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    $13.49 $10.04 list($16.98)
    1. Fair and Square
    2. Live at Fillmore West
    $13.49 $13.48 list($18.98)
    3. O
    $9.99 $7.92 list($18.98)
    4. Franz Ferdinand
    $13.99 $13.13 list($17.98)
    5. What I Really Mean
    $13.49 $11.80 list($18.98)
    6. Shangri La
    $13.49 $11.95 list($16.98)
    7. Songbird
    $11.99 $9.71 list($13.98)
    8. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    $11.99 $9.79 list($13.98)
    9. The Best of Van Morrison
    $13.49 $9.87 list($18.98)
    10. Greatest Hits
    $13.49 $13.03 list($16.98)
    11. O.C.M.S.
    $13.49 $12.55 list($17.98)
    12. fromabasement on thehill
    $13.49 $9.47 list($18.98)
    13. The Best of Simon & Garfunkel
    $14.99 $11.49 list($15.98)
    14. So Jealous
    $7.99 $7.79 list($11.98)
    15. Moondance
    $10.99 $8.28 list($11.98)
    16. Nebraska
    $25.99 $19.74 list($28.98)
    17. The Carter Family: 1927-1934
    $9.99 $8.90 list($13.98)
    18. Hearts in Mind[Bonus Track]
    $20.99 $16.80 list($24.98)
    19. Essential Bob Dylan
    $13.49 $11.94 list($16.98)
    20. The Duhks

    1. Fair and Square
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007VROHE
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 14
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Good things come to those who wait. During John Prine's nine-year interval between albums of original material, fans who hailed his recovery from cancer wondered whether he'd ever return to full creative speed. Here, Prine puts doubts to rest with an album that ranks with the finest of an inspired career. The big heart of "Glory of True Love," the socially conscious bite of "Some Humans Ain't Human," the reflective grace of "Taking a Walk," the wry whimsy of "Crazy as a Loon"--the hallmarks of Prine's artistry are reaffirmed on Fair & Square. The album also reflects Prine's first attempt at producing himself, with the warmth of his rough-hewn vocals finding a comfortable fit among the organic, largely acoustic arrangements. Though Prine penned 12 of the 14 cuts (including two bonus tracks, one recorded in concert), a pair of covers prove revelatory: Blaze Foley's "Clay Pigeons" sounds like it could well be one of Prine's own (with a melody that recalls "Hello in There" and a lyric of renewal that sounds like personal testament), while A.P. Carter's "Bear Creek Blues" carries an electric charge as the traditional song rocks harder than anything else on the album. With a generous selection of close to an hour of music, the album stands as a creative triumph for Prine, a fully satisfying effort that rewards the patience of his loyal fans. Welcome back. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Comfortable Couch
    A good set of songs, most of them written by Mr. Prine. He's in a good mood and moody and estranged....Original music for the most part, kinda low times appropriately qwirky, nice steel guitar, many of the melodies sounding like some of the better cuts from "The Missing Years"..."My Darlin Home Town" is my favorite."Bear Creek Blues" by A.P. Carter is an upbeat backwoods Irish Import from days of yore...."Morning Train" sounds fine...None of this is up to the quality of Prine's orignal American music from the first 3-5 albums..but in view of the music biz today its a breeze one can breathe... authentic, tunes that are not unlike a comfortable old couch, wine stained and unpretentious...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not *bad*, exactly...
    It's probably not possible for John Prine to make a bad album.But it is possible for him to make one that is not up to "John Prine" or "The Missing Years", or even "Common Sense".This disc, while of course containing many of Prine's well-known strengths, suffers on a few counts.

    First, Prine's voice is not in good form.There are reasons for this, of course, but, well, there it is.His voice lacks the flexibility to properly emote.

    Second, his famous and necessary sense of humor is rarely in evidence.

    Third, and most telling, where Prine at his best is oblique in his social commentary, usually getting more than one bird per stone, in this one he is direct, as if he feels he doesn't have the time any more for subtleties.This condescension is unbecoming to an artist of his stature.

    I'm still looking forward to his next, and am hoping he'll be back to his regular form.

    3-0 out of 5 stars John Prine - 'Fair And Square' (Oh Boy)3 1/2 stars
    As one of America's best singer/songwriters,Prine penned these songs just as he always has with past efforts;with insight,grace and heart.He even has a female vocal talent on a couple of cuts here,country/folk fellow songwriter Mindy Smith.A couple of tracks that I was semi-impressed with were "Some Humans Ain't Human",his tribute to couples married for many years "Other Side Of Town" and "Clay Pigeons".Keep in mind this is not even close to any of my favorite genres,I just thought I'd review this disc as it's my very first listen I've ever had of John Prine.He's very good at what he does.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Prime Prine-it doesnt get any better!!!!!
    This is some of John Prines best music.
    You just put it on ,and his lyrics and beautiful music will
    take you away--and it gets better everytime you listen
    to this masterpiece. --The music is simple and
    the lyrics are genius. His sense of humor does come out in safety joe. All tracks have a unique and memorizing quality to them. Its gratifing to see excellent music come out
    from different styles this time ,instead of the same old crap from the newer artists of today.


    1-0 out of 5 stars Long long long term Prine fan.
    I have been listening to Prine for almost 30 years. I've been to see him many times.

    Bluntly, I wasn't impressed with this album. The melodies are recycled and the lyrics are maudlin. I missed the wit that others have identified.

    I'll be going to see him this Summer if he comes back to Wolftrap, but I hope he sticks to his standards.

    ... Read more

    2. Live at Fillmore West
    list price: $19.98
    our price: $19.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000641A2C
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 55164
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    3. O
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00009V7P8
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 83
    Average Customer Review: 4.51 out of 5 stars
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    Irish troubadour Damien Rice doesn't so much reinvent the folk genre on this lush, impossibly mature debut album as push its boundaries in several compelling musical directions at once--all the more remarkable considering the album was largely self-produced and home-recorded. His songs revolve around familiar, bittersweet concerns of life, love and their attendant frustrations, but delivered with conspiratorial intimacy on melodic wings that (like on the graceful "Cannonball") Rice seems almost embarrassed to share. If there's anything like a template here, it's "The Blower's Daughter," the song that first attracted the interest/stewardship of film composer David Arnold (whose guest production provides "Amie" with expansive cinematic elegance) and became a massive Irish hit. His plaintive vocal, embroidered by the mournful solo cello of Vyvienne Long, is suddenly brightened by an instrumental flourish and Lisa Hannigan's vocals--before just as quickly wafting on the breeze. With touches that range from "Day in the Life"-styled string collages to the dizzy, exhilarating neo-operatic excesses of the 16-minute "Eskimo," Rice's musical palate here is as adventurous as his songs are grounded in emotional intimacy. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

    Reviews (154)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Beautiful
    Damien Rice has a beautiful Irish tenor voice. And it works wonderfully in his folk aranged album. He also has a female companion who harmonizes with him, and she is a fantastic vocalist. This album is composed of guitar, the two vocalists, some percussion, and generally a cello or small strings arrangement. That makes for a wonderful album to listen and relax to.
    The song-writing on the album is amazing. Rice writes songs like conversations and uses the wonderful (and beautiful if you've seen the video) female to sing the response. Many songs are about lost love or bad love or just love, but they are not just simple, stupid, pop love songs. They are incredibly crafted lyrics that can stand alone without music, which says a lot about Rice's songwriting skills.
    Buy this album if you enjoy folk/pop music. James Taylor, Angie Aparo, Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Gark Jules and David Gray are a few musicians I would say if you like you'll enjoy Damien Rice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful album I have ever heard...
    Searching for words to describe this album are like trying to count the stars in the sky. (I know it's cliche, but it works). This album is amazingly beautiful.

    Back in May I picked up a friend of mine in Chicago after she spent the semester in Ireland and the whole way home (a 3+ hour drive) all we listened to was O. After we arrived home, I decided I had to have the album. I ordered the import off amazon and before it arrived, I got to see Damien back in Chicago at Schubas. If the album itself doesn't amaze you, go see him live and you'll fall in love. Just a few more weeks until he plays Chicago again.

    This album ranges from soft ballads (The Blower's Daughter) to heart-wrenching rock (the second half of I Remember). Unlike many albums from folk singers, I think this one is best listened through all the way at once. While there are great standout tracks (Amie, I Remember, Delicate), the whole album tells a story. There is a gradual almost epic-like progression throughout that sends the listener on a roller-coaster of emotions.

    One of the greatest things about this album is the fact that Damien recorded this (mostly) in his basement over the course of a year. Instead of being thrown into a studio for a month to record the album using manufactured emotion (having to record on days you don't feel like it), Damien recorded each of the songs when he was "feeling it". That's why all of the emotion in these songs are SO real, so genuine. There is nothing manufactured about its sound. Another magnificant thing about it is the range of instrumentation and musical genre used. As I said, there are the slow, soft ballads, and rocking songs as well as Operatic elements (Eskimo)and beautiful orchestration in "Amie" and "Cold Water".

    From listening to the album and several live shows I have, I can tell that Damien does not have a powerful, controlling, confident voice. Rather his voice sounds strong at times, but is usually more reserved and cautious. This cautious tone makes the album all the more believable, showing it is true emotion that has not been overproduced or forced.

    I really can not say enough good things about this album and if I could give 10 stars, I would. As I said, my favorite tracks are #1 Delicate, #6 Amie and #9 I Remember, but there is not a bad song on the album.

    As one other reviewer already said, my only complaint is that the last song (Eskimo) has 2 "hidden tracks" [Prague, and Silent Night (a song set to the tune of the traditional Silent Night Christmas song, but with different lyrics)] that should have been seperate tracks finishing off the album with 12 instead of 10. But as my only complaint, I must still recommend this album.

    E-mail me if you have any questions whatsoever.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
    Damien Rice is such a talented musician. His music never gets old, you can listen to it over and over again. His soultry voice is always nice to listen to. I highly recommend it!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fearless
    This is my first review of anything on Amazon, though I am a constant reader. I simply had to talk about this album.

    The best way to describe this album is fearless. He takes the road less traveled by other up-and-coming singer-songwriters. While the new batch has had some very good singers, nothing compares to this album. They seem more interested in making a "clean" album, while this album seems like he is alone in a room baring his soul.

    Though the strange thing is about the album s that you know he could not have been alone in a room. There is so much going on, so many chances taken that it is hard to descibe. Simply saying that it is an acoustic album is wrong. The album brings in much more.

    Fearless in his atempts to expand beyond just him and his guitar. Consider how at the end of Amie, out of nowhere comes what sounds like an entire orchestra. It sounds beautiful and it becomes almost impossible to imagine the song without it. Then the gorgarian (sp?) chants that enter into Cold Water. By the end of the album it seems only appropriate to have an opera singer at the end of Eskimo.

