In tribute to #glencampbell, listening to this for first time since childhood. Great to hear thru ears that are grown up & studio experienced. Many things I never noticed way back when. Some observations:
1) Listen beyond the strings, they add an "easy listening" quality, not talking Ponty, Grappelli, Masada String Trio, Ma etc (settle down, string players) ;) but the type of arrangement heard in TV themes and other "lite" fare, and even made Wes Montgomery sound "smooth" In later years. Yes it works, is well played, probably made it more of a hit, but from a musician's standpoint, there are great parts where it supports but at other times not necessary - more like icing on a cake that is more delicious on its own.
2) The pocket/groove is absolutely ridiculous: Bass and drums are in lockstep and if you isolated them, moved the key (currently C Major), you could add a heavy guitar riff on top and have a seriously rocking tune
3) Guitar: his acoustic drives the whole thing. When it drops out (pre-chorus) it lowers the dynamic, the comes charging back in - great production call! Some great electric licks thrown in as fills here and there, subtle & tasty
4) Intro piano plays C F/C G/C, not just C to F to G, very hip!
5) Two songs clearly "borrowed" from this: "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" (Billy Joel - 2 yrs later) has the the same chorus descent, but as a finale before it's final verse and "Believe It or Not" the TV theme (Greatest American Hero) is basically the same song in D instead of C - same feel, same arrangement, different vocal melody & a few changes in structure but super similar. Listen to both back to back. 6) The song is about New York! Had no idea. Subway tokens, Broadway. Basically a country "On Broadway" (which explains the cover). Anyway, great to hear w fresh ears & perspective, need to do this more often! AS