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61. The Definitive Collection
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62. Bookends [Expanded]
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63. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob
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64. Retrospective
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65. Collection
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66. Fight for Your Mind
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67. Sweet Old World
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68. Clouds
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69. Age of Miracles
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70. Essence
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71. Bridge Over Troubled Water [Expanded]
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72. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary &
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73. Essential Simon & Garfunkel
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74. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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75. Bringing It All Back Home
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76. Way to Blue: An Introduction
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77. Let It Rain
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78. In My Tribe
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79. Live from Mars
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80. Time Out of Mind

61. The Definitive Collection
list price: $15.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000006CC6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1633
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Digitally mastered 1997 retrospective on the Recall label featuring 39 tracks, including the original versions of all his top 40 hits: the #1 smashes 'Time In A Bottle' & 'Bad, Bady Leroy Brown', plus 'You Don't Mess Around With Jim', 'Operator', 'One Less Set Of Footsteps', 'I Got A Name', 'Working At The Car Wash Blues' & 'I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song'. Double slimline jewel case. The full title is'Bad Boy Leroy Brown: The Definitive Collection'. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Great Collection Of Jim Croce Favorites!
For those of us who watched the incredible rise of pop folk and country singer Jim Croce, this album of all his greatest hits, helps to summarize his brilliant, if foreshortened career, and encapsulates his all too brief living of the life of his dreams. Sadly, he was cut down just as his career was reaching its pinnacle, and he left us to sing and perform in other, more ethereal venues. I'm sure he has the angels snapping their fingers and tapping their toes. With the songs that are included here Jim sang his way into our living rooms, automobiles, and our hearts. He was a true original, another of the incredible group of singer songwriters who not only performed so brilliantly, but also wrote the lyrics and composed the music as well.

Here we have every thing from "I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song" to "Photographs and Memories", from "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" to "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", from "One Less Set Of Footsteps" to "Operator". This is a wonderful album, one filled with all the thoughts and ideas and emotions he evoked so well in his lyrics and his songs. Those of us who came to appreciate his talent and his art were saddened by his death, but are yet thankful he left behind such wonderful photographs and memories, such priceless and timeless reminders of the good times he gave us. That why I wanted to weigh in with this review; I just had to say I loved him in a song... Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars 30 Years Later, Croce's music is still a masterpiece
The words touch your soul and the simple but effective music is wonderful. Croce can be sweet, he can be extremely funny (roller derby queen), ironic (working at the car music) and romantic. (Had to say I love you in a song.) There is no such thing as a bad Jim Croce song and I am surprised more artists have not recorded his albums.

This has most of what you need to understand why Croce was a master.

Don McNay...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Have
One can only imagine the Jim Croce legacy had his life not been tragically cut short in 1973. As it is, he left an amazing body of work, and it's represented exceptionally well on this collection. Like Gordon Lightfoot, Croce was a powerful interpreter as well as a gifted songwriter, and his warm tone, way with an acoustic guitar and emotional commitment to all of his songs make him every bit as appealing today as he was in his brief heyday. The half dozen big hits are here, but virtually every song on this set is strong. The remastering does these fine songs lots of justice, and the price for this generous helping of timeless music is unbeatable. Best enjoyed in its entirety...and quite often.

5-0 out of 5 stars timeless music
This album is amazing. I grew up hearing a little Jim Croce because that's what my parents liked. They just recently bought this cd and after listening, I had to go buy one for myself. I think my being from a different generation and loving this cd really says something about how good the music is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Croce captures Time (and place) in a Bottle
Jim told stories that made you feel like you were on the road with him.This compilation of songs seems to be his life in a boxed set.His music can be both melodic and driving ... Read more

62. Bookends [Expanded]
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Asin: B00005NKKY
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2923
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Track for track, this is Simon & Garfunkel's best album. By1968, Simon had shed his more precious tendencies as a songsmith.Meanwhile, the duo and coproducer/engineer Roy Halee had become adeptstudio technicians. "America" and "Mrs. Robinson" displayed the kind ofsonic breadth that would flower even more fully two years later with"The Boxer" and "Bridge over Troubled Water." Bits of whimsy ("Punky'sDilemma," "At the Zoo") and melancholy ("Old Friends," "A Hazy Shade ofWinter") complete this autumnal album. (The 2001 reissue adds two bonustracks, including a demo of "Old Friends.") --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Here's to You, Bookends
My favorite S & G would be "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which would put this album at #2. That said, it's better than almost anything else ever written. The fantastic, sarcastic lyrics of "Mrs. Robinson" and the overpoweringly beautiful "America" make those two the standouts, but the rest of the CD keeps up. "Save the Life of my Child" is definitely the '60's at it's best, whil "Overs" presents a tuneless but oddly touching view on life in general. The Latin beats of "A Hazy Shade of Winter" make it immensely entertaining, and "At The Zoo" gives a Beatles-ish, childlike musical experience. "Punky's Dilemma," though not a masterpiece, is sweetly enjoyable nonetheless. I'm not crazy about "Fakin' It," and I honestly dislike "Old Friends" and the whiny screeching that it is filled with. The repulsive bonus track "You Don't Know" is fascinating to see what Simon wisely discarded. "Mrs. R" and "America" keep this album at five stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simon and Garfunkel's # 1
Well, to me Paul Simon is the best songwriter of all times, and together with its singin' friend Artie Garfunkel, he created the most beautiful songs and albums in popular music ever.
The special brilliance of "Bookends" is its exciting atmosphere.
Listening to the mostly subdued and melancholic arrangements makes you imagine a cold, grey and rainy autumn- or winter-morning, the perfect image of melancholy and deep thoughts.
The wonderful softly played guitar pickings of Paul Simon paired with Garfunkel's choirboy-voice and the magnificent tunes just make you feel fine whenever you hear them.
Even though "Mrs Robinson" is definitely the most successful Bookends-song, I think it's not the best one.
Silent tunes such as "America", "Old friends/Bookends" or the almost completely unknown, but beautiful songs "Overs" and "Punky's dilemma" charakterize this melancholic CD, but there are also some livelier melodies, for example "Fakin' it" or "Hazy shade of winter".
All in all "Bookends" is to me the perfect folk-album.
A masterpiece that must be heared more than once or twice to unfold completely. A close listen is neccessary.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic sixties folk-rock album
The first half of this mainly mellow album (originally one side of a vinyl album) is based around life experiences from childhood to old age. Beginning and ending with the bookends theme, the outstanding song in this half is the reflective America. Save the life of my child, Overs and Old friends are all great songs though I'm not too keen on Voices of old people.

The second half of the album has no obvious theme but is stronger overall, containing Mrs Robinson (the biggest hit here), Hazy shade of winter (revived in the eighties to good effect by the Bangles), Faking it (a minor American hit), Punky's dilemma (an excellent philosophical song) and At the zoo (a great song with which to close the original album). Some say that Mrs Robinson (which originally appeared in the soundtrack of The Graduate) doesn't really blend in with the rest of the album. Maybe not, but I'm glad it's here.

Two bonus tracks are nothing to get excited about, but the re-mastering gives a far superior sound quality. There are also some informative liner notes.

If you only want the famous songs, you can find them on any number of hits compilations - some double CD's, some single CD's. However, if you wish to explore further, this album should be a high priority.

1-0 out of 5 stars WAKE UP.
Paul Simon said in an interview in the early seventies that each of the five Simon and Garfunkel albums was better than the one that preceeded it, and I think this assessment accurate, so much so, in fact, that I can't conceive of a reasonable person disputing it. The original "Bookends" had some very good songs, "America", for example, some so-so songs, "Faking It", and some sludge, "Save the Life of My Child", for example. It was superior to "Parsely, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme" (less pretentious, pseudo-poetic, and precious), and inferior to the truly inspired "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".

But that was the original version. This thing here includes two superfluous tracks. If you don't want your listening experience ruined, you have either to run over to your CD player just before it gets to them or else laboriously program them out every time you listen.

"You Don't Where Your Interest Lies" is worth hearing for Simon and Garfunkel historians once and only once. It's a throw-away, but it's interesting that it sounds like the period. I can't imagine, on the other hand, who would want to hear the unfinished demo-tape version of "Old Friends" even once. What's it doing here? Presumably, it's here to trick you into thinking you're getting more for your money, but is anyone really that stupid? You're getting LESS for your money; you're getting a greatly compromised version of "Bookends".