    But the wonderful things about the album is that it doesn't rely on these tricks. They are simply used to enchance the songs. Cannonball is simply him and his guitar, and it is one of the best songs on the album (a song friends of mine have confessed crying to when they heard it).

    Another huge difference between him and others is the feeling involved. I have yet to hear another singer coming out now who you can feel their pain so clearly and identify with it(Howie Day is close). The only line in the chorus of The Blower's Daughter is "I can't take my eyes off you..." The way he sings it and the passion in his voice make the line more romantic and meaningful than an entire boy-band album.

    Just the other night I went outside with my CD Player to sit on the front porch and listen to music while I smoked a cigarette. I started at track one, and became so engrossed in the songs, I just sat there until the album finished. It is THAT good. And it is that feeling that is put into every song that gives me the impression this album will age very well.

    I agree with others that he brings back memories of when Jeff Buckley was around. They invoke the same spirit. And that is nothing but a compliment, because if there is anything music needs now, it is someone who can do to people what Jeff did. Even though Jeff died too soon, people are still listening to his music because it means so much to them. I have the feeling that this album will do the same. It is Damien Rice's "Grace".

    My only concern is the same as others. How in the hell is he going to follow this up? But here is the fun part, imagine if he somehow makes a better album?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally...
    When I first heard Damien Rice I immediatley felt pleasantly confused and relieved, thinking to myself, "Finally someone new with passion and true emotion".

    I highly recommend this CD and hope more people discover this wonderful collection of songs. A true music fan will appreciate this one. Damien Rice's music is honest and full of heart. His backing vocalist, Lisa, is a purely gorgeous angelic voice that compliments Rice perfectly. The comibation of acoustic guitar and cello is simply beautiful. This CD has a refreshing classical feel that is delicate but full of power. The album was made to be heard loud from the first track all the way to the end. The songs are ordered to perfection and have a lot to give out to its audience. Don't miss out.

    We need more artists like Damien Rice and it's wonderful to know true artists are actually creating good sound somewhere. It's difficult to believe this is Damien Rice's debut CD, the possibilites are endless for a follow-up. ... Read more

    4. Franz Ferdinand
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $9.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001ZMWQO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 54
    Average Customer Review: 3.94 out of 5 stars
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    Franz Ferdinand is an unrelentingly smart, fluffy, and fun debut. This Scottish four-piece plays vaguely angular, guitar-heavy post-pop that makes you want to dance around the room while playing air guitar. It's the ideal hipster guilty-pleasure music for 2004. This is what the Rapture and Interpol would sound like if they wrote songs half as good as those they rip off, or the Strokes if their parents had sent them to art school instead of the fashion academy. Every song on here is so blatantly derivative it sounds almost original, like a modern Blur without the gloomy hangover. It's too early yet to tell if this is just a band for the moment or one for the ages--but who really cares with pop music, anyway? Songs like "Darts of Pleasure," "Come on Home," "Take Me Out," and "Cheating on You" are so good they will surely appeal to those without slanty, messy haircuts. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

    Reviews (126)

    4-0 out of 5 stars ok this album is pretty damn ok...
    franz ferdinand are like this year's britney spears of "indie" rock. last year was yeah yeah yeahs, and the year before was the strokes. i love all these bands and own all the music they have put out, but these bands are far too derivative to be "saving" rock n roll, or making any real mark in music other than the fact that they are all pretty ok and are somewhat popular (shock! decent music selling records?!?)and they are being hailed as rock messiahs in a britney-ruled music world. which i guess is a bit of a feat. hmmmmm. ok im rambling. this album is pretty great, they sound like stripped-down, less distorted vocals strokes. its good stuff. "michael" is f***ing great. so i guess buy it. these guys deserve your money more than britney or sum 41. and hey, they get indie cred by being great friends with belle and sebastian. and one last thing... how come "take me out" starts out AWESOME, then gets really lame?

    4-0 out of 5 stars Rock Out
    Length - 38:45
    Let me start off by saying that this album doesn't really present any exceptional new sound, groundbreaking material or brilliant rehashings of The Beatles. Nonetheless, it's a damn good album, and I'm quite glad that I bought it. As far as the music goes, I think The Strokes comparisons that are being made are valid to some extent. The vocals are strikingly similar on some tracks, the chords and bass sound alike, and the overall energy and exuberance of Franz is comparable to The Strokes. Contrastingly, I think Franz is more exciting, easier to dance to, and the songs are a bit more variegated (I have a hard time distinguishing between most of the tracks on Room On Fire). Another great part about this album is that there aren't any bad songs. There are at least two songs I skip on both Strokes records each time I listen to them. But Franz, solid straight through. In a word, if you're into The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand will be a fine purchase for you. If you care, my favorite tracks include the jaunty Tell Her Tonight, the manic Take Me Out and the brilliant, hypnotic closer, 40'.

    5-0 out of 5 stars wooo---ROCK!
    All the songs in this album are fantastic!! Franz Ferdinand is an incredibly talented band that creates fearless music! They respect many different genres of music and they aren't (...) enough to say so. So, you see, you dimwitted metal rock punktards, you don't have to publicly hate pop music to be successful. No fear!!! wooo! music! wooo! WOOO!!! WOOOOOOO!!!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Franz Ferdinand kicks ass!!
    okay where do i start this is the greastest alt rock alblum ever enough said

    5-0 out of 5 stars If I could only have one CD for the rest of my life...
    Okay, well, who knows what my taste will be like when I'm an old person? But, I know what I like at this phase in my life, and it is precisely what Franz Ferdinand dishes out: unabashed, fun, get-up-and-dance rock music. From start to finish, this album is highly listenable. It's one of those discs that you can have on in the background and not get sick of it on repeat for a few hours, AND you can sit and listen to the lyrics and still appreciate it. People who say they dislike FF seem to have lost all ability to laugh and have fun without pretension. While music elitists seem rather disappointed that this band has achieved a wide fan base in a short time, the rest of us will be enjoying ourselves on the dance floor. ... Read more

    5. What I Really Mean
    list price: $17.98
    our price: $13.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007Y8A74
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 164
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Few songwriters are as cinematic as Robert Earl Keen. In the tradition of Keen's classic "The Road Goes on Forever" and "Merry Christmas from the Family," his eleventh album finds the Texas troubadour transforming indelible characters, vivid description, and narrative drive into movies for the ear. He delves into the surreal with "The Great Hank," a spoken-word barroom vignette that features Hank Williams in a time warp (and in drag). He turns a fable about animals into a tale as dark and twisted as film noir in "Mr. Wolf and Mama Bear," and enlists a vocal cameo from Ray Price and a serenade from Mariachi Estrella to provide the soundtrack for the droll story of cantina overindulgence in "A Border Tragedy." Even the tender title song, about the touring musician missing his wife, shows his eye for evocative detail, with one of Keen's warmest vocals to date. Produced by his bandleader/guitarist Rich Brotherton, the album's musically expansive arrangements match the ambition of the storytelling, with guest banjo from the Bad Livers' Danny Barnes, a lovely soprano sax by John Mills on the title cut, and Celtic pipes from E.J. Jones on "The Traveling Storm." Keen may well expand his audience along with his musical range, as the uptempo "The Wild Ones" could pass as a John Hiatt cut, while "Broken End of Love" has an echo of Tom Petty. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great American Songwriter, Singer and Performer
    I bought this cd at a recent live show by REK that I attended and have to say this one's a good one.He performed some of the songs on the cd at the show and everyone there was very accepting, especially when he sang the Hank song.REK is one of America's treasures, a great songwriter, performer and vocalist.Get this one, you will not be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE
    This is REK's finest album yet.Some instant classics that will be must plays at all of his concerts - For Love, What I Really Mean and Broken End of Love.The whole album from start to end is a winner.Buy it now!You will not want to take it out of your cd player.

    5-0 out of 5 stars REK returns to form
    I cant tell you how happy I was when I first listened to this CD.
    REK is back in good form. good songs and good production. Highly recommend it.
    This is a very happy surprise after his last 2 releases.
    Gravitational Forces had BAD production and decent songs.
    Farm Fresh Onions had BAD production AND Bad songs.

    yeeehaahes back and Im loving it

    5-0 out of 5 stars REK you did it!!!!!!!!!!!
    FANTASTIC!!!! BUY THIS ALBUM!! Ever sInce Gringo Honeymoon REK has been working. Searching. Trying different things. I applaud his efforts and have always loved the music, but let me say Robert Earl Keen has finally done it. This album is fantastic. This is the first album I have listened to each track TWICE before moving on to the next song. His songwriting is superb. This CD has the old school REK that we all fell in love with but with that twist he has been working towards for nearly 10 years. He is NOT the pluck pluck yuk yuk performer that he was afraid of becoming. Superb. You just gotta buy this CD. Sit back with a cold one and enjoy. What I really mean is this possibly the best REK album yet!

    5-0 out of 5 stars What I Really Mean is Buy This CD
    I have been listening to an advance copy of this album for almost two months. I have played it so often that my wife wants me to leave the house. She thinks I have a weird sickness for REK music, which I probably do. That said, I can tell you that this is an amazing CD and probably the best effort of Robert's long career. I think it could be the break out album for the premier singer songwriter from Texas.

    Although I liked Farm Fresh Onions, I am really a bigger fan of some of his earlier stuff. Several songs off Bigger Piece of Sky, especially Paint the Town Beige and Crazy Cowboy Dream have always been my favorite REK tunes. I still listen to Picnic often. My favorite songs on it are: Over The Waterfall, Running With The Night and 4th of July.

    If you share my love for those early songs, you are really going to like What I Really Mean. The song writing is vintage REK, and the band is excellent. Rich Brotherton may be the most under rated guitar player in the world. The rhythm section is as solid (game) as always on every song. The addition of Danny Barnes on banjo adds nicely to the sound of several tracks.

    My favorite cuts on the CD are the title track with its catchy sax, banjo and wonderfully descriptive lyrics. I also love Broken End of Love. Even Bob Dylan hasn't written a song that uses the word metamorphosis. I also like the last cut, Ride, with its bouncy kind of rhythm and great lyrics.My 3-year-old daughter, who is a huge REK fan, likes Ride the best, along with Mama Bear.

