in rock. With his usual collaborator, composer Mort Shuman, Pomus wrote songs for everyone from Ray Charles to the Drifters to B.B. King to Elvis. But he seldom wrote for women, and the Drifters did the original version of "I Count the Tears." Now this song belongs to Rosanne Cash. She reveals that it fits a woman so perfectly that it's hard to imagine a man having the temerity to approach it. She sings the word "tears" exactly six times, and they are six pointed daggers to the heart--her heart. You hear the pain, but she's the one who feels it.

--GREGORY CURTIS