5-0 out of 5 stars How do I explain?
Well, the first time I ever heard Simon and Garfunkel I must have been about eleven years old. At the time, I was a total NSYNC fanatic (woe is me hehe), but I can recall being totally captivated by their voices, melodies, and genius (especially to an NSYNC fan) lyrics.
Well, time has passed and now I'm into much better music (don't worry, I'm cured). I've heard it all, from Bob Dylan to The Beatles, Tom Petty to Pearl Jam, tons of bands. And this album still fascinates me. It's words and music are full of nostalgia (yup, even for a fourteen year old) and memories.
"Bookends" is about life...from adolescent dreams and frustrations to falling in love as a young adult, to growing old and realizing you're aging and not as you used to be. "Bookends" is impossible to not make an emotional attachment to. It was meant to be digested and taken in as not music, but an album of a reflection of life.
BUY IT. You won't regret it, I promise. Simon and Garfunkel made some truly beautiful music here, and you can't deny it's not one of their bests. ... Read more

63. The Bootleg Series, Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live, 1966: The "Royal Albert Hall Concert"
list price: $19.98
our price: $14.99
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Asin: B00000D9TO
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1105
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan's Best of 1998

Nineteen ninety-eight: The same year he dances with Soy Bomb at the Grammys, his record label finally issues Bob Dylan's ultimate live document. A classic case of not giving the audience what they want but what they need, Mr. Dylan's oft-bootlegged 1966 gig begins with lovely and supple folk that foreshadows folk music's turn from protest song to introspection. The album's true highlight is the legendarily ill received and rocked-out electric set, with Dylan backed by members of the Band. There are too many perfect, on-fire guitar solos by Robbie Robertson to count, and Dylan himself responds to the audience's angry bewilderment with equal parts menace, grace, and brilliance. --Mike McGonigal ... Read more

Reviews (145)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hailed for years by critics as a bootleg, now official
This is a copy of a review found in a newspaper of this album when it was available only as a bootleg:

Beginning of article>Get this classic Dylan album -- any way you can (Quoted from Daily Record (of Morristown NJ) 1/5/97) --Knight-Ridder Tribune News "GUITARS KISSING & THE CONTEMPORARY FIX" Bob Dylan and the Hawks Various bootleg labels

On this album, a young Bob Dylan blows through an epic two-hour set in May 1966 -- half acoustic, half with the Hawks, later renamed The Band. It's perhaps the best two hours of his career, distilling everything tender, raging, touching and rocking in his work into one potent show. The performance has been available for years in collectors' circles in muddy mono. But this two-CD set is in glorious stereo, clean enough to sound great yet low-tech enough to sound authenic. The electric set is just as revealing, with Robbie Robertson's sharp guitar punctuating Dylan's words. It ends with one of rock music's greatest moments, where an audience member yells, "Judas!" at Dylan for going electric, and Dylan replies with a screaming, angry "Like A Rolling Stone". "Guitars Kissing" technically is a bootleg, legal in some countries overseas, but a copyright violation in the United States.

It's difficult to track down but worth the search; it's been repressed by six labels overseas, and copies are popping up all over. A good place to start searching is on the Internet -- fans of the disc have started their own web site tribute to it. For the computer impaired, check out the ads in record-collecting magazines such as Goldmine, ICE or Discoveries. But it's one of those discs where the rights and wrongs of copyright law become obscured by the purity, importance and force of the performance. This is an indispensable performance -- one of the few truly great lost albums of rock 'n' roll and easily one of Dylan's best.Of course now that it's available officially, you won't have to search for it and pay a premium price (usually $50). The point of this review is that if a bootleg which is illegal can draw this much attention then, ...well,..... if you haven't got it through your thick skull yet you won't ever get it........

5-0 out of 5 stars My 26 year wait was worth it.
I missed Bob Dylan and the Band when they played Seattle in 1966, but just a few years later I heard about this amazing concert he had done in May of that year in London. Bootlegs were available but I never had the money or resources to search this one out, though I did have the original GWW that later became the Basement Tapes. so I waited for this and just this evening played it for the first time. Pure bliss. Dylan has never sounded so young, tender, angry, and knowing all at once. Other reviewers have remarked mostly on the rock disc and they all got it right, but I am nearly as impressed with the solo disc. His phrasing and timing were never better, especially on Desolation Row and Mr. Tambourine Man, and the harp playing! My God; we have forgotten just how good he was when he concentrated. I can almost understand why the audience didn't like the full band sound after hearing that voice and harp so clearly in the first half of the show. Still, the rock half truly does capture the pure American style of the music Dylan was making: a wondrous stew of blues, rock and roll, and surrealistic poetry. Walt Whitman plugged in, or something. It's tough to even adequately describe it. Anyway, the 26 year wait was worth it, and I look forward to listening more closely in the weeks to come. Bill Compton

5-0 out of 5 stars one, if not, THE best live album i've ever heard
i really don't know what to say to make you buy this. one of my favourite albums ever. period.

5-0 out of 5 stars The most entertaining electric live set I've ever heard...
I'm only 22 years old, which means I haven't even been thought of yet when Dylan took the stage in Manchester, but I'm pretty aware of what was going on at the time this event took place. Folk lovers considered the kind of stuff Hendrix was putting out "devil music," so some of the people in this audience weren't exactly thrilled when Dylan finished his acoustic set and began to rock out. It's definitely a legendary concert. This well-priced, handy-dandy souvenier represents one of the most important voices of the 20th century at the crossroads. Some liked it; some didn't. It's the ones who didn't that make this "Royal Albert Hall" concert the essential live document of Bob Dylan at the apex of his career.

Throughout the electric portion of the concert, Bob is greeted with boos, unwarranted clapping and cursing from his audience. At one point, when the audience tries to annoy Dylan by clappinig ferociously as he's tuning up, he leans into the microphone and begins to ramble about a bunch of nonsense. He does so until the crowd finally shuts up, at which he says, "If only you wouldn't clap so hard." Sure enough, they clap harder and yell louder. One guy in the audience even yells out "SELL OUT!"

But the real biggie here is when someone screams out "JUDAS!" after Bob plays "Ballad Of A Thin Man." I guess at this point, Bob was done being polite. "I don't believe you," he sneers. "You're a liar!" He turns to his band and yells indistinctly, "Play it f---ing loud!"

"Like A Rolling Stone" is then thrown into the audience's face with audacity and contempt. The song finally ends, Dylan sarcastically says, "Thank you," and walks offstage.

Cool, huh? The electric set is certainly the stand-out here, but the acoustic songs are nothing to shy away from either. In fact, I think "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" is better here than on the album version (ASOBD).

Another suprise you'll find with this release is how well Columbia packaged it. It comes with a fat booklet filled with glossy pages of pictures and notes of the concert and other appearances. This is truly worth your money. HIGHLY recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Where's The Riot?
Hype is a funny thing. Sometimes one gets caught up in it, sometimes it turns you off. It generally turns me off, but in the case of this "historic" release, I got caught up in it.
I have been a sometimey lukewarm Bob Dylan fan over the years. His heyday was a little bit before my adolescence but his musical maturity began its development about the time I started high school. I am quite familiar with the music of those days, but was curious to go back and try to feel a little bit of the magic and expectation that earlier fans of Dylan experienced.
When I bought this, I expected to feel some of the excitement and tension in the air as the old clashed with the new. I wanted to hear the catcalls and Dylan's sarcastic retorts. I wanted to hear the riot!. But there was none. "One of the great confrontational performances of the 20th century" turns out to have been mostly the creation of the media myth machine. If there was any rioting to be heard, Columbia sure did a good job of screening out its sounds.
The liner notes mention the opening of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring as another great confrontational performance. Yes, it was great theater, but it was all orchestrated by Stravinsky, Diaghilev and a claque of concert-goers who were given free tickets to the premier with the understanding that they would foment a riot thus generating press attention for Stravinsky and Diaghilev. The notes should have instead mentioned some of Astor Piazzolla's performances where fisticuffs between Piazzolla supporters and old-guard tango purists (sometimes involving Piazzolla himself) were regular occurences and death threats were a daily fact of life.
If the CD package does not live up to its hype, then why own it? The main reason is to experience the budding transition of Bob Dylan from folk legend to rock and roll hero. The first disc features a fine acoustic set of which my favorites are Its All Over Now, Baby Blue and Just Like A Woman.
The second CD features an electric set that showcases the talents of his sidemen that were later to gel into The Band.
I like Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues, the bluesy Ballad of a Thin Man, and the driving Like A Rolling Stone the best. There is a lot of musical tension and energy that makes the entire set memorable. Much of what the liner notes refers to as catcalling and slow clapping can be heard at any concert between songs. What people are usually calling out is a request. Only after Ballad of a Thin Man can you hear a real "insult" when someone shouts "Judas!" at which a few audience members applaud.
Despite the lack of any real riot, I recommend this album to any Dylan fan precisely because of its historic nature as the marking of a pivotal point in Dylan's long and storied career. ... Read more

64. Retrospective
list price: $13.98
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Asin: B00004Z3SS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3726
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

Try to think of an enduring, widely respected, artistically progressive female songwriting duo. Now, try to think of one besides the Indigo Girls. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have been pounding the folk-rock pavement since the early 1980s, filling the ears of eager listeners with their ethereal harmonies, lush arrangements, and evocative lyrics. Retrospective traces their progression from budding singer-songwriters to stunning musicians, arrangers, activists, and artists. Progressing chronologically, the album allows the listener to appreciate the depth and breadth of the pair's musical growth--from the reedy, passionate plea of "Strange Fire" to the blithe bounce of "Least Complicated" to the dark electricity of "Go." As time passes, more instruments are added, more sensitive political topics are addressed, and more experimental techniques are incorporated. The two new cuts--Ray's uptempo but slightly turbulent "Devotion" and Saliers's heartfelt road ballad "Leaving"--are reminiscent of the Girls' younger days but also reflect their artistic growth through subtle lyrical turns and deft melodic variations. --Sally Weinbach ... Read more

Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Power of Two.
To my knowledge, The Indigo Girls are one of the only female duos I can think of in popular music. I remember seeing their video for "Closer To Fine" in 1989 and thinking that they were an interesting band. I never followed up by buying a cd though. Over the years I've observed new releases by them in the record store, but again, never purchased anything. Finally, I saw that this compilation was coming and I bought it. I was rewarded with Amy and Emily's insightful lyrics and passionate voices. "Closer To Fine" is here, and I feel that this is the best song they've ever made. There are other good songs here, too, like "Strange Fire", "Kid Fears", "Galileo", "Least Complicated", "Go", "Trouble" and "Watershed". The only setback to this collection is that it shows how The Indigo Girls do not vary from their formula of either acoustic or electric guitar driven songs. They don't vary their instrumentation often over the years, which isn't a bad thing, but it does make for a long listen. Their strengths are definitely their songwriting and harmonizing. This is worth looking into if you are like me, a casual Indigo Girls fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Indigo Girls!
I was introduced to the Indigo Girls more than ten years ago by a devoted fan. From the very first listen, I was hooked. Retrospective is a collection of their finest, easiest-to-listen-to songs. This CD is a must for seasoned fans and interested newbies alike. "Power of Two" is my favorite because it talks about love, at the rawest level. I love "Devotion" and "Leaving," both destined to be new classics. Overall, if you are thinking about getting this CD, do it! You won't regret it.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best CD
I have all the Indigo Girls CD's and I have to say this is my favorite CD of all of them. This CD has so many of their great songs on it. Most of their other CD's I usually only get out to hear a few songs on it but with this one I can listen to the whole CD over and over again and not get tired or bored with it. This is the CD that is most often playing in my car.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Power of Two.
I normally don't listen to this kind of stuff, but I was won over by the sound and talent of these two. Great melodies and meaningful lyrics are just a couple of the things I like. The more popular songs are on here, like "Closer to Fine", "Power of Two", and "Least Complicated", but I really like "Three Hits", and "Galileo" just as much. I wish "Back Together Again" was on here, but otherwise this has everything I know by them. It's hard to compare them to anyone, but "CSN", "Simon and Garfunkel", and "Cowboy Junkies" come to mind, kind of. If you want just one "Indigo Girls" cd, this is the one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Buy
I was recently introduced to this album and I thought it was fantastic! "Closer to Fine" and "Watershed" are my ultimate favorites, but "Least Complicated" and "Galileo" are up there on my list as well! If you like a firm voice and great lyrics with wonderful stories behind them, this is the music for you! Check it out today! ... Read more

65. Collection
list price: $30.99
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Asin: B00005NSPV
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14029
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Import only collection spanning all five albums theacclaimed singer/songwriter's produced in her first 12years. 16 tracks including 'Fast Car', 'Crossroads','Telling Stories' & 'Give Me One Reason'. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very very Cool!
I just purchased this album in HDCD format on eBay (sorry Amazon). It is absolutely fantastic. I have not stopped playing it for three days. The HDCD format really lets Chapman's voice soar and her guitar sing in a way that I have never heard before. Highly recommended. I too qonder what's become of her. Guess she just got tired of all the hoopla. By all accounts she's quite shy and does not like the limelight too much.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smooooth...Sounds
Excellant collection & great CD for listening by yourself or significant other. You won't be diappointed with the selections personally picked by Tracy Chapman.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good album
All the important hits from Tracy's first 5 albums are featured on "Collection". I sometimes wonder where people like Tracy have gone...people who talk about things that are uncomfortable. She does that for example in her fantastic songs "Fast Car" and "Subcity" (my favourite song on the album), not to forget the superb "Talking 'Bout a Revolution".
Moreover, her great lovesongs "Baby Can I Hold You" and "The Promise" are among the most romantic ever written.
She taught us that all that we have is our soul...Tracy Chapman has plenty of it. ... Read more

66. Fight for Your Mind
list price: $16.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000000W9M
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2741
Average Customer Review: 4.79 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (75)

5-0 out of 5 stars THE ABSOLUTE BEST!
Without a doubt one of the most powerful albums i've ever heard.(And let me tell you that I've heard alot. We own over 1,200 CDs.) Sheer poety. His music touches me in a way words can't discribe. My advice, see him live. I mean if you get the chance to see him perform, don't miss it. As soon as you see him live, you'll own all his albums the next day. I promice you will always treasure them like no other album.(I had to replace mine because we burnt it out!) Just buy it. Just as soon as the rest of the world realizes what an amazing artist Ben Harper is, he's going to be huge. I don't care what the "critics" say,(You know who you are.)I, and all other devoted fans(You know who you are)love him and always will.

Eternal Positive Vibration

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the finest albums I own!
Fight For Your Mind is easily one of the best albums I own in a collection of over 400 CDs. I saw Ben Harper live a couple years ago at HORDE Festival and was pretty impressed but I didn't pick up one of his CDs till recently. I wish I had earlier! From start to finish this is an amazing album. It changes tones many times leaving you to wonder what is coming next. Some of my favorite songs include "Ground On Down," "Another Lonely Day," "Excuse Me Mr.," "Give a Man a Home," and "Power of the Gospel." GET THIS ALBUM! You won't regret it!

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best of the 1990's
Along with U2's "Achtung Baby" and Chris Whitley's "Living with the Law", this CD rates as one of the best of the past decade. Harper seamlessly mixes a number of influences (Rock, R&B, Country, Gospel, Reggae, even Classical), adds his own lyrical and instrumental flair, backs it up with an unbelievably tight ensemble of musicians and delivers a album without a weakness. Each song is as unique and memorable as the next, but all defy simple classification. This is by far his best work. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

5-0 out of 5 stars best BH album
This is a classic album and Harper's best. The bonus is its message, which carries a positive awareness of environmental, social justice, and other moral and political issues infused with a touch of the individual, the personal, and the spiritual. With the exception of his latest release, Diamonds on the Inside, Harper can do no wrong. This is a man who bleeds his heart & soul into his art like no other. Excellent live shows as well. My favorites: "Ground On Down," "Another Lonely Day," "Excuse Me Mr.," and "Give a Man a Home."

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Ben Harper CD by far, and that's saying a lot
I am a big fan of Ben Harper and this is by far my favourite of his albums. Here is a track rundown:

Oppression - 9/10 - Great guitar rythm, excellent lyrics, more of a chill, slow kind of song - which is actually what most of Ben's song's are.

Ground On Down - 9/10 - This is a rare BH song that features electric guitar. Not quite a rocker, but a bit more upbeat. Very catchy.

Another Lonely Day - 10/10 - This is a very slow acoustic song featuring only Ben's voice and a guitar. I love this song - it's pretty slow and chill, and yet very catchy.

Please Me Like You Want To - 10/10 - Great lyrics, relatively a bit more upbeat but still fairly slow. The mini-solo is very well done.

Gold To Me - 6/10 - The one song on this album that really doesn't appeal to me. Good lyrics and all, but kind of an annoying tune. It's a bit on the "country" side and has a faster rythm.

Burn One Down - 11/10 - I LOVE this song. It's probably my favourite Ben Harper song. It opens up with a very cool bongo beat (I think it's a bongo, at least) and continues into a mellow, peaceful song about... herbs. Great lyrics, and an insanely catchy song. Overall it's definitely my favourite song on this CD if not my favourite Ben song in general.

Excuse Me Mr. - 8/10 - This is a more politics kind of song, it sounds kind of like Please Me Like You Want To. Good song, but a bit repetitive.

People Lead - 9/10 - A bit of a change of pace. Faster and more upbeat, it has a different sound to it than most of the songs on FFYM. I like it, but not too much.

Give A Man A Home - 10/10 - Slow, sleepy song. Ben's voice sounds more relaxed on this song. The guitar on this track seems a little off at bit, but I grew to like it.

By My Side - 8/10 - This song is another kind of change of pace song. It features organs or something like it, and is a nice little change from all the slow, chill songs on this album.
Power Of The Gospel - 10/10 - This song is DEFINITELY a "change of pace". It has violas or something (I'm no expert on stringed instruments) and the sound is way different than anything on this album. Sounds kind of like classical music.

God Fearing Man - 10/10 - This is a truly amazing song. Features a slide guitar played brilliantly, it is about 9 or 10 minutes long. This along with Power of The Gospel sounds nothing like anything else on this album. It has a dark, beautiful kind of sound to it. Probably my second favourite song on FFYM to Burn One Down.

One Road To Freedom - 8/10 - This song really isn't a standout in any way. It's a chill song with a good tune that makes for good listening, but it kind of lacks that Ben Harper sound that makes him so good in my opinion.