    If you are already a fan or just curious about Robert's music, you need to buy this CD. You will not be disappointed. Buy it and tell a friend. ... Read more

    6. Shangri La
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002VKZL6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 63
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    Mark Knopfler isn't afraid to drop names. The heavyweight Cassius Clay laid low, the man who made burgers and fries into big business, the kings of rock & roll and skiffle are among the motley assortment who pass through Knopfler's fourth solo album. Recorded in Malibu with a tight crew of steadfast Knopfler sidemen, Shangri-La (the title comes from the studio where the entire set was recorded) chronicles the foibles of the acclaimed and the adrift, all delivered with the nonchalant grace that has marked Knopfler's music since Dire Straits emerged in the late '70s. Seven of album's 14 originals clock in at between five and seven minutes. That's Knopfler in a nutshell--don't rush things, but don't loose the thread, either. As a songwriter, Knopfler has a storyteller's eye for minutiae, which he delivers with practiced nuance. He overreaches here and there ("Song for Sonny Liston" fails to capture the pathos of the menacing fighter), but also pulls off a few career highlights (the understated crime-drama opener "5.15 a.m."). --Steve Stolder ... Read more

    7. Songbird
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B000006AKD
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 157
    Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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    Songbird cherry-picks tracks from the three locally released albums of Eva Cassidy, whose hauntingly beautiful vocals went virtually unheard outside her native Washington, D.C., during her short 33 years with us. Lost to melanoma in 1996, Cassidy sang with an unaffected purity and an astonishing ability to make both classic and contemporary songs sound like they were written just for her. Sting's "Fields of Gold" finally lives up to its title through the alchemy of Cassidy's transcendent rendition, while other tracks on this anthology showcase her ease in the realms of pop (Christine McVie's "Songbird"), soul ("People Get Ready"), gospel ("Wade on the Water"), and traditional standards ("Autumn Leaves" and "Over the Rainbow"). Framed by understated jazz and pop arrangements, Cassidy's clear, soulful voice and exquisite phrasing make her that rarest of vocalists whose interpretations are a complement to any song. A fine introduction to a true talent. --Billy Grenier ... Read more

    Reviews (496)

    5-0 out of 5 stars from Solo Piano Publications
    I usually review piano and keyboard CDs, but this album is so good and is making such a stir that I decided to throw in my two cents. One of my adult piano students gave me this CD for my birthday, and I had never heard of Eva Cassidy, so I was a little skeptical. Just goes to show that there are still new wonders to discover! Compiled from three previously-released albums, "Songbird" clearly indicates the many facets of Cassidy's voice and the incredibly natural way she was able to use it to convey such depth of emotion. From standards ("Autumn Leaves", "Over the Rainbow") to gospel ("Wade in the Water", "Wayfaring Stranger", "Oh, Had I A Golden Thread"), rock ("Fields of Gold", "Songbird", "People Get Ready"), and gorgeous ballads ("I Know You By Heart", "Time is a Healer"), she slips effortlessly from one genre to another with a voice as pure and honest as a Judy Collins or a Joan Baez. On the gospel and R&B songs, she gets down with the best of 'em! Could this really be a slender, painfully shy, white girl? And then she goes on to a simple ballad and her guitar, and the sweet-voiced folkie returns. The backing instrumentation (usually bass, guitar, and drums) is simple and fully enhances the vocals. It is such a tragedy that Eva Cassidy's life was cut short at the age of 33, but God bless Chris Biondo for recording her singing whenever he could so that her gift and talent can live on and grace us all.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This really deserves six stars
    This is the best voice I have ever heard. Eva Cassidy easily ranks with Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Billie Holliday in the ability to express pure emotion through voice. You probably know her story, and it is tradegy. This album is a compliation of previous recordings. Several tracks are live, and the album's producer chose to edit out the applause. You won't be able to tell the the studio from the live tracks unless you look at the CD sleeve. That's impressive. There is no bad track on this disk. Song styles range from folk to gospel to doesn't matter what she's singing or what your musical preference is, if you HAVE a soul, her voice will hook you and reel you in. Sting's "Fields of Gold," is the first track, and it somewhat showcases her ability to make a song hers. She does this by putting her soul in her vocal. After hearing this rendition a couple of times, you'll forget that some other guy wrote this song. "People Get Ready," a popular popular cover tune, really shows the range of her voice. Man, she can belt it out. My favorite song on the album is "I know You By Heart." This is the most beautiful/sad song I have ever heard. Period. My wife has a hard time listening to this disk because it is so sad, between the power of emotion Miss Cassidy sings with in addition to her tragic demise. This collection of different genres is ultimately the blues, sung with passion only rivaled by the greats mentioned earlier. I hope she can here all of us listening to her music and have the ability to understand the depths her music is able to move its listeners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This one's a perfect ten
    I believe I'm writing this more for myself than for readers who can look at five hundred previous reviews. I was so moved by Eva Cassidy's songs that I want to share my thoughts with everyone. I recieved a copy of 'Songbird' from my sister in law. I rarely prefer a second version of a familiar song so I was hesitant to even listen to this CD which included some old favorites. Then I had to take a long drive and had nothing new to listen to, so I listened to Eva. I was stunned. The music really got to me and I had not seen her or heard Eva's tragic story. I've since purchased all Eva's CDs and enjoyed each as much as the first. It is difficult to describe the impact of listening to Eva Cassidy for the first time. I doubt anyone will ever forget the experience. She is amazing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect
    Just listened to "Over the Rainbow" again. Wow. That's just about as well as a mortal can do it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars 6 stars out of 5.....
    The beautiful, irreplaceable Eva Cassidy died at the young age of 33, leaving behind a treasury of beautiful and bluesy songs she reinvented with her beautiful voice, guided by an intuitive grace. SONGBIRD is like no album I have ever heard. It has a quiet strength, not unlike Eva herself, that sets it apart from all folk, jazz, blues and pop albums.

    The first cut, "Fields of Gold," was made completely unrecognizable from Sting's original. The words took on a different meaning for me, and Eva's melancholy voice made me think of those moments of solitude in the early morning before life begins to emerge, where you can truly be alone with your thoughts in introspection. Eva also has an amazing talent for pumping even more soul into the blues, R&B, gospel and jazz songs she interprets on the album. ("Wade in the Water," "Wayfaring Stranger," "People Get Ready,")
    Of course, one of the most well known tracks off of this collection is her arrangement and interpretation of "Over the Rainbow." This truly brought tears to my eyes! When I finished listening to it, the yellow brick road and Dorothy were nowhere to be found.......all I could see was Eva, surrounded by her beautiful light and energy that permeates throughout this recording.

    This album will change the way you think about music. Please listen to the samples and make your call. Believe me, this will become a frequently-played part of your CD collection. ... Read more

    8. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B00004XQ83
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 166
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 2001

    The best soundtracks are like movies for the ears, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? joins the likes of Saturday Night Fever and The Harder They Come as cinematic pinnacles of song. The music from the Coen brothers' Depression-era film taps into the source from which the purest strains of country, blues, bluegrass, folk, and gospel music flow. Producer T Bone Burnett enlists the voices of Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, and kindred spirits for performances of traditional material, in arrangements that are either a cappella or feature bare-bones accompaniment. Highlights range from the aching purity of Krauss's "Down to the River to Pray" to the plainspoken faith of the Whites' "Keep on the Sunny Side" to Stanley's chillingly plaintive "O Death." The album's spiritual centerpiece finds Krauss, Welch, and Harris harmonizing on "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," a gospel lullaby that sounds like a chorus of Appalachian angels. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (440)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest movie soundtrack EVER!
    With the country music airwaves currently being dominated by fresh, new artists like Faith Hill who fit better in the pop circuit, it is refreshing to see an album composed entirely of traditional bluegrass and country do as well as the soundtrack of O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Even further impressing is the fact that although none of the songs were released to radio, the soundtrack was propelled to the #1 spot on Billboard's country album charts solely from people hearing the music in the movie theater. This soundtrack is a phenomenal album that is proof to country fans everywhere that although traditional country has appeared to have gone out of style, it is still very much alive and well.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is composed of nineteen songs recorded by some of the most talented country/bluegrass artists in the business, including Gillian Welch (who also served as musical director for the motion picture), Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and the Cox Family, and and is truly a gathering of musical talent. Also included in the soundtrack is music by musicians who appeared in the film as well as working on the CD, such as the Whites and Tim Blake Nelson.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is truly, as the CD ads claim, "The ULTIMATE American roots collection!" So, grab your acoustic guitar, fiddle, and Dapper Dan hair pomade, and let the soundtrack from O BROTHER take you on a journey through one of the greatest periods in country music history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brothers In Arms
    The soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of the biggest surprises in music for 2000. The film starring George Clooney was not much of a success at the box office, but the soundtrack made up of dark bluegrass songs from the early part of the 20th century has become a major seller. In fact the album has set a record for the most weeks at number one for a soundtrack on the Country Album charts. This is a welcomed and warmly cheered surprise as the album celebrates an essential style of music from America's rich musical history. Album producer T-Bone Burnett has assembled a cast of unknowns, save Emmylou Harris & Allison Krauss, like The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch and J. Carter & The Prisoners who specialize in this forgotten and overlooked genre. The songs have a stark and haunting quality that are accentuated by the sparse musical arrangements. The singing is alternatively raw and rough to lilting and gorgeous. Song after song provides you with an interesting, intriguing and satisfying listening experience especially "Po Lazarus", "You Are My Sunshine", "Down To The River To Pray", "Lonesome Valley" and "Didn't Leave Nobody But My Baby".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music the way is should be
    This is perhaps the best soundtrack ever made. It is a stunning mix of mostly acoustic tracks by most of the best bluegrass artists ever. There is work on here from Ralph Stanely, Allison Kraus, and Emmelou Harris, to name a few. This CD won a lot of Grammys the year that it came out, and that is because it was the best CD of that year.

    Highlights include the Big Rock Candy Mountains, Man of Constant Sorrow, In the Jailhouse Now and O Death. If you have ever wondered what bluegrass sounded like but have been afraid to try, this is the CD for you. It will show you the magic that this genre of music can provide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great but.....
    This CD is fantastic, with songs that will leave you humming and tapping your feet. I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that the primary song I wanted featuring the artists from the actual movie was not featured on the album. The version of "I'll FLy Away" from the actual movie is done by the Kossoy Sisters and is featured on their album "Bowling Green". I hope this helps anyone else who will end up trying to hunt down that origianl version.

    5-0 out of 5 stars O Brother
    This is the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film based loosely on Homer's "The Odyssey". This soundtrack takes the movie from good to great. The tracks follow the progression of the movie. Nearly an hour of blue-grass music, even if you haven't seen the movie, this is worth having if you like "Old-Time" Country music and blue-grass.

    The legend, Ralph Stanley, appears a couple of times here, although his "Man of Constant Sorrow" is here too, but covered by Dan Tyminski. Stanley's "O Death" is a haunting tune sung without accompaniment. His voice is sorrowful and full of pain, and will send shivers up your spine. Tyminski's cover is well done and becomes the centerpiece for the movie. The sultry voices of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch provide a rising rendition of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." Alison Krauss also lends her voice to the spiritual "Down to the River to Pray," and joins up again with Gillian Welch for "I'll Fly Away". The surprise here is Tim Blake Nelson on lead vocals as the dimwitted Delmar on "In the Jailhouse Now."

    Overall, this is a great soundtrack, and well worth owning if you like this type of music. I think the Coen brothers have done a lot with the release of this movie to turn the spotlight onto blue-grass music. This is great music that deserves more than the fifteen minutes of fame it's received. ... Read more

    9. The Best of Van Morrison
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
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    Asin: B000009DDJ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 265
    Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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    Van Morrison reputedly wasn't crazy about the idea of a greatest-hits package, and this set's haphazard programming--which leaps from period to period, style to style, tossing in two key singles by his mid-'60s band Them--speaks to his lack of involvement. Still, it rivals Moondance as Morrison's most popular album, and for a reason: like that classic, it offers one deeply soulful, spiritually and musically thoughtful track after another. Much of his more "difficult" work is ignored here; in fact, Best of... gives us an intriguing picture of a Van who's almost eager to please. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

    Reviews (85)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pop Music the way it should be
    Van Morrison is one of the best songwriters out there. It's awesome to hear his voice and his songwriting talent skip around in different genres, from boogie rock like Brown-Eyed Girl and the spectacular Wild Night to British invasion hookey pop stuff like Gloria and Here Comes the Night to Cat Stevens-ish acoustic reflections like Sweetest Thing and Warm Love and finally to spiritual, decidedly Christian-themed lite rock like Cleaning Windows, Bright Side of the Road, and then God Shines His Light.

    There's something very cinematic about his music too. It sounds like it belongs in the movies. It has that way on perfectly capturing the mood of human emotion that seems perfect for a soundtrack.

    Unfortuantely, Morrison never really had the best voice around; he sort of screams with a little rasp- like a louder, fuller Dylan, but it's unique and adds a very Van-ish authenticity to his songs. Ultimately this CD is really just beautiful to listen to as a good collection of thoughtful, well-written pop tunes of various genres.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Bard of Belfast
    In the early 1990s Alan Parker filmed Roddy Doyle's wonderful book, The Commitments, about working class Irish kids trying to escape dead end jobs through the power of classic soul music. The band's lead singer--slightly pudgy but with a powerful voice and personality--reminded me at the time of a young Van Morrison. Of course, that's not much of a stretch--Doyle could very well have been basing some of his book on Morrison's early career.

    The Best of Van Morrison provides a nice synopsis of Morrison's first three decades as the bard of Belfast. Those humble beginnings with the band Them presents a sound that was as raw as any of the bluesmen and soul artists that he admired and is represented by three songs: the bluesy "Baby Please Don't Go," the anthemic "Gloria," and the ballad "Here Comes the Night." Van's voice sounds more like a growl in these songs, more like Mick Jagger than the warm, smooth sound that would become his trademark.

    The CD is not arranged chronologically, so I tend to group the songs by style rather than time period. Van's soul roots as a solo artist can be seen in how he favors background horns and female backup singers, as in "Domino," "Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile)," "Wonderful Remark," "Brown-Eyed Girl," "Warm Love," and "Wild Night."

    The flip side to that is his jazzy style, born from that blues beginning merging with the stream of conscience noodling that saw its fullest expression on Astral Weeks. These songs--"Sweet Thing," "Moondance," "Queen of the Slipstream," "Have I Told You Lately," "Bright Side of the Road"--often have unconventional structures, time signatures, or keys and reflect Van's experimentation.

    Often the purview of country music, Van likes the "story" song. His don't necessarily relate a narrative but instead capture characters or a time period. "And It Stoned Me" is a childhood reminescence, while "Cleaning Windows" tries to capture the simpler times when he performed manual labor.

    And, lastly, there's the songs of faith, not quite gospel, but like contemporary Christian with more moderate lyrics. These songs--"Full Force Gale," "Whenever God Shines His Light," "Dweller on the Threshold," and "Did Ya Get Healed"--could be maudlin, but there's something about the assuredness of the delivery that overcomes your doubts regarding the message, at least for the duration of the song.

    While containing all the radio hits, the total collection of 20 songs provides a great introduction to Van, who can be a little overindulgent and uneven in his albums. Once you become a confirmed fan, you're more likely to enjoy those experiments. Until then, this is your best one album collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In Response To IVAVARIO
    The new remaster has the unedited Brown Eyed Girl with the "Making Love in the green grass...." line intact.

    Now for the review, this is a great compilation for the Van Morrision newbie. It contains his most famous songs, Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance, Gloria (with Them), Domino, Jackie Wilson Said..., Wild Night, Have I Told You Lately..., And It Stoned Me, among others.

    The only song that should have been on here that wasn't is Caravan. Other than that a perfect 10.


    Once again, if you are irritated about the original taking out that infamous line in Brown Eyed Girl, get the remaster. It shouldn't be hard to find since the unremastered is out of print.

    1-0 out of 5 stars I Hate This Dude
    This horrible little idiot is SO annoying. His voice stinks and his lyrics are stupid. His music is only for idiots who are too brainwashed by outdated garbage music like this to realize that there is such a thing as a catchy beat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Discovery
    Having grown up in Generation X, I had no idea who Van Morrison was until a few years ago when I bought this CD for my father. He listened to it and loved it, and I borrowed it from him recently. I consider Van a great discovery.

    I was blown away by how great the music on this album is. There are so many songs of Morrison's that I was familiar with but did not know that he was the singer. I feel very fortunate to have "discovered" such a great artist.

    Though I'm not very familiar with Van's work, some songs here have become favorites of mine. These include:

    'Have I Told You Lately': Later remade by Rod Stewart, this has become one of the classic love songs of all time. The original is best, with Morrison's throaty voice driving the vocals.

    'Wild Night': Another song that has been remade, the original of 'Wild Night' is a bit rockier than John Mellencamp's version.

    'Moondance': Now one of my favorite songs, 'Moondance' is a classic, laid-back jazzy tune with brilliant vocals and a terrific shuffle.

    'Brown Eyed Girl': Year after year, the oldies radio station in Cleveland places this song at the top of their "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list. There's a reason why.

    I've read a few reviews saying that this isn't as good a compilation of Morrison's material as could be made. I can't speak for them, because, as a newcomer, I don't know much about his music. I can say that this album is amazing, and has definitely done a good job of introducing me to the magic of Van Morrison. What more could a greatest hits album ask for? ... Read more

    10. Greatest Hits
    list price: $18.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00063EMJ6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6
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    One question would be: What took him so long? After all, a contemporary like Van Morrison has sold boatloads of his single-disc best-of set to buyers wary of diving into that deep catalog without a primer to get them started. So three and a half decades into his solo career, Neil Young finally delivers his version of that most modest of albums--the pre-holiday "hits" overview. What's surprising, coming from such a proud maverick, is its conventionality. Granted, the original master mixes are a boon for fans, but otherwise, there's not much here for loyalists who quite likely already possess the original "Like a Hurricane" on a couple of albums, as well as a handful of live interpretations scanning the years. Since Young cracked the Top 10 only once (1972's "Heart of Gold"), this set is built around concert staples as "Cinnamon Girl," "Rockin' in the Free World," and "Hey, Hey, My My" rather than chart favorites. Despite Young's honorable standing as a still-vital graybeard, the disc is skewed heavily toward his early work, shortchanging some mighty productive recent years. Peripheral fans may find this set of interest, but faithful followers are better advised to investigate the DVD version, which, at least, includes videos, photos, lyrics, and Web links. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    11. O.C.M.S.
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
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    Asin: B00019JQHI
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 295
    Average Customer Review: 4.46 out of 5 stars
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    During the "folk music-scare" of the early 1960s, a bunch of white middle-class youths with names like the Greenbriar Boys and the Even Dozen Jug Band discovered the mountain music of the Stanley Brothers, Skillet Lickers, and Uncle Dave Macon and set about introducing it to the country's college kids. Four decades later, the members of OCMS fit the profile of those early revivalists, yet if anything they have tapped deeper into the primal elements of an American art form. As demonstrated on their debut, they have assimilated not just the sound--banjos, harmonicas, acoustic guitar and bass--but more importantly the haunting spirit of music that was made to keep hard times at bay. How else to explain their ability to take a well-worn chestnut like "CC Rider" and infuse it with an energy that reveals once again why it is a classic? Not content to live completely in the past, they wrote "Big Time in the Jungle," which, though it is about Vietnam, could easily be transposed to 2004's desert conflicts. Kindred spirit and producer David Rawlings (Gillian Welch's longtime collaborator) has kept their energy intact, but one can only wonder what sort of magic they must deliver live. --Michael Ross ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Like Gravy
    I love seeing this band live--it is a soulful experience. And yes, long-time fans will have heard more rollicking versions of several of the songs. But the Old Crows prove on this record that they can convey a range of emotion, sing and write different kinds of songs, evoke different kinds of feelings and memories--all while staying true to the music of the past. For those who might hesitate to buy this record because of comparison to some bluegrass CD currently annoying the masses, don't fear--this is something entirely different--something that, in stripping off the polish/varnish that makes most most contemporary musician's voices and music sound exactly the same--strikes at something that is (for lack of a better word) real. From fast-paced, energetic songs like "Tear it Down" to the transcendent original tune "We're All in This Together" this album stands apart. It is excellent, and has not left my CD player since it arrived last week.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not so good.
    These guys are still one of my favorite bands, but I agree with an earlier review that Nashville has really damaged this group. I'm sure this is going to be a hit record, but the album buying public will never know how good this band has been in the past. The energy of their live show and other albums is completely missing. Those of you who've never heard this band should definately buy this. However,if you're and old fan, you should be in mourning. Goodbye Old-Time Punk, hello O'Brother. Can't blame record exec's for wanting to make a buck.