I don't think these individual marks really do justice to this album. You really just have to hear it. ... Read more

67. Sweet Old World
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Asin: B000001A3J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4361
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Granted, Sweet Old World isn't the masterpiece that1988's LucindaWilliams is. The too-simple explanations of "He Never GotEnough Love" aren't up to Williams's mile-high standards, and thearrangements throughout are often so similar to that previous release'sthat the melodic differences here aren't as clear as they might'vebeen. But when she raises her vulnerable cry to sing the three, painedperspectives on suicide that are at the heart of this album--the titletrack, "Little Angel, Little Brother," and "Pineola"--Williams's veryhumanity provides its own proof that, while this world can indeed becruel, it can also be oh so sweet. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Such Sweet Sorrow
This beautiful album opens with the uptempo Six Blocks Away but soon turns sombre with songs like He Never Got Enough Love, the tender and poetic Sweet Old World (covered by Emmylou Harris on her Wrecking Ball album) and the painful Pineola, a harrowing story about a suicide and funeral. Little Angel, Little Brother is less sad, but gentle, perceptive and poetic too. The mood never seems to brighten after that, although Lines Around Your Eyes is a powerful love ballad and Prove My Love is a melodic, emotionally gripping country song. Sidewalks Of The City is a sad but hopeful Springsteenesque ballad, while Memphis Pearl reminds me of Emmylou's Red Dirt Girl or Joan Baez's version of Love Is Just A Four Letter Word in its theme and mood. Lucinda's sound is a perfect blend of rootsy country, folk and rock that fits her lyrics like a glove. This beautiful, sad and moving album ends, quite appropriately, with her cover of Nick Drake's elegiac Which Will.

2-0 out of 5 stars Hugely disappointing
I bought this album several years ago on the strength of a print review and Lucinda Williams' reputation. After listening to it several times, and then letting it gather dust over the years, I finally just got rid of it. While some of the melodies on this CD are lovely, Lucinda Williams should stick to writing music for others (which she does with great success) -- her voice is nasal and reedy, and while she may be trying for an "honest, folky sound," she simply comes off as someone who needs voice lessons (esp. if she wants to avoid nodes on her vocal cords later in her career...) Furthermore, I'm truly surprised that others find her work insightful or moving in any way. "Sweet Old World" is written for a friend who committed suicide -- and I have never encountered such a complete misunderstanding of how depressed people & potential suicides see life. The song is just a lazy (yet jarring) litany of things that suicidal people realize they should appreciate, but can't. To anyone who has been in that position, this song is like a dripping water torture. The only song I found worthwhile was "Lines around your eyes," which wasn't strong enough to make me want to keep the album. If you are interested in a folky singer-songwriter, try Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Catie Curtis, The Story, or Christine Kane. Your money will be better spent there.

5-0 out of 5 stars Poignant
This was my first Lucinda Williams CD and my favorite in many ways. Ten years ago it seemed as consistent as her first album, and I admit on re-listening today that it isn't. The instrumentation has become dated, and between that and the New And Improved production on her later releases, I can see how others may have skipped this one or may want to. It would be a loss, though, not to have this CD that speaks so poignantly to loss.

If I had to pick a single favorite Lucinda Williams song, the title track would be tempting. This song about suicide is her masterpiece, and you're not human if you aren't moved by it. It takes a poet to succeed with such a song. "Something About What Happens When We Talk" was the first of her songs I ever heard and remains a particular favorite. On hearing it I began my arguments with myself over whether her simple lyrics were trite or minimalistic. I eventually decided on the latter, and this song is so very intelligent and evocative, like so many here. The theme of suicide and loss from "He Never Got Enough Love" (those songs about men with abusive childhoods haven't stopped or become more subtle from here to "Sweet Side") through "Pineola" is perfectly realized. I don't have Lucinda's gift with words, but hers is used to remarkable effect in this series of songs.

There are lighter pleasures here, from touching story songs ("Six Blocks Away", "Sidewalks of the City") to a fun, sweet love song like "Lines Around Your Eyes". Even before I had those lines I thought this was a great song, and now that we live in a culture that worships youth like never before, you can't beat the sentiment. "Hot Blood" is often a great song live, but unfortunately wasn't recorded in a way that captured the heat. Still, it's a must-have for any fan.

There are weaker moments. Some of the lyrics on "Prove My Love" seem trite, though others are moving, and it's very country. I find "Memphis Pearl a bit maudlin, but not bad. And the cover of "Which Will" is nice enough, but dispensable.

This is probably not the first CD I would recommend for someone who wanted an introduction to Lucinda Williams. It's musically dated, not perfectly consistent, and that's less true of her first CD or of Car Wheels. Still, the sense of it being a theme album for the first half or so of the recording, and a series of truly great songs - "Something About What Happens", "Sweet Old World", "Little Angel", "Pineola" - and a few that are simple fun - "Lines Around Your Eyes" and "Hot Blood" - are essential for any serious Lucinda fan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent as Usual
I completely disagree with the tone of the editorial review. This is an amazing album, and Lucinda Williams is an amazing artist. "He Never Got Enough Love" is a great song...and completely up to par in my opinion. If you like Lucinda Williams, or you just appreciate great vocals and arrangements, buy it, you won't be dissapointed.

4-0 out of 5 stars A notch down from "Car Wheels," but still worth the ride
This CD sometimes gets lost in considerations of Williams's work, sandwiched as it is between the auspicious "Lucinda Williams" and the amazing "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road." It is true that the songs do not have the consistency that you get on either of those other CDs. But, when stacked up against the disappointing and, frankly, mediocre, "Essence", this one shines. The high points are certainly the title song,'Pineola' and 'Little Angel, Little Brother', the latter quite possibly the finest song she has written. There is still some distance between Williams and the truly great (Dylan, Joni Mitchell, the Band, Richard Thompson) though. We owe Williams thanks for allowing us to see that in a way that is internal to this CD. Her version of Nick Drake's 'Which Will' is affecting, but, put on "Pink Moon" and then I think we can all agree which one is 5 stars and which one isn't. ... Read more

68. Clouds
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Asin: B000002KOJ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4405
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Joni Mitchell's second album contains the first manifestations of her artistic brilliance. Where her debut, Song to a Seagull, has hints of greatness, Clouds displays the real thing. With her newfound control on melody and lyrical economy, she delivers songs that are readily accessible, instantly hummable, and virtually timeless. Her hippie excesses are still in view ("Songs to Aging Children Come" is untamed), but, for the most part, she has found her voice. "Both Sides Now" has become a lite-FM staple (thanks to Judy Collins's cover). While songs such as the incredibly idyllic "Tin Angel" (nicely covered by Tom Rush on his classic Circle Game), "Chelsea Morning," and "I Don't Know Where I Stand" have become modern folk standards. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars For a reflective grey day
this album is underrated in the joni mitchell catalogue. i would only rank blue better. it is in the same ether as ladies of the canyon and court and spark. Clouds has a more melancholy vibe, yet very sweet and pretty. the songs are very gentle. chelsea morning is a more atypical song on the album, as it is more upbeat and perky. this album is great for winter days, for feeling introspective and pensive. i especially like tin angel, the song about midway, and gallery.

4-0 out of 5 stars Bare-bones, platonic Joni - a beautiful album
Clouds was, perhaps, the album observers expected Joni Mitchell to release a year earlier. In recording her debut, Song to a Seagull, Joni avoided those of her songs made famous by other artists in favor of a "concept" approach centered around fairy-tale and nautical imagery. Pirates, seagulls, sailing ships, kings in tenement castles, I feel lost in the city. Its performance values were stark, free-form, echo-laden, with pseudo-medieval formalism. It was a verbose, grotesque, gorgeous-but-flawed treasure which was not for everybody.

Clouds, on the other hand, introduced a more wide-open Joni, her soaring soprano far freer than on the debut, with simpler song and lyrical structure and a mountain-spring-water-purity to the recording after Dave Crosby's muddy castle-fortress echo. Once again, the arrangements consist mainly of singer and guitar, although her voice is doubled and trebled more often, and the playing is closer to campfire strumming than on Song to a Seagull. The songs on Clouds convey a lush romanticism made heartbreaking and wistful by tales of love that is at turns found, lost, uncertain, or doomed. The album also unveils her own interpretations of several of her standards - "Tin Angel," "Chelsea Morning," "I Don't Know Where I Stand," "Both Sides Now." The playing and lyrics are Joni at her most straightforward, and her voice is at its gorgeous best on some of the tracks.

Although I love this album, I would rank it below several of her other pre-"Don Juan" discs - it is certainly my least favorite of her first period (the straightforward acoustic period, coinciding with her first four albums). It doesn't have the curious charm of the debut or the soul-deep passion of Blue. Ladies in the Canyon has a similar mood, but with far better arrangements and songwriting. Her singing on some of the songs here - "Tin Angel" and "The Fiddle and the Drum" stand out - is a rehash of her glum alto affectations on much of the debut. She's better off when she climbs up into the high end of her range (away with those philistines who consider her top end unlistenable), especially on "That Song about the Midway," in which Joni's high C's send haunted tingles down my spine. "Chelsea Morning" certainly conveys a certain joyful ebulliance, but of Joni's "token happy songs" on her early albums ("Night in the City," "Big Yellow Taxi," "Carey") I find it the weakest.

Clouds is, of course, home to "Both Sides Now," which is arguably Joni's signature song. Melodically gorgeous and lyrically reflective, it seems to draw all of her epic romantic experiences into a sorrowful lesson - "I really don't know love/life at all."