    4-0 out of 5 stars How are they live?
    The review wondered how Old Crow was live- I had the pleasure of seeing them this spring, and I can say they were fabulous. Spontaneous, fun, energetic- David Rawlings went to joing them half way through the set, and the chemistry was great. The album's great, they're the best 'new' bluegrass I've heard in a while. Buy the album, then find them live!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Maybe the band wants a buck too
    The album is great. Haunting and feels like my old house.
    Change and evolution are an inevitable part of life, and blaming record execs for a band's album not sounding like/or having the energy of a live show is just plain tired. Nothing ever stays the same, let go and enjoy the growth.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Asheville
    I went to see this group in Asheville, NC. They started with CC Ride and got better all the time. I thought that each song was just unbelievable, the way they built you up and the ending song was Wagon Wheel. Not to get too involved but "Butch" did a wonderful fill on the guitar and vocals. If you here this album you will really want to go and see Old Crow Medicine Show in person. This is a group that on the cutting edge. ... Read more

    12. fromabasement on thehill
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B0002SROT0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 88
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    Posthumous releases fall into two categories: those which the artist was working on at the time of their death, and those which are gathered from every nook and cranny to keep fans enthused and cash registers ringing. Elliott Smith's from a basement on the hill is of the former variety. It was close to completion at the time of his untimely death. Over the course of the set's 15 songs, Smith's powerful songwriting and production skills are shown in their full breadth. From thickly interlocked chordal guitar riffs ("Coast to Coast") to shimmering melancholia ("A Fond Farewell"), the songs are each brought to their own particular focus by whatever means were most appropriate. There are lush background vocals, keyboard washes, pounding rhythms, and heart rending balladry. This disc is a sad goodbye to richly emotive artist. --David Greenberger ... Read more

    13. The Best of Simon & Garfunkel
    list price: $18.98
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    Asin: B00002MZ41
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 301
    Average Customer Review: 4.69 out of 5 stars
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    Augmenting 1972's Greatest Hits with additional tracks, Best of... now stands as the preeminent one-disc introduction to the music of Simon & Garfunkel. Containing everything Greatest Hits offered except for the live version of "59th Street Bridge Song" (the original studio hit resurfaces here) and the incandescent "Kathy's Song," the updated retrospective boasts 20 tracks, in contrast to its predecessor's 14 selections. Added to the mix are the likes of "Hazy Shade of Winter," "The Only Living Boy in New York," "Song for the Asking," and "My Little Town," a one-off the twosome did five years after they ended their phenomenally successful partnership. Remastered from the original source tapes, Best of... also boasts far superior sound to the earlier hits collection. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (88)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great compilation
    I purchased this CD in August the day after I heard Art Garfunkel in concert at Croton Point Park. Parenthetically, I had quite a summer for great duos, having also seen the Everly brothers in concert. As the "voice" of the duo, Art gave a comprehensive retrospective of Simon & Garfunkel's greatest hits and this CD does the same. Unless your favorite song is some obscure album track, your favorite is sure to be included here. My own particular favorite is El Condor Pasa. However, I know some people who literally choke up when they hear "Sounds of Silence." Whichever Simon and Garfunkel song moves you is likely to be included here. To be sure, there is a double CD and I suppose (but don't know for sure) there's a boxed set, however, if you are looking for their top 40 hits, go no further than here. Simon & Garfunkel are very evocative for many baby boomers and I believe that those who remember the duo in their heyday will find the particular cut, on this CD, that brings a lump to their throats. This is a fine, single CD collection and I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Treat yourself to the No. 1 DUO!
    DON'T FORGET GARFUNKEL! Hey, Paul Simon has had a great solo career, but you need a greatest hits album that includes Garfunkel also, for this harmony has been oft-imitated but never duplicated in such grandeur.

    Garfunkel adds that extra special something that made MRS. ROBINSON, CECELIA and 59TH STREET BRIDGE SONG sing-along favorites, and revived the traditional favorite SCARBOROUGH FAIR.

    Of course, Simon still gets top billing for his phenomenal singing and songwriting skills and works his solo magic on two of the album's greatest cuts, FOR EMILY WHEREVER I MAY FIND HER and BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER.

    It's a real testament to the duo's tremendous appeal that a 20-song "greatest hits" CD can only marginally capture their music. Still, the selection is one that will keep old fans happy and win over a few new fans along the way. It's too bad that their inspiring cover of THE TIMES ARE A'CHANGIN' wasn't included. This album is still guaranteed to stay in your player for a long time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection
    Here it is, the first affordable collection of Simon and Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. All the esential hits are here. If you could never buy the box set and multi disc hit sets from them, this is perfect because only the really popular tracks are on here.
    This is one of my favorite CDs out right now along with Bond's "Classified" and Mr.Deviant's "Techno Obsession" which is a mix of power rock and hard dance music to make some killer instrumentals.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Do I smell spices?
    These guys are the reason I've sung a mantra for twenty-five years, *every single time* I've looked at spices... and often when I walk into a kitchen, or simply walk down the street.... The mantra I sing is this: "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme" (Scarborough Fair). I don't know whether to be thankful, or get shock therapy (kidding!)!! But every time I think of spices, or walk into SF Bay Area shops that smell of spices, I sing the mantra: "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme." If Simon & Garfunkel's corporate lawyers don't mind, I'd like my gravestone to read: "Are you going to heaven's fair? Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Time." (My cemetery plot has a small patch where herbs may be planted). Anyway, S&G are a class act! During some tough times in this great country of ours, they kept their cool, they were cool, and they created some of the best songs (classiest pop songs) of an era! Kudos!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just Listen
    I give this 1 star, and I have no doubt that such a rating will PO some Simon and Garfunkel fans. But just listen to my reasoning, give me a fair chance. You won't be sorry.

    "I Am a Rock" is a good song, about loneliness and isolation. I listen to this myself a good bit. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is a good love song, and the conclusive proof that Art Garfunkel was by far the better singer of the two. BY FAR. But Paul Simon writes the songs and plays guitar (which he does fairly well). Aside from these songs, there is nothing at all here that I like. "Sounds of Silence" is the most popular thing here, but there is much in the way of BIG HIT all over this disc.

    These guys were not really folk, or folk rock, as they are often categorized. They are a poet and a one man band (Paul Simon)(as they sing in homeward bound), and Art G. on the side, contributing as much with his singing as Paul S. does with everything else. The problem I have is that they have no feeling. Peter,Paul& Mary had the same problem-they had good songs, smooth harmonies, and this got them hits, but the real feeling, the real SOUL, is in the grittier stuff, like Bob Dylan. A good guitarist and songwriter, a bad singer and harmonica player, but he had so much heart, and it more than compensates for what he lacks. Simon and Garfunkel, Like Peter Paul & Mary, have what Dylan does/did not-fine vocal harmonies and a smooth production. But the emotional content, the RAW part, is missing. You probably love S & G, and you'll buy this. I appreciate that. All I ask is that you give Bob Dylan a chance. Buy the early folk stuff, and/or "Bringing it all Back Home" or "Highway 61". If you can't stand the thought of something as grating as Dylan, buy the first Byrds album, the one with "Mr.Tambourine Man". Just give it a chance. If you don't care about the lyrical aspect and just dig the harmonies, listen to "The Way You Look Tonight" by the Jaguars. If you still think the poet/one-man-band with his underappreciated buddy Art are better, that's cool. maybe you think I'm way off, that there's plenty of feeling here-and maybe that's because compared to what you normally listen to, this IS more emotional. But feeling in music goes much deeper than these guys ever did. I wouldn't lie to you, give Dylan and the Byrds a chance. Give the Jaguars and classic Doo-wop a chance. I can convert you, if you give me the chance.

    Whether or not you take my advice, at least "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is done one hell of a lot better here than the way that bozo did it on American Idol. ... Read more

    14. So Jealous
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0002MSCBK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1774
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    Three albums into Tegan & Sara's career, it's still somehow necessary to get a couple of facts about them out of the way before diving into their latest offering. They are, yes, identical twin lesbians, and they do occupy the space--more like a vacuum, really--between the riot-grrl menace of Sleater-Kinney and the un-fun folk of Indigo Girls. That out of the way, So Jealous is the duo's best disc yet, meriting more than the mainstream notice that has so far evaded it. All the components are in place: a beyond synthy, full-throttle band, including John Collins and David Carswell of New Pornographers, and songwriting so honest as to make a person--any person--check to make sure no one has been snooping in her diary ("I won't mistake you for problems with me/I won't let my moods ruin this you'll see," from "I Won't Be Left"). The vibe is early-80s pop-punky (Tegan & Sara's singing can sound like Missing Persons' minus the squeals) spiked with a rock'n'roll edge--if the title track were noisier, it might sound at home on a Yeah Yeah Yeahs disc. Destined for hugeness, if only in indie circles for now, Tegan & Sara provide something crucial for pop princesses to be So Jealous of, and that's genuine talent. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more

    15. Moondance
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $7.99
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    Asin: B000002KHF
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 492
    Average Customer Review: 4.85 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

    Van Morrison went a long way towards defining his wild Irish heart with his first two classic albums: the brooding, introspective Astral Weeks (1968), and the expansive, swinging Moondance. If the first was the work of a poet, its sequel was the statement of a musician and bandleader. Moondance is that rare rock album where the band has buffed the arrangements to perfection, and where the sax solos instead of the guitar. The band puts out a jazzy shuffle on "Moondance" and plays it soulful on "These Dreams of You." The album includes both Morrison's most romantic ballad ("Crazy Love") and his most haunting ("Into the Mystic"). "And It Stoned Me" rolled off Morrison's tongue like a favorite fable, while "Caravan" told a tale full of emotional intrigue. Moondance stood out in the rock world of 1970 like a grownup in a kiddie matinee. --John Milward ... Read more

    Reviews (124)

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Own Private "Moondance" with Van.....
    This review refers to the Warner Bros. audio tape of Van Morrison's "Moondance"....

    I have to confess...I bought this "fantabulous" album on tape so I could pop it in my walkman and have my own private time with Van Morrison, his band and the exhilarating music. But alas, I always get caught. The music and the lyrics are just ones that I can't help singing aloud with(you know...'LA LA LA LA... LA LA LA'...), and playing on my own air instruments!

    The familiar and soothing voice, the soulful and oh so recognizable tunes, will "let your soul and spirit fly Into The Mystic". It's always "a marvelous night for a Moondance", and who could ever tire of "Come Running" and "Caravan". So 'rock your Gypsy soul', 'turn it up',and fall in love again to "Crazy Love".....'she give me love love love love...crazy love'.It'll 'seem like and feel like' a "Brand New Day" every time you play it.

    All the great sounds of the vocals and the band, including the wonderful solos sound great on this tape.If you are just starting to collect Van Morrison, start with this one.It's definitive of his work and one that you just won't be able to get enough of... 'And so you know, it's got soul'(see buying info for complete list of songs)

    Van..."Can I have just one more 'Moondance' with you"??? Just let me know and I'll "Come Running"....

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's a marvelous night for "Moondance"
    Moondance is a wonderful album. Van Morrison is a truly gifted songwriter, not to mention his wonderful, yet unique voice. If you want to hear music that is more flash and glitz and commercialism, give Moondance a listen. Just reading the lyrics to this album could stir your soul. The lyrics are amazing, and the music is great too. In addition to the great acoustic guitar playing, bass and drums, Van has also added saxophones, flutes, clarinets and pianos to many of the songs, giving the album a rather distinct sound. My favorites are Come Running, Moondance, These Dreams Of You, Caravan and of course, the BEST song on the album, maybe Van Morrison's best song: Into The Mystic. This album would get 5 stars just for Into The Mystic even if all the other songs were bad. Fortunately though, that's not the case. Moondance is marvelous from start to finish.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ice cold audio orange juice
    It's not as complex, beautiful and enigmatic as "Astral Weeks" and it's not as much of a soulful, one-two-punch workout as "Blowin' Your Mind," but for sheer, consistent, horn-driven happiness, you can't do much better than "Moondance."

    But because of my affection for those other two disks, I admit, I generally tend to underrate this album. But "Moondance" keeps coming back to me in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times: I'll hear "Caravan" in "The Last Waltz," or "Everyone" at the end of "The Royal Tenenbaums" or "Glad Tidings" three times in the "Sopranos" Season 5 finale, or notice "Into the Mystic" on the PA at the grocery store and be reminded that I need to let it out to play more often. That's the sign of a truly great musical work.

    1-0 out of 5 stars he got stoned all rite!
    yo my parentz lissen tu dis cd! i mean theyre old, and i am an informed consumer uv hot topic clothing! so i must have a better taste in muzak, rite? i mean, da shtuff i lissen too is on da billbored chartz! like, American Idol peeps so bust Van da man fer rekord salez!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction in Van Morrison
    I was only familiar with the Brown Eyed Girl and Gloria Van Morrison but bought this because of the strong 5 star rating with nearly 130 reviews. They are right. This is a great CD filled with easily listened to (not easy listening) music. The lyrics are absolutely heartfelt. The speed of the music fluctuates from not to fast to slow and cool. This would be great entertaining music for a small group of people or just for that one person. ... Read more

    16. Nebraska
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
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    Asin: B0000025T6
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4115
    Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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    Hot on the heels of The River, his commercial breakthrough, Springsteen's decision to release the stark, demo-quality Nebraska seems downright perverse. But the genius of the album is unmistakable--with just an acoustic guitar and his howling harmonica to back him, Springsteen tells the stories of characters walking on both sides of the law, some of them directly on the line in between. The effect is that of a powerful series of black-and-white photographs--the details are bleak in and of themselves, but they ignite the imagination in ways that are more satisfying than full-color shots would be. "Mansion on the Hill," "Highway Patrolman," "Atlantic City," and the frightening "Nebraska" are among the most sharply rendered and memorable works of Springsteen's career. --Daniel Durchholz ... Read more

    Reviews (95)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bruce's Finest
    I always preferred when artists go acoustic, and record a low-quality album. Albums like Nebraska capture an artist at their most intimate. This was Bruce Springsteen's stark, low-key acoustic record. It was very dreary, as it was beautiful. His tales of suffering and being on the wrong side of the law was profound and you can feel it in his howl and his singing. He already had the reputation of being a high-energy, bombastic satdium act but Nebraska captured him in a whole new light. It was more reserved than Born to Run, and it had more personality than many of his albums. Songs like "Atlantic City," "State Trooper," and "Highway Patrolman" send chills down my spine, whereas other songs like "Nebraska," "My Father's House" and "Used Cars" express Springsteen in a more vulnerable, yet very striking voice, particularly Nebraska's tale of a serial killer. Even non-fans of The Boss can appreciate this album for its sense of intimacy and depth. Springsteen would never be this bare after this album, although certain subsequent works do show his profound side (particularly Tunnel of Love and the Rising).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not for Everyone
    "You wanna know why I did what I did; well, sir, I guess there's just a meanness in this world." So ends the first and title track of this album. The song 'Nebraska' is based, like Terrence Malick's 1973 movie 'Badlands', on the story of the 1950's killer, Charles Starkweather. As with all the songs here, Springsteen sings in the first person, becoming the characters he breathes to life. The first song, chilling and nihilistic, sets the tone for the rest of the album, which portrays the stark working class existance of small town life.

    Here we meet people living on the edge. People with a thin sense of hope running on empty. Yet out of the initial depression and bleakness of his landscape, Springsteen can find a humanity in many of his people, still shining just beneath the surface.

    This is not an album for everyone. Certainly, it is different from most of Bruce Springsteen's music, perhaps finding it's closest echo in 'The River'. The sound is raw, apparently recorded in Springsteen's own basement, and features a solo performance with only guitar and harmonica. It's tone and sometimes despair recalls the desperation of the dust bowl blues; the lyrics resonate like Raymond Carver stories put to music. Never before or since has Springsteen created such evocative slices of life with such an economy of words.

    All in all, an extraordinary album. Unique, wild, raw, and beautiful. Deceptive in its simplicity, and disturbing too. A great album.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Shows his true artistry and ability
    Bruce decided he had to make this album to further himself as an artist, as to not get stuck in a routine of writing typical pop songs. It took a lot of guts to do, especially because he knew that it wouldn't be an immediate big smash, and because he also knew that he could have easily remained in the same vein he had been in and sold more records at the time. In the book "Howling At The Moon," Walter Yetnikoff, who was President of CBS Records when Nebraska came out, described the first time he listened to it with Bruce. He said Bruce was very nervous, because he knew it wasn't a commercial album, and so Yetnikoff, who was drunk at the time, listened to it, and responded by calling the album the wrong name, "Yeah, I really like 'Omaha,' Bruce." A mistake in the name, but it was not a mistake to release this album. It allowed Bruce to explore darker and different areas of his craft, and to master them, while showing people that he is not the one-dimensional caricature that many make him out to be. Highlights on this album include: Nebraska (very scary), Atlantic City (it's interesting to listen to the original version and compare it to the version on the Live in NYC DVD; really one of his best songs ever), Highway Patrolman, State Trooper (his visceral screams are the highlight of the album), and Open All Night. You can really hear his influences on this one, including Dylan, Orbison, and Buddy Holly. It paved the way for him in the future by opening up his creativity, and for fans of typical "Born in the USA" Bruce, this is a realy eye-opener, and it might take a while to grow on you, but believe me it will!

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Deliver me from nowhere..."
    Raw and unrelenting, Nebraska is a shock to the casual Bruce fan's system. Alike nothing he had created before, it was a true testament of Bruce's artistry. He rarely gets enough credit for the chances he took musically through the years--Nebraska being probably his biggest one. This album could have been awful. It could have cemented the notion that Bruce could never be anything close to "Dylanesque." This could have done to him what going electric did to Dylan. didn't. Not only does Nebraska prove Bruce's lyrical talent, but it also proves that he is not just the electric guitar wielding, theatric stage performer that we all know and love.

    Recorded on his own tape recorder, in his bedroom, it's just Bruce and his acoustic guitar yearning for redemption, deliverance, and a reason to believe. The lyrics on this album will get inside you immediately, within the first few lines of the title track. They will pull you into the desolate world of his disparaged and lonely characters. Bruce is a master at painting portraits of life in his words by creating characters you can feel, see, and love. On 'Nebraska', he creates antiheroes for the common man. In "Johnny 99" you start to empathize with the main character as he descends toward madness after losing his job at the plant in Mahwah late last month. In "Highway Patrolman" Bruce displays the moral ambiguity of an honest man torn between his duty as a law officer and his own flesh and blood. Others like "Used Car" and "Mansion on the Hill" are Bruce's retelling of his childhood memories. They will leave you feeling lost in time, like you are looking into the soul of an old black and white portrait.

    "State Trooper" is a song like no other. Bruce himself wasn't sure if it could be even called a song, but he threw it on the record anyway. I wouldn't recommend listening to it while driving alone, especially after midnight, because it might scare the s*** out of you. Either that, or you will go mad and drive endlessly trying to escape from nowhere.

    'Nebraska' is one of those albums that takes on a whole new persona depending on when you listen to it. In the daytime, it is a realistic journey into the past, a walk with each character down the street of hopelessness towards a meaningful existence. At night, however, it turns into a descent into loneliness, desperation and uncertain fear. Listening to this record will definitely take you somewhere. It may be somewhere unpleasant, somewhere to close for comfort, to real to discern. It may take you to a place where everything you've ever known in life fails you. And it may strike you kind of funny...but at the end you'll somehow be left with more of a reason to believe.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Taped it off the radio in 1982
    Maybe it's got something to do with my frame of mind at the time, but I really found myself able to enjoy Nebraska while not having much use for The Ghost Of Tom Joad past "Youngstown". My original tape of Nebraska came directly from radio when it first came out. I had to sacrifice one of my precious Beatles tapes for Nebraska, but I considered it a good trade. I was about to leave work as it was starting and wasn't going to make it home in time to tape it there, so I stuck the Beatles tape in and let it record on my boom box while I listened in the car on the trip home. I wound up sitting in the car and listening to the whole thing, then went to work to retrieve the tape the next day. I know people who absolutely hate Nebraska because it "depresses" them, (these people also consider BITUSA his best work,) but I've always just considered it moody. It's perfect for late night drives on dark and lonely highways, and that's where I was back in 1982. It always reminded me of a Johnny Cash album, something that hit home years later when Johnny recorded "Johnny 99". ... Read more

    17. The Carter Family: 1927-1934
    list price: $28.98
    our price: $25.99
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    Asin: B00005TPB7
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 4493
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Their setup was primitive enough--guitar, Autoharp, and vocals--but in the late '20s the trio of A.P. Delaney Carter, his wife Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle would change (chart?) the course of country music forever. They did it with haunting harmonies, incredible guitar playing (thanks to Maybelle's driving strums on her Gibson L-5 guitar), and a vast repertoire that included murder ballads, gospel tunes, love songs, and Appalachian folk tunes--many of which would be covered by musicians for decades to come. Unlike their musical peers in the late '20s and early '30s, the Carters weren't just playing "hillbilly" music; this was, quite simply, country music, and their timeless output still resonates with listeners today. JSP's bargain-priced, five-CD collection is easily the most complete, essential collection of their music available, capturing and remastering their RCA Victor recordings (their later, less-seminal sessions for Decca and the American Record Company are not included). Hearing five CDs' worth of music from the Carter Family is almost sensory overload--from the initial 1927 Bristol sessions, which Johnny Cash hailed as "the single most important event in the history of country music," to their depression-era recordings. Even today, Sara Carter's voice sounds aching, yet empowered. Whether they're yodeling through "The Foggy Mountain Top," singing a feminist anthem like "Single Girl, Married Girl," or harmonizing with Maybelle on "Worried Man Blues," you can hear the Carters' profound influence on country music. A must-have. --Jason Verlinde ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The real song catchers, dont miss this at this price!
    This is just about 1/2 to 2/3 of the hundreds of records that the Carters made between 1927 and 1941. Sara Carter later remembered they had made more than 600 records during those years. At the end of 1941, they all went their separate ways: Sara just to get out of the music and live with her new husband in Central California. AP returned to Maces Springs to run a general store and to try to get his relectant sons and daughter to play and sing music. Maybelle and her daughters kept playing Carter Family music until daughter June passed away last year.

    I have just listened to every CD on this set one by one. Even though I have been playing this kind of music since the 1960s, even though I have had this or that single disc Carter Collection, even though I am judged as some kind of expert on old time music by some, I was shocked at how many tunes that I know as old time music tunes or bluegrass tunes identified with other artists were Carter Family versions of those tunes.