3-0 out of 5 stars Joni tuning up
Joni Mitchell's 'Clouds' is her second album, released in 1969 after 'Song To a Seagull' (originally titled 'Joni Mitchell') which was released one year previous. However a review of the liner notes reveal that the copyrights for 8 of the 10 songs date back as far as 1966 ('I Think I Understand'), concentrate in 1967 ('Tin Angel', 'Chelsea Morning', 'I Don't Know Where I Stand', 'Songs To Aging Children's Come', and 'Both Sides, Now'), and finish up in 1968 ('That Song About the Midway' and 'Roses Blue'). So only two songs, 'The Gallery' and 'The Fiddle and the Drum' date from the same year as the album's release. Thus, what we are getting is an interesting cross-section of the development of Joni Mitchell as a composer, a thoughtful poet in a turbulent era.

'Clouds' is, in my estimation, a weak link in Joni Mitchell's early works, but that criticism must be tempered by the recognition that 'Ladies of the Canyon', 'Blue', and 'For the Roses' are all classics of the era. It should also be noted that the album does include what may well be Joni's finest composition, 'Both Sides, Now', which is to Mitchell what 'Like a Rolling Stone' or 'Blowin' In the Wind' is to Bob Dylan: a defining composition. Judy Collins, whose status as a performer was advanced well beyond Mitchell's at the time, turned 'Both Sides, Now' into a Top Ten hit, but despite her undeniable vocal talents the charting version has nothing on the take Mitchell offers here. Interestingly Collins also took another of Mitchell's songs from this disc, 'Chelsea Morning', and parlayed it into another hit song.

Sad to say, most of the rest of 'Clouds' does not live up to these two quality tracks. The one exception is the a capella 'The Fiddle and the Drum'. Mitchell's stark delivery of this thoughtful, persuasive composition draws even greater poignancy to an anti-war song not steeped in anger, as most anti-war songs are, but in self-contemplation. Two key verses in the song, "and I ask you why", and "so we ask you please" alternate twice in four stanzas. In 1969, at the height of the Vietnam conflict, the first question was looming deep in the psyche of America, especially those most likely to be listening to Mitchell, and the second question was provided a lyrical response: "find the peace and the star" and "trade the handshake for the fist". The song doesn't demean the war-maker, but draws him to a higher calling. Like Mitchell's 'Woodstock', the attempt is to turn the bomber planes into butterflies above our nation.

The remaining songs on 'Clouds' have melodies that are less distinct, and lyrics that are less compelling than what we are use to from Mitchell, or deal with themes intimate and personal to Mitchell, but perhaps of less consequence to the typical listener. 'Roses Blue', for example, deals with a woman's descent into "mysterious devotions", such as Tarot card reading and Zen. Many of the songs of course deal with Mitchell's favorite topic: romantic entanglements and the nuances therein. All are draped in Mitchell's trademark piano or guitar accompaniment. In fact, there are no credits to contributing musicians on any of the tracks.

In assessing 'Clouds' I'm tempted to tap that familiar bumper sticker that says, "A bad day ________ (fishing, shopping, etc.) is better than a good day at work", because a weak Joni Mitchell album is better than what most artists produce in a good day in the studio. It's all relative, and it's instructive to note that Joni has never produced anything inconsequential or lacking gravity and substance. Lyrics are included in this, one of Mitchell's few early works available in a High Definition configuration (go configure).

5-0 out of 5 stars La Mitchell's Best
I love Joni. Clouds is my favorite. Blue and C&S seem to be the most appealing to the majority. With her accoustic guitar perfectly in tune, this self produced album is perfection. Every single song is a winner. I've owned the CD for years but only listened to Chelsea Morning-- until recently. What I'd been missing! To think I'd never even heard That song about the Midway, The Gallery, the haunting Roses Blue et. al., and I called myself a Joni fanatic. The absence of over production only adds to the records beauty. Joni demonstrates that she's a terriffic guitar player-- no piano on this one-- nor funky tuning, just sraight forward and beautiful. Everyone knows she's a great soprano but here she uses it only when needed rather than showing it off. The words to every number are poetic and filled with double entendre. Buy it, listen to it often and then buy it for others. Thanks Joni.

5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely mandatory buy
I have gone through three Joni stages: for a while, I was obsessed with Blue. Then, Ladies of the Canyon. I am in the midst of my Clouds phase right now. This is a gorgeous album. It goes on so many tangents. Sure, she has love songs that a great without being sappy, (I love I don't Know Where I Stand) but she also goes off on tangents. I adore how in Roses Blue she's suddenly, out of nowhere, singing about Wicca. It's great. Fiddle and Drum is a wonderful song, especially right now, with everything that is happening in this country and outside of it. Years after it was written, it still applies. A beautiful album. ... Read more

69. Age of Miracles
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Asin: B0002UJKQS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2921
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When last we left our hero, the former Green on Red guitarist--one of the most underrated Telecaster players on the planet--was parsing the connections between neo-soul, twangy blues, and Dylanesque rock on 2002's No Other Love, perhaps his best solo album. On this postmodern roots plunge, he swims deeper into pastiche song structures, adding lighter strings, heavier guitar licks, and more restless romanticism. His beats, however, remain as thick as they are organic, his voice occluded in a raspy filter. If the songwriting resonates a bit less fiercely (with the notable exceptions of the title track and the power-poppy "Just to See You Smile"), Prophet continues to make records that sound like none other on the loosely defined alt-country scene--lush, elliptical, inventive, moody, and deeply, even eloquently, grooved. --Roy Kasten ... Read more

70. Essence
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Asin: B00005B8GS
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3672
Average Customer Review: 4.13 out of 5 stars
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Few artists in recent memory have been able to wring more from less than Lucinda Williams. The hauntingly beautiful, wistful, and often breathtaking Essence is another case in point of how far raw emotion and honesty can carry an artist. Williams's singing is at its paralyzing best throughout 11 bare originals, an incredibly affecting vocal performance by a woman who was not blessed with exceptional tone, range, or pitch. Throughout, her voice is incredibly naked, vulnerable, and wrought with feeling. "Blue" and "Broken Butterflies" are gorgeous anti-lullabies whose simple melodies belie their poignant ruminations. The title track is a sultry and susceptible sex-as-drug come-on while "Reason to Cry" has all the hallmarks of a classic country lament. The only departure from the subdued mood is "Get Right with God," a rousing gospel tune that practically begs for salvation through punishment and is the rare acknowledgement of a world beyond Williams's own fears and desires. More meditative than the personal narratives found on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, Essence is ultimately more powerful. Williams wallows in sorrow and weakness, and the result is moving and disarming. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (162)

5-0 out of 5 stars WOW
I really liked Sweet Old World and loved Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, but I was totally unprepared for this CD which literally just ripped my heart completely out. From these reviews I guess some Lucinda fans see the simple lyrics and spare arrangements as dull or lazy, to me they're clearly deliberate and integral to the raw yet poetic tone of the entire recording, which often ventures beyond her country/folk roots to a more elemental mode of musical expression. While very simple, when taken in context with the mood and delivery (what delivery!) of each song, these stripped-down lyrics have incredible strength by virtue of their powerful and emotionally charged imagery. I found myself ready to cry halfway through my first listen to "Lonely Girls" and was pretty much a helpless wreck through the remainder of the CD. It's still incredibly powerful about two dozen listenings later. Some tracks are of course stronger than others (and the live loop effects do get a little tiresome), but on the whole this is the most intimate, unaffected, sensual and heartbreaking music I've heard in a very long time. It's been haunting me day and night since I first heard it.

4-0 out of 5 stars More Excellent Songs by Lucinda
If you like good songwriting and are familiar with Lucinda Williams sound, you can't go wrong with this album. I had only heard "Car Wheels" and some older material prior to purchasing this CD, and after listening to it about 10 times, I can tell you it is a great CD. The only issues I have is that the first four songs, while pleasant enough, just don't contain the "umph" that drew me so close to "Car Wheels" which is one of my top three all time favorite albums. That all changes when the CD hits track #5, "Out of Touch". Lucinda jumps from simple repetitive (ex. "Lonely Girls" - Sweet Sad Songs x3, Heavy Blankets x3, I should know x3) verses into more personal observations and stories on this song. Sure you get more of the repetitive style on the title track, but the honey dripping off the song will gum up your CD player! By far, "Essence" is probably one of the most lusty songs ever written. "Bus to Baton Rouge", "Get Right With God" - everything from track 5 on is easily as good, if not better, than "Car Wheels", but with just a slightly different feel. Overall, though, a four-star album by Lucinda Williams is probably about 10 times better than a five-star album by a lot of other artists.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Lucinda Williams CD yet
Lucinda Williams is a very talented songwriter and performer. She varies a bit from CD to CD in style, moving between a country-cajun and blues sound.

The sad, almost mournful sound of this work really appeals to me. I liked every song, especially Blue, I Envy The Wind, and Lonely Girls.

If you are looking for a mellow sorrowful Lucinda, this is your CD. Or maybe you're just depressed.