    The Carters performed an immense service for the history and preservation of traditional American music, black and white.
    They were not allowed to record already copywritten and published songs since Ralph Peer who recorded them for Victor Bluebird only got paid for publishing rights and could take only tunes he could claim publishing rights to. At the beginning the Carters were not such great song writers, although in the later 1930s when they began living in Del Rio Texas and broadcasting over Mexican border radio, they did write a number of great songs.

    AP Carter traveled up and down the hills and hollers, mountains and valleys of Southern Virginia, Tennesee, North Carolina, and Kentucky asking Black and white working people, farmers, musicianers of all kinds, if they had songs for them to record. During the times late in the years covered by this set, when AP moved to Detroit to get cash paying work, and when his brother Eck and his wife Maybelle moved to DC where Eck got railroad work, they asked Southern people in those towns for songs.

    During much of this time AP travelled with Leslie Riddle a black blues guitarist so that they were able to find songs African Americans as well as whites had in their hearts and minds. The Carters accepted Leslie as an equal. He lived in their home like a family member defying the Jim Crow Ettitique of the times. The Carters were all solid anti-confederate Lincoln Republicans. AP's dying words were "Don't vote Democrat" which in 1960 in Virginia meant don't vote Dixiecrat.

    Old AP used to delight in the relatively small royalty checks all these songs brought him in the 1950s which he dutifully divided with Sara and Maybelle, even though all the songs were in his name. It is too bad he died in 1960 just before the folk revival brought all these songs back onto hundreds of records by folk singers, then by bluegrassers, then by country Western artists. Those checks would have gotten a lot bigger.

    People brought these songs to the Carters, mostly to AP and Leslie Riddle, singing them on their porches, or in juke joints, or often when AP would stop after hearing a rumor that used saw mill parts could be obtained at a good price, something he was obessed with. Some folks did bring them the songs in yellowed old sheet music with crackled paper from the 19th Century, or as pages cut out of poetry books published deep in the past. Some of them would go back stage at the little school house and church shows the Carters did in the mountain towns during the depression and gave an old ballad not sung since their grandparents time. Some of them would request a song that the Carters didn't know, and AP might ask them to sing the tune right then and there.

    On top of this, of course, AP Carter had been known since he was a boy for singing songs, teaching singing schools, being willing to walk all day up and down the Southside Virginia mountains to find a good singer or good music. This is how he found Sara Addington, his wife who was a hell of a singer. Then when AP's brother married Maybelle Addington who was known as the best guitar and banjo picker in the valleys around there (and no slouch on the fiddle and mandolin too)since she was a teenager (and she was only 18 when the Carters began recording) they were set. This may have been a plot, because a lot of the time AP would go up and over the mountains up and down walking all day to court a reluctant Sara, she would be sitting in the parlor singing or playing the autoharp, or learning guitar chords, along with her cousin Maybelle's guitar, banjo, or fiddle.

    AP Carter was the real song catcher. These were a few of the hundreds of songs he caught, a few that were written by himself, Sara, and Maybelle.

    So this is, in fact, an encyclopedia of the songs that were sung by Black and white working folks, farmers, musicians, rounders, up and down the mountains of Viriginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentcuky and the songs migrants took with them to Washington and Detroit. This is a treasure trove for anyone wnating to return to the lost world of those people, or to find songs from those years that speak to our lives and problems. Besides they are pretty good to listen to!

    One good thing about this collection is that you hear a lot of the tunes they did in finger picking and slide guitar styles that Maybelle learned from Leslie Riddle. A lot of modern performers do them just flat picking, or the thumb and strum style Maybelle is best known for.

    At this price, everyone with ears needs this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If at all interested - PURCHASE!!!!
    This collection is simply one the best bargains you can possibly get - The music is great obviously and the price and the sound are tops - I can not reccomend this set more highly

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great price, great content!
    I listened to these CDs in one sitting, it was so captivating. JSP has done a very good job at remastering, and if you want a comparison then go to, click on 78s, then click on Artist, then click on C to get to the Carter Family. They have entire songs from original 78 records as well as from tapes from original records. Listen to the samples on Amazon and compare them to the originals. The remastering is so good that you can hear Maybelle's nails on the strings of her guitar, and you can hear Sara's autoharp ringing in the background.

    This set is 100% recommended.

    If you want to listen to the roots of our musical heritage, listen to the Carter family!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Musical History
    I read the book "Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?" by Mark Zwonitner which is an outstanding history of the Carter Family. The Original Carter Family broke up when I was 5 years old so I had only heard very little about the Orginal Family but became very familar with Mother Maybelle and her daughters. After reading the book I shopped around and found this 5 CB set of the remastered RCA recordings. By the time you get to the #5 CD you fully understand what an impact the folks had the music industry. A.P., Sara, and Maybelle probably never realized how good they were at the time these songs were recorded. All these recording were done with primitive equipment and I would imagine most all were done on one take using a single microphone. There are several songs included in these recording that will absolutely knock your socks off if you listen to them a couple of times and listen closely. If you enjoy the music of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and other legends do yourself a favor and get the Carter Family RCA recordings.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable value!
    This is one of those stunning bargains which leaves you with gaping jaws and a big smile, if that's possible. For the price of TWO cds you get FIVE instead, all packed with 70 plus minutes of Carter Family gems, all in chronological order, and with fabulous sound quality which is BETTER than the American Rounder releases (and those releases only have about 45 minutes of music - I know, I bought some of them!). Can this really all be true? YES! It's true. The only thing you don't get in this dirt cheap box set is decent sleeve notes, but I'm not going to complain!
    As for the actual music, it's unmissable early country music sung and played by Sara and Maybelle Carter with the help of A P Carter, husband of Sara. It has a deep magic about it - try a few if you never heard them, they'll hypnotise you. The harmonies are splendid, the guitars are luminous, it's pure like a mountain stream. You cannot go wrong with this one! ... Read more

    18. Hearts in Mind[Bonus Track]
    list price: $13.98
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    Asin: B00074CBO2
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 412
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    On her first studio album since 2001's Clock Without Hands, Nanci Griffith hearkens back to her best early albums, particularly the Jim Rooney-produced work of the '80s. Whereas her '90s music veered off into arch or uncomfortable pairings with lofty-minded producers and members of U2 and R.E.M., here she takes stock and strives for, as the title of the leadoff track says, a "Simple Life." Griffith was wise to assume the lead as her own producer (with Pat McInerney), scaling back to a more organic, folk-singer approach ("Last Train Home," a 2002 song which appears here, would have fit well on her first Philo albums) and reuniting with guest vocalists Mac McAnally ("Rise to the Occasion") and Jimmy Buffett ("I Love This Town"). While the material draws on a variety of influences, Hearts in Mind wraps its thoughts around two themes: Exploring the hopeful beauty of the romantic heart, and honoring soldiers and civilians lost in the wreckage of war ("Heart Of Indochine"; "Old Hanoi"; "Big Blue Ball of War"; and the exquisitely sad, Julie Gold-penned "Mountain of Sorrow," inspired by the events of 9/11). Throughout, Griffith stretches herself as an artist: "Beautiful," a tribute to her stepfather, marks a lively, clarinet-accented departure from her usual repertoire, while only her delivery lifts "When Ted Loved Sylvia," Le Ann Etheridge's intriguing take on the relationship between Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, above its lyrical shortcomings. The singer makes fine use of her lower register at times, and continues to push for a fuller voice than the feathery vocals that marred her freshman efforts. The end result is her most accessible album in years, one that deeply satisfies on both a musical and an emotional level. --Alanna Nash

    Recommended Nanci Griffith Discography

    The Last of the True Believers

    Other Voices, Other Rooms

    One Fair Summer Evening

    Once in a Very Blue Moon

    Other Voices, Too (A Trip Back to Bountiful)

    The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

    ... Read more

    Reviews (15)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Voice in the Wilderness
    In an era where the President of the United States betrays the trust of the American people by taking them into war based on fictitious intelligence resulting in over 1,650 American casualties, the most since Vietnam, and packages as patriotism the effort to prop up oil business buddies with American blood, it is refreshing to see an artist like Nanci Griffith -- a country artist -- take a strong anti-war stand.Her composition that compares our Earth to a "Big Blue Ball of War" is effective as a philosophic statement & as a musical one, "Almost a century the blood has flowed; We've killed our men of peace around this ball & refused to hear their ghosts....These men of evil deed can be proven wrong if we join hand to hand with Abraham so not a soul falls off."Griffith's voice has never sounded braver, crying out in the American political wilderness.Griffith does not confront the current conflict, but instead takes a more indirect (and probably more effective) approach by focusing on the Vietnam conflict."Old Hanoi" focuses more on the regression and polarization of that war, "Where is the eloquence of the ladies on their bicycles?Dressing in their au dias in the lotus flowered nights of Indochine; They rode to progress; They've flown away.""Heart of Indochine" likewise revisits the horrors of conflict, "Oh, deliver me to the river of souls."On her lovely CD, "The Girl I Found," singer/songwriter Julie Gold sounds more like Carole King on "Mountain of Sorrow," a post 9/11 elegy.Nanci Griffith gives the song a powerful reading with her expressive vocal, "How high the top must I climb?Ever blue ... when can I stop & be fine, knowing I'm over you?"

    "Before" written with Le Ann Etheridge is delightful Cajun-flavored track that is a repeater in my changer.My very favorite is Clive Gregson's "I Love This Town" with Jimmy Buffett on guest vocals & the insistent toe tapping beat, "Still we can do just as we please, as long as no one's watching."Tom & Jennifer Kimmel's "Angels" that I have on an early 90s lp by John Farnham is remade into pure gold with Nanci's glorious chorus, "We're lifted up by angels, higher than the world."Co-writer Keith Carradine does a guest vocal on the set's closer "Our Very Own" that boasts a charming melody."Hearts In Mind" is musically successful and a gutsy statement from this excellent musical artist.Bravo!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Her Best In YEARS
    After several years of tinkering with the style of music that put her on the map (with usually decent, but mixed results) Nanci Griffith returns with her best album of mostly original material in more than 15 years.Yes, this album is her best of original material since "Little Lover Affairs" back in 1988.

    Kicking off with the song "Simple Life," co-written and sung with up and comer Elizabeth Cook," the album finds Nancy touching on many of the same themes that she has explored over the years.Her interest in Vietnam continues with "The Heart of Indochine" and "Old Hanoi".Long term Nanci fans will delight in the literally reference that later song makes to the great writer Graham Greene as well as to the Sylvia Plath inspired "Back When Ted Loved Sylvia."

    Wonderful produced by Griffith and pat McInerney HEARTS IN MIND has a host of guest artists including Jennifer Kimball, Jimmy Buffett, Clive Gregson, Mac McAnally and the aforementioned Elizabeth Cook.That a gorgeous jazz flavored track like the appropriately titled "Beautiful" can find a home on this album without seeming out of place rings as a real testament to the fact that Nanci's muse is well on target.

    1-0 out of 5 stars bad
    nanci needs to get back to her roots. I would just like to hear some new work from the "old" nanci. This cd is terrible

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!
    This may be Nanci's best album/CD ever.I love it.I have tried to choose a favorite song from the CD, but there isn't one song that stands above the rest.It is complete as a collection of songs.And although many of the songs deal with war, after I listen to this CD (while commuting in my car) I feel calm and content and joyful.Even the sad songs are sprinkled with hope.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Griffith Mindful of "Hearts"
    Prime Cuts:Old Hanoi, Mountain of Sorrows, Before

    Some songwriters with a few musical vignettes could paint some provocative pictures of faith, love and compassion that even the nullifidian would take notice.Nanci Grifiith is such an example of the highest order.With her easy, yet heartfelt storytelling style, Griffith has the proclivity to take simple tuneful melodies and bring her characters to life.Taking the themes of war and love as her conversation pieces, this Texan native returns to the mother milk of her art: rustic country story songs with compelling messages.Digging deep into the song's tissue, Griffith's take of Julie "From a Distance" Gold's "Mountain of Sorrows" is stellar.Though written as a visceral response to the 9/11 tragedy, "Mountain of Sorrows" has such a transcendent message of healing that it extends beyond the Twin Towers menace.Collorary to "Mountain of Sorrows," Angels" is an uplifting ode of hope with an almost spoken verses perhaps played at an octave too low for Griffith.Nevertheless, it's a fetching piece that complimentarily brings out Griffith's vocal nuances.

    Inspired by her recent trip to Vietnam, Griffith's pacifisms is brought out through acutely observed songs.Case in point is the surging anguish twang of the dobro-rich album opener."Simple Life" presents a moving plea from a mother who laments over the devastating effects of how war can deprave her of her husband and her children. Contrary to Toby Keith's in-your-face jingoistic approach, Griffith's political views are acutely presented through the gentle sounding ballad "Heart of Indochine" where there's a longing for peace in a city besieged by blood stained and foreign powers."Old Hanoi," with its gentle strumming of the guitar, finds Griffith in search of any vestige of culture in a city that has been pillaged by progress.With a simple plaintive nostalgia, but this time with the focus on the US, "Before" is another catchy ballad bemoaning the truculent effects of loss and changes.

    But war and nostalgia are not the only concerns of "Hearts in Mind."In a celebratory note, Griffith (dueting with Mac McAnally) metered out a more joyous disposition on the blissful "Rise Above the Occasion" written by Blue Moon Orchestra's Ron Davies.While the bluegrassy feel of "Last Train Home" (which first appeared on Griffith's previous "Winter Marquee" CD) certainly makes one thankful that Griffith has returned to using the country card.In returning favor to Griffith for singing on the parrot's latest CD, Jimmy Buffett joins Griffith on the doop-woop Tropicana-infused jaunty "I Love This Town."

    Out of Griffith's twelve studio CDs of new songs, "Hearts in Mind" ranks loftily as one of this singer-songwriter's best.However, there are a few minor tarnishes: the tetchy feministic bent of "Big Blue Ball of War" is uncalled for.Also, despite its sentiments, "Beautiful," a tribute to Griffith's step dad, with its jazzy inclinations is a tad out of place in a country-hued CD.Other than these quibbles, "Heart in Mind," is an album abounds with heartfelt moments; it is one CD that is highly endorsed. ... Read more

    19. Essential Bob Dylan
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $20.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000050HTO
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 305
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Two discs of music don't exactly provide for a thorough overview of four decades of recording, particularly if the subject of the retrospective is one of the most important and prolific performers of his time. So The Essential Bob Dylan definitely skates over the leagues-deep oeuvre of Dylan, summarizing his monumental first half-dozen years in disc one and skirting over the following 34 years in disc two. Delving into Columbia's three Dylan greatest-hits packages (though curiously purging "I Want You," a genuine hit single in its day), Essential offers only a few surprises, opting for The Basement Tapes version of "Quinn the Eskimo" over the Self Portrait remake that made it onto Greatest Hits Volume II and tossing in "Things Have Changed" from the Wonder Boys soundtrack for completists. But this 30-track overview is designed with newcomers, not Dylanologists, in mind. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (83)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not essential really...
    Bob Dylan has enough essential recordings to fill 3 CDs and more. But, lets face it, in 4 decades, Bob has had his up's and down's. This collection tries to pick some recordings from all periods of Bob's recording carrer, and unfortunately, Bob has had made some lousy albums and for CD 2 they did not picked the greatest songs and included some preety average songs, to represent some periods in his recording career. I am glad they included 'dont think twice', but I miss something like 'masters of war', 'with god on our side', 'its allright ma', 'a hard rain's a gonna fall', which show a side of Dylan that this collection fails to represent. On the other side, 'quinn the eskimo' and 'I'll be your baby tonight' although are some of his greatest hits, are pretty lame songs. But overall, CD 1 is as good as it can get. CD2 sounds sometimes like a collection of B-sides: 'if not for you', 'you aint going nowhere', 'forever young', 'jokerman', 'silvio', 'not dark yet' , 'everything is broken', could have traded places with 'license to kill', 'I believe in you', 'foot of pride', 'love sick', 'series of dreams' or include more stuff from the 60's, when he really pulled all the stops and changed the face of popular music forever: 'memphis blues again', 'just like tom thumbs blues', 'to ramona', 'hatie carrol', etc.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Mediocre song selection, particularly on disc 2
    I can't really give this collection less than four stars, can I? Most of this music is superb, showing both the breadth and depth of Bob Dylan's talent, and the huge impact he had on popular music.

    But I do believe that the compilers could have made a considerable better record than this one. Dylan's seminal "Blood On The Tracks" album is almost ignored, and the last twenty-five years of his career is (mis)represented by only six songs, most of which aren't among his best.

    Sure, most of the classics are here, including "Mr Tambourine Man", "Lay Lady Lay", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "I Shall Be Released" and "Tangled Up In Blue", but "The Essential Bob Dylan" isn't really all that essential. If you are just starting your Dylan collection you should pick up either his two original Greatest Hits-albums, "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits" from 1966, and 1971s excellent "Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits vol. 2" (the double-disc version), or his two best records of the 60s, "Bringing It All Back Home" and "Highway 61 Revisited". That'll get you started in the best possible manner. And remember - "Blood On The Tracks" is a must-have either way!

    5-0 out of 5 stars bob dylan is great
    this is one of the most beatiful box sets of one of the most talented singers of all times and most of his gems find a place here like times there are a changing,mr tambourine man and blowin in the wind.this is highly recommended for the first time listener who wants an overview into dylan

    1-0 out of 5 stars Aw for chrissake people!!
    Aw for chrissake people!! Just spent 10 or 11 bucks a pop on the newly released and remastered original albums. ITS BOB DYLAN!! There are plenty of superior album tracks on the original albums that these cuts are culled from. For example, you can't have appreciated Bob without ever having heard "Visions of Johana."

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
    The key word is essential in many ways. It was a smart move no to call it "The best of" or any of those hokey catch phrases for someone's idea of sample mix.
    There is enough Dylan to satisfy just about anyone. The first hand full of songs were also made famous by other singers and you have to get over trying to compare, unless like me it has always been Dylan first. Later you get to the good songs; He may not have personally thought so, but many of the songs struck a cord with me such as "Subterranean Homesick Blues."
    To understand most of theses songs it would be best to buy a biography or watch one fro A&E. However with out knowing the man behind the song they will still standout in your mind for years.

    Still "The Times They Are A-Changin" ... Read more

    20. The Duhks
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $13.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0007989PC
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 438
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Celtic fiddles, Irish reels, old-time banjo, gospel vocals, and Latin percussion forge a common spirit within the uncommonly vibrant fusion of the Duhks (pronounced "ducks"). The young band from Winnipeg casts a wide net over traditional influences, breathing fresh life into the age-old balladry of "The Wagoner's Lad," generating a dynamic tension between the soulful depth of Jessica Havey's vocals and Tania Elizabeth's fiddle on a pair of spiritual standards ("Death Came a-Knockin'" and "True Religion"), and keeping the dance floor jumping with their sprightly instrumental medleys. Though the Canadian quintet doesn't feature much original material, they extend their interpretive reach to contemporary songs as well, with the desperate edge of Ruth Ungar's "Four Blue Walls" providing a bracing change of mood, while the bittersweet rendition of Paul Brady's "You and I" (with the songwriter on harmony vocals) carries the musical interplay beyond the traditional realm. (Their attempt at fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" represents a rare misstep, lacking both the droll humor and the dark fatalism of the original.) Banjo iconoclast Béla Fleck coproduced the album, championing the Duhks as fellow trailblazers who use traditional elements to create a sound all their own. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal!
    I was flipping channels one day and came across the Duhks video for "Mists of Down Below" on a country music channel and became completely blown away.I had to hear more.I logged on to Amazon to hear samples of the rest of the songs and instantly fell in love.I knew I had to have that cd the same day.I have not felt that connect with a group and song since I ran out and bought Tracy Chapman's debut album after hearing "Fast Car".I should have bought 2 copies because I usually can't wait to leave work so that I can hear it in my car.Love every bit of it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Duhks Explode!
    Duhks explode on their self titled CD with delightfully infectious "Death Came A Knockin'" with Scott Senior's percussion making the track pop & crack as Jessica Havey's lead vocals send this track through the roof."Four Blue Walls" written by the Mammals' Ruth Ungar is a powerful soulful bluesy acoustic track about family secrets with Havey's vocals snarl with passion, "He told her she was looking for trouble & she said, "That's right.""True Religion" is another traditional track that the Duhks polish to a wonderful luster.Duhks take Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" and supply great musicianship with Leonard Podolak taking a turn on lead vocals making this a classic interpretation of this great songwriter's work.The French track "Du Temps Que J'Etais Jeune/Gabriella's Jig" transports us to Quebec.Sting's "Love Is the 7th Wave" is sung in medley.Duhks has great energy and showmanship that makes this a great recording.Bravo!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful even for Folk-ignorant listeners
    I don't know anything much about folk music, but I really love this.I saw their video on a late-night cable country music channel, loved the song, and looked them up at one of the online music download stores.I was going to buy just that song (Mists of Down Below), but they had more than three that I liked, so I ordered this CD.I'm pleased to say that I love all of it, even the instrumental pieces. The more I listen to it, the more I like it.I love Jessica Havey's voice and the fast, intricate instrumentation.If this folk-ignoramous likes it this much, it has real cross-over appeal.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Formerly Scruej MacDuhk

    5-0 out of 5 stars Acoustic bliss!
    I've been watching the Duhks live and been a listening fan for a couple years. These "kids" can rock/jam/and beat some fine rhythyms! They are individually and singularly talented musicians. Keep em coming!! ... Read more

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