5-0 out of 5 stars Did You Miss This One?
Well, you shouldn't have. The much-anticipated follow-up to Car Wheels suffered at the time of its release for not delivering what many expected. It got reviewed not for what it is, an intimate take on being a woman with and without love, but for what it is not -- Car Wheels, Part Two. I still haven't figured out what Get Right With God, a revival gospel number, is doing here. And Bus to Baton Rouge, while a musical fit with the rest of the CD, recounts a different theme, an adult visit with mixed emotions to the childhood home. Everywhere else on the remaining nine cuts Lucinda is all about love -- or the lack of it. Among other takes, she's a lonely girl under heavy blankets, a thief after love, a jukebox-playing seeker of solace, and a betrayed broken butterfly. But better than all these, she absolutely nails what it feels like to be obsessed in love, when she envies the wind, rain and sun touching her lover every moment of the day and in the refrain from the title cut -- I am waiting here for more, I am waiting by your door, I am waiting on your back steps...

Lucinda's latest CD is a falloff from her peak, but don't believe that of Essence. Three years after its release, it deserves to be seen finally for what it is -- a quietly breathtaking CD every bit as strong as, and distinct from, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.

5-0 out of 5 stars if Neil Young was a woman...
If Neil Young was a woman, he'd probably be Lucinda Williams; both have that world-weary angst, both have rather thin voices that are decidely not pretty, but that carry a lot of power and emotion. Both are totally unique and brilliant, and write with an honesty that is rare these days.
In this collection of mellow songs, Lucinda explores God, lust and loneliness, and in very simple phrases captures a world of human emotions.

The musicianship is superb, and among the deluxe performers that play along with Lucinda on acoustic guitar are: Jim Keltner on drums; Tony Garnier on bass; Bo Ramsey on electric guitar; David Mansfield on violin and viola; Reese Wynans on Hammond B3 organ, and Charlie Sexton on a myriad of instruments
Favorites for me are "I Envy the Wind", with lyrics that every woman can identify with at one time or another in her life, "Are You Down", with such great work from Bo Ramsey and Reese Wynans, the hungry for love title song, and the fabulous "Get Right with God", which is the only up-tempo number on the CD.

The daughter of poet Miller Williams, Lucinda's songs have been covered by singers like Patty Loveless ("Night's Too Long") and Mary Chapin Carpenter ("Passonate Kisses"), and have earned her the coveted Grammy Award. Gutsy and gritty, this CD shows an artist that has character, and the strength to stand alone in a world full of copycats. The booklet insert contains all the lyrics, and total playing time is 51'03. ... Read more

71. Bridge Over Troubled Water [Expanded]
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Asin: B00005NKKZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2218
Average Customer Review: 4.74 out of 5 stars
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No one can say Simon & Garfunkel went out with a whimper. Thepopular duo's 1970 swan song produced four hit singles and won sixGrammy awards, including Record, Album, and Song of the Year. Aninvolving mix of sweeping epics ("The Boxer," the title track) andbreezy throwaways (a live cover of the Everly Brothers'"Bye Bye Love," the rock & roll trifle "Baby Driver"), Bridgewas one of the most popular albums of its era. What's particularlystriking about this collection is how brightly lesser-acclaimed songslike "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright" and the gorgeous "The Only Living Boyin New York" shine. (The 2001 reissue adds a pair of demos to theoriginal work, including the traditional "Feuilles-O.")--StevenStolder ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Phenomenal Piece of Music
This is without a doubt the most powerful album ever made. The title track is one of the greatest songs ever written. The lyrics follow the melodies perfectly, and Art's voice is the only person that could truly make it work. I can't say I'm a big fan of El Condor Pasa, but it is not a bad song. Cecilia is the same way with me. I enjoy the catchy Keep the Customer Satisfied, even though it feels rushed. So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright is a beautiful tribute to an old friend (and the friendship between Paul and Art). The Boxer is definitely my favorite song, and is the true masterpiece of their career. Baby Driver is an OK song that has a different, addicting feel to it. The Only Living Boy in New York is a great song along with Why Don't You Write Me. Bye Bye Love feels unnecessary, but is nice to hear a live song, and alternate style on the everly brothers. Song for the Asking is an underrated masterpiece. Fueilles-O does not settle with me, and I might possibly love the Demo of Bridge Over Troubled Water more than the original. While it doesn't have the consistancy of Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme, it is still a timeless work of art.

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb farewell
This was the last album by Simon & Garfunkel, and perhaps the best.

The most famous songs here are the title track and "The Boxer", both recognized classics. The remainder of the album varies between driving rock songs and gentler, more reflective songs that point back to the duo's folk origins.

In the first category are "Keep the Customer Satisfied" and "Baby Driver", both cheerful, fun, and silly. The cover of the "Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" is nice enough, but adds little - it's a weaker song than most of the originals on the album and the cover is no better than the original version. The only thing distinctive about it is that it is the only live performance on an album that was originally released as entirely studio recordings. "Cecilia" was released as a popular single, but has never appealed to me.

The slower songs are more thoughtful and often beautiful, generally songs of loss and sorrow that seem to reflect the collapse of the artists' relationship. These include the lovely "So Long Frank Llloyd Wright", "The Only Living Boy in New York", and the sad, but ultimately hopeful "El Condor Pasa".

"Song for the Asking" is a somewhat weaker tune, but not without its merits. "Why Don't You Write Me", which was on the original album, could be dropped with little loss, and the bonus track, "Feuilles-O", isn't much of a bonus at all.

Overall, this is a beautiful album with numerous good songs and some great ones.

4-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful classic but a little overrated
This is undeniably a beautiful classic, one of the soothing albums of 1970 that ushered in a new era of softer music, like a comforting hug to the survivors of all of the chaos and pain of the late Sixties. And the title track and "The Boxer" (my all-time fave song of theirs) are two of the greatest songs from the Top 40 era ever. Still, it's not as consistent or all-around great as 'Bookends' or PSR&T. Depending on whom you ask, it has between three and six clunkers on it. I personally think only "Why Don't You Write Me," the supposedly live cover of "Bye Bye Love" (I agree with the reviewer who said it sounds like applause was just dubbed over the song, and wonder why the audience was so into this mediocre performance), and "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" are throwaways. The only good part about the lattermost song is the pretty melody and the "So long already, Artie!" taunt during the fadeout. Otherwise it does absolutely nothing for me. "Baby Driver" and "Keep the Customer Satisfied" are upbeat and fun to listen to, but not classics. They're the kinds of songs you like, good songs, but not the type considered the highlight of an album or an undisputed classic like the title track always will be. "Cecilia" is a cute happy song too, but I can see where other people get off calling it pop drivel.

The other songs on here I like best, besides the title track and "The Boxer," are the haunting "El Condor Pasa," "Baby Driver" (it's fun and upbeat despite not being a classic), "The Only Living Boy in New York," and the beautiful understated closer "A Song for the Asking." Overall the songs are well-crafted and mature, just that on a classic album such as this, they should all measure up to the standard set by the two greatest songs it has to offer, instead of having as many clunkers as it has.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite S & G album but has some classics
All 5 of their studio albums are essential. This is a very good album but my favorite is still their Bookends (a masterpiece). This album is slightly uneven with the classic track "The Boxer". The title track (although many consider that their opus) misses the boat with me as it's too over-produced/over-orchestrated although the harmony section in the middle is good. Uneven tracks include a live dull version of "Bye Bye Love", "Baby Driver", "Keep the Customer satisfied" and "Why don't you write me" and the irritating "Cecilia". The good tracks being "El Condor Pasa", "The only living boy in NY", "Song for the asking" and "So long Frank Lloyd Wright".

Of course, "The Boxer" is worth the price of the album alone. A somewhat disappointing Swan Song since their previous 2 albums were much better (and a better place to start). Never-the-less, still essential for the good tracks alone.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let it Shine
In my opinion, there are no albums better than this one in pop music. This, everyone, is the limit. It is the only album I can think of where every single song is a joy. The worst, in my opinion, is "Bye bye love," and it is better than 95% of the songs out there anyway. The title song is a glorious, pure piece of loving artwork for Art Garfunkel to shine on, while Art also gives a moving performance in the beautiful "So long, Frank Lloyd Wright." Simon writes two slightly avant-garde but musically perfect songs, the Brazilian "El Condor Pasa" and percussion-driven, frantic romance "Cecilia." Two excellent soft-rock songs, "Baby Driver" and "Keep the Customer Satisfied" may be just for fun but they are fantastically written and incredibly catchy. "Why Don't You Write Me"'s enjoyable tune and sax solo make it more than worthwhile, while the serenade "SOng for the Asking" is touching and sweetly sung. The best of all of these (maybe tied with the title track) is the heartrending ballad, "The Boxer." Listen to the harmonies of the up-and-down guitars with the saxes and violins. This is an extraordinary cd, and the bonus tracks are interesting as a comparison. ... Read more

72. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme [Expanded]
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Asin: B00005NKKX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4820
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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When a retrofit of electric guitars transformed "Sounds ofSilence" into Simon & Garfunkel's folk-rock entrée, the partnersand their label hastily followed with a like-titled album mixingPaul Simon's acoustic folk songs with plugged-in bids for radio play.By contrast, this successor, released less than a year later, morecoherently and convincingly reveals Simon's broadening horizons as awriter and the duo's nascent studio perfectionism. The title songremains a haunting signature piece, relying on acoustic guitar andharpsichord to carry its contrapuntal marriage of English ballad andantiwar plaint; such acoustic delicacy prevails throughout and hasproven more durable than by-the-numbers wattage. The first great S&Galbum, the set includes "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy),""Homeward Bound," "Dangling Conversation," and Art Garfunkel's luminoussolo piece, "For Emily, Wherever I May Find Her." (The 2001 reissueadds a pair of unreleased demos to the original work.) --SamSutherland ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Nearly perfect, pleasant folk/pop album
Although later efforts would be more musically ambitious, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme is the epitome of the folk/pop duet. The album leads off with a medley of the traditional Scarborough Fair and a Simon-written piece that is beautifully sung by the two men, and was quite a studio feat at the time of its release. Although there are a few songs that fall below the high standard set by the rest of the album, it is mostly chock full of classic songs: the delicately poetic Cloudy and Poem On The Underground Wall; the absolutely classic Homeward Bound (one of S&G's best songs); The Dangling Conversation (a song with many S&G fans seem to find too pretentious, but which I quite like); two wonderfully satiric tunes, The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine (one may caustically wonder how many people who heard this song took its message to heart) and A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or, How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission) - an absolutely hilarous and biting tune, that was obviously very heavily influenced by Dylan's talking blues: there is a hilarous verse on Dylan, sung, even in a Dylan accent - one might even call this song a Dylan parody (many also say that it's the reason for Dylan's purposely atrocious version of S&G's The Boxer on Self-Portrait.) Closing out the album is 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night, a beautiful, delicate, and thoughtful weaving of the traditional song sung beautifully by the two men over a gentle piano backing, and a fictitious news broadcast devoted to pressing concerns of the time. The juxtaposition of these two contrary sentiments is striking, and really drives the message home - a great way to close the album. Although later efforts would be more bold and ambitious, you might call this, song for song, Simon & Garfunkel's best album.

5-0 out of 5 stars S & G's masterpiece
What can anyone say about this album but WOW?! This is the best S & G album that they made, and although slightly lacking the power of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" it beats it by the sheer number of great songs on there. "Scarborough Fair" is without a doubt the best song on this CD, with the haunting anti-war lyrics. "Homeward Bound" will always stick out in my memory because of its catchy melody and chorus. "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" is a nice break from the rather dreary songs in the beginning. "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night", while dated (people under 30 won't get the full effect), is the most powerful song on this CD, and is only rivaled by "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer". Definitely pick up this CD; it's their best.

5-0 out of 5 stars Simon & Garfunkle put together their first great album
"Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme" was the first big breakthrough album for Simon & Garfunkel as artists. Although their first two albums certainly showed promise, there was a big difference with this 1966 album. The difference was that this time Simon & Garfunkel, along with engineer Roy Halee, had total control in the making of the album. Given that their other 1966 album, "The Sounds of Silence," had been thrown together in less than a month to take advantage of the hot single, this makes a big difference. Just compare the horrible overdubbing of "The Songs of Silence" single with basically anything on this album, but especially with the opening track, "Scarborough Fair/Canticle."

This was an album that would appeal to college students, with the literary rock of "Dangling Conversation," the caustic commentary of "A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I was Robert McNamara'd into Submission)," and the simple juxtaposition of the duo singing "Silent Night" to a piano accompaniment juxtaposed against the headlines from the Nightly News (including the death of Lenny Bruce and the escalation of the war in Vietnam) on the album's final track, "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night." College students would also appreciate the sentiments of "Homeward Bound," the attack on television as "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine," one of the decade's great feel-good songs, "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)," and the drama of "Poem on the Underground Wall."

But as much as I like the opening track and "Homeward Bound," the song that puts this over the top is the simply beautiful "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her." There was a time in high school when that was my favorite song, and I did not even know a girl named Emily. Along with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "All I Know," "Emily" is one of the songs that truly showcase's Garfunkle's soaring vocals, not to mention Simon's poetic sensibilities. As good as this 1966 album was, Simon & Garfunkle's next album, "Bookends," was even better, and the one after that was the best of all. But then discovered the magic formula here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Melodies
If you were around and into music in the '60's, Simon and Garfunkel was another one of those groups whose albums you simply went out and got when they hit the record stores because you knew it would be worth having. I have the original LP in my collection, but my turntable has been broken for a while and I haven't gotten around to repairing or replacing it, so when I came across this CD, I bought it.

My memory didn't betray me. This album is still well worth having. Mind you, it isn't one of my very top favorites. My taste tends more toward harder rock ala the Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and the Jefferson Airplane. Further, some of the lyrics here are rather dated. Listening to Paul Simon rail against Maxwell Taylor and Robert McNamara or go on about "feelin' groovey" sounds a little out of it 35 years later. On the other hand, this album contains some of the prettiest folk/rock melodies and hamonies you could ever hope to hear. The opening song sets the tone. "Scarborough Faire/Canticle" is hauntingly beautiful, with a fragile delicacy worthy of a snowflake. I would own the album just for this song, but there's plenty of other outstanding music here, as well.

Simon and Garfunkel is another of the great musical acts to come out of the 1960's. PARSLEY, SAGE, ROSEMARY & THYME is an excellent piece of their work. Listen past the lyrics in those instances where they become hopelessly dated and enjoy the lovely and timeless music that abounds here. Very highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Unparalleled Masterpiece
This is the greatest album ever released by ANYONE EVER. It's as simple as that. Nobody else could sooth your soul like Simon And Garfunkel, and for that reason alone, I consider them to be the most gifted musicians that ever lived.
They got their start with the understated WEDNESDAY MORNING, 3 A.M., which failed to impress people, and then the excellent SOUNDS OF SILENCE, which not only impressed people but fascinated them. And it all culminated in this, their third album, an incomparable work of art.
"Scarborough Fair" is my favorite song in the world, and also the most beautiful song in the world. It's divine. It's Heaven on Earth. It's so lovely that I feel like I'm being touched by God whenever I hear it. Yeah, many would say "Jeez, it's only music". Well no, it's not "only music", it's medicine for the mind and soul. I first heard the song via the movie "The Graduate". As soon as "Scarborough Fair" played, I felt all of my troubles drifting afar, and I felt my mind being eased and taken to a world of musical divinity. The Beatnik-like "Patterns" is equally impressive. Ingenious lyrics, great conga playing and maracas, and, as usual, fantastic vocals from emotion extraordinaire Art Garfunkel. And I love the way that Simon sings along on some of the lines, giving it more of a darker feel. God I love that song. "Cloudy" is about as mellow as you can get, and once again, Simon perfectly captures the spirit of youthful uncertainty. "Homeward Bound" has one of the most addicting choruses that I've ever heard. Can't get it out of my head to save my life. "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" is awesome. Great, up-tempo, feel-good song. Needless to say that it's about marijuana. "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)" is the most uplifting, reassuring song that I have ever heard. And if there's one thing the world needs, it's reassurance. The song is a hippie tune that just talks about feeling good and being one with the universe. I love it. "The Dangling Conversation" is a wonderful song complete with some orchestral arrangements. Very touching. "Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall" is my third favorite on here (after the first two songs). That vocal melody just brings a big smile to my face every time I listen to it. And brilliant lyrics as always. "A Simple Desultory Phillipic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)" is a hilarious Bob Dylan parody. Simon even borrows Dylan's classic line "Everybody must get stoned". And he says it in a way that just cracks me up. "I've just discovered somebody's tapped my phone!" is another line that I love. "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her" is quite beautiful, but not their best ballad ever. "April Come She Will", from the previous album, was far superior. But this one's still very pretty, and resplendent with some of the most ingenious lyrics ever written ("I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears"). "A Poem On The Underground Wall" is wonderful, with a great vocal melody. And the closing "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night" is very moving. How can anyone dislike it? If you need peace of mind, just put on this song and you're sure to get it. And they have the news playing in the background, talking about the tragedies of the Vietnam war and things like that. I think it captures the time perfectly and it really makes you understand the pain and misfortune that occured in that wild time known as the 1960's.

In a nutshell, if you love beautiful music, buy this album. Nothing else in the world even comes close to it. ... Read more

73. Essential Simon & Garfunkel
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Sales Rank: 1239
Average Customer Review: 3.71 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (17)

3-0 out of 5 stars Good start...
These songs are great. That needs to go up front. And these are the songs that casual S&G fans will want. But if you're like me and you have the Columbia "Greatest Hits" album, you get used to how those songs sound on this release. Some of them are the same. Some are quite different. So much so that I don't plan to get rid of my Greatest Hits CD and let this one replace it. There are NO songs on Greatest Hits that aren't on this collection, but the number of songs that sound different is large enough to justify (at least to myself) keeping that original collection.

Herein lies the problem, and the reason this only gets 3 stars. There is never, NEVER a reason that any disc of an anthology should be 42 minutes long! NEVER! Disc 1 is 42 minutes, Disc 2 is 55 minutes. Consider that these should be approaching 80 minutes per disc, and that's over an hour of unused disc space! Some would argue that putting "filler" on a CD doesn't improve anything, but not a lot of S&G's music would be considered filler. I can make a better collection myself (and probably will), and fill up the discs. It's just a pet peeve of mine, so if you don't mind short anthologies, don't let me stop you.

Overall, the music is great. If you're a collector like me and like to have the "Essential" line, consider it, but beware that you're not getting much music for your money.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Yet
This is my first Simon & Garfunkel CD though I am somewhat familiar with their music. I've been enjoying this set for a few weeks now. My only complaint are the 8 live tracks included. I hate it when live tracks are included in a greatest hits collection. I'd much prefer the original versions. Aside from that minor complain, I'd highly recommend this set. i think it's their only 2 disc greatest hits set. That alone makes it a great purchase for new fans like me.

As a bonus the booklet includes original recording and release dates, states the album the track is from and the tracks Billboard ranking.

5-0 out of 5 stars More thorough than "Best Of..."
I considered myself a Simon and Garfunkel fan but there are songs on this album I'd never heard of before. If you only are interested in the songs that get radio play, go with The Best of Simon and Garfunkel - although the problem with that collection is that it features some live performances instead of the studio versions. To the casual listener, this two-CD collection features EVERY Simon & Garfunkel song you could possibly want - the familiar and the not-so familiar.

5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible collection
Simon and Garfunkel are a true American original. They are clearly the best folk duet of all time and created so many great songs over just seven years! Maybe just a touch of Dylan influence on some their 1964 songs, but not too much. They always had their own unique sound and voice. These two CD's do them righteous justice.

Terrific sound and a nice job of remastering on several of the tracks. I especially like 'If I Could" and "My Little Town." But the quintessential song, "Bridge Over Troubled Water," the timeless masterpiece, soars above all the others.

Perhaps the only negative aspect of their songs was that many of them barely topped 2 minutes, and are really too short. But let's face it, it was the era of 45's and brief-AM-static-filled radio play. Too bad. It took some doing in the late 60's and early 70's to create FM rock which was so much better. Oh well.


1-0 out of 5 stars Sony's practical joke
First of all, don't be fooled by the "live" recordings that the back cover shows: they are no prev. unreleased material, they're songs from the "Live from New York City, 1967" CD (Sony, 2002).
So why would Sony release yet another Greatest hits album with material from just 8 months ago? Simply because S&G are on tour. So if you want a good S&G hits album, buy the one with the 2 guys walking on the beach at dusk. If you want an average live recording album, buy the one from last year. And if you want some really good material, then get The Columbia Studio Recordings 1964-1970 [BOX SET]. Of course you can always buy some unofficial wonderful records elsewhere... But that's another story. ... Read more

74. Live From Austin Texas (Dig)
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Asin: B00064VKYU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2610
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Those who have experienced a Robert Earl Keen show in his native Texas know it can be hard to hear the artist amid all the whooping and partying of his rabidly loyal following. This 2001 taping from the Austin City Limits series gives the singer-songwriter's range the attention it deserves. An eight-minute rendition of Keen's signature anthem, "The Road Goes On Forever," shifts that epic into overdrive, as the furious interplay of guitarist Rich Brotherton and steel guitarist Marty Muse finds the band firing on all cylinders. Yet the subtler selections are every bit as impressive, with his reflective rendition of Townes Van Zandt's "Snowin' on Raton" and the brooding melancholy of Johhny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone" highlighting the performance. Though Austin City Limits typically condenses an artist's appearance into a half hour for airing, this CD (with the performance also available as a DVD) presents the full studio concert. --Don McLeese ... Read more

75. Bringing It All Back Home
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Asin: B0000C8AVX
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3174
Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Dylan's Best
this was my favorite dylan album for the longest time.
i have sice taken a greater liking HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED and BLOOD ON THE TRACKS, but this is still one of the greatest albums ever made (and, of course, dylan's first album with rocks songs).

"subterranean homesick blues" opens the album with bullets flying. this social commentary is clever and hits so quick with rapid wordplay that it'll take you a few listens before you're able to digest most of the lyrics (5/5).
"she belongs to me" depicts a controlling woman that seems to cast a shadow over her lover's life. dylan's first mellow rock song (4/5).
"maggie's farm" is a brilliant song with brilliant use of symobolism. similar rock feel to "subterranean homesick blues" but dylan's vocals are very different. amazing song (5/5).
"love minus zero/no limit" has a slow tempo. one of dylan's most underrated songs poetically speaking and most underrated period (5/5).
"outlaw blues" is a fun song. it has a real backroad rock feel, and the lyrics are very bluesy. the song ends with a very interesting social message as well (4/5).
"on the road again" is silly. like a more focused rock version of "i shall be free." just a fun song (3.5/5).
"bob dylan's 115th dream" is another song that's far from serious. it is very intricate and interesting, but overall, it's just a good time (4.5/5).
"mr. tambourine man" is simply one of the greatest songs ever. "let me forget about today untile tomorrow." this can't be properly described (5/5).
"gates of eden" is a surreal song. great imagery and interesting insights (4.75/5).
"it's alright ma (i'm only bleeding)" is another one of the best songs ever written (5/5).
"it's all over now baby blue" was my favorite dylan song for a while. it's perfect (5/5).

BRINING IT ALL BACK HOME is definitely one of dylan's top three albums in my mind.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you only own ONE
If you only own one Dylan album, make "Bringing It All Back Home" the one you own! It's a good even mix of folk/rock and folk. Every song is an instant classic and the songs that had a message back in 1965 still hold relevance today. The most well-written song on this package has to be "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)". As you listen to these lyrics and think about modern times you realise that Bob is STILL onto something. This album also features the hits: "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and "Mr. Tambourine Man".

5-0 out of 5 stars The turning point
This album is so many things at once it's hard to keep up. It's one of Dylan's most important albums, because it shows him shifting from folk to rock; it represents a point where his breathtaking creativity was hitting its stride; and it is, moment for moment, one of his best albums--some would argue, musically, it presents the most representative picture of his work of any disc.

Thank goodness the remastering process has given us this revelatory new recording of such a classic. The new clarity of the sound allows the deceptively simple complexity of the instrumentation on the album to shine, and Dylan's voice is shocking. He doesn't just deliver the lyrics--he's actually singing! Many Dylan recordings did his work, and his voice, little justice, but the original transfer of Bringing It All Back Home was among the worst. If you only buy one of the 15 new remastered hybrid super audio CDs, this is the one to get. From the subversive opening notes of "Subterranean Homesick Blues" to the quiet closing strains of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," this album is a gem not only of artistic genius but of the power of a dedicated remastering effort.

2-0 out of 5 stars Okay but not much else.
Ive never really liked early Bob Dylan except or a few songs.I mean hes a talented writer in that he can write words that go well with each other but sadly his early work just doesnt speak to me except for the more well known tracks.It just all sounds like a bunch of nonsense that isnt even amusing.I think this album is a waste of time to listen to except for a few songs and I dont understand what is so good about it.Its boring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great, but transitional recording.
One of Dylan's 3 best recordings from the 1960s and marked his complete break with the folk movement. Just a 5. ... Read more

76. Way to Blue: An Introduction
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Asin: B0000931OQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2899
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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The options where Nick Drake is concerned are limited, but wholly appealing. The downhearted singer-songwriter released only three albums in his 26 years; the posthumous rarities collection, Time of No Reply, rounds out his abbreviated oeuvre. The whole lot is contained in the exemplary four-disc Fruit Tree box set. Way to Blue is a scaled-back option for those who are enchanted by Drake's intricate yet cozy lamentations, but feel no need to join the ever-growing legion of Drake completists. But while the 16 songs included here provide a fine introduction to the ill-fated Englishman's work (which seems to fit together no matter how it's sequenced), Drake is one of those rare artists whose entire catalog is worth owning due to its excellence and, sadly, its brevity. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Four Reasons to hate Nick Drake and One Reason To Love Him
Four reasons to hate Nick Drake:

1. Folk music, haunting vocals, sensitive and bittersweet lyrics -- all for sissies! I'm a wartime reviewer, so I have to judge success on these matters.

2. Mellow, melancholy music recorded by a guy who killed himself at 27 -- you're kidding, right? That's not real life, it's a cliche from a screenplay written by a goth pothead freshman at NYU.

3. Bunch of yuppie hipsters ... driving around in their shiny new VWs ... playing Nick Drake to pretend that their souls haven't been crushed by an adult life consisting of crass commercialism and empty sex ... well I hate 'em all. And no, I'm not jealous.

4. Every open mic night has at least one Nick Drake wannabe, and, if you can believe it, they're usually even worse than the aging ex-frat boy in a hawaiian shirt accompanying Margaritaville on a casiotone.

One reason to love Nick Drake:

1. This CD, and any of his original releases, has some of the most beautiful music you'll ever hear. If you truly hate Nick Drake's music the part of your brain that forms fond childhood memories and tells you to stop and smell the flowers is probably damaged or missing.

If you've never heard much Nick Drake this CD is a great start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantástica compilación de un artista inclasificable
A Nick Drake me lo descubrió hace unos meses un comentario de un internauta de Amazon sobre el primer disco de Colin Blunstone, el cantante de The Zombies (otro del que, por cierto, recomiendo fervientemente su discografía en solitario). Investigué un poco más y pude darme cuenta de que se trataba de un artista venerado por algunas de las más importantes bandas de rock contemporáneas, aparte de por una auténtica legión de fans que parecen haberlo convertido en una suerte de Jim Morrison británico, pero en una versión más soft. Para empezar, era casi tan "feo" como él, pero además, también tuvo un trágico final, con apenas 28 años: el suicidio o, según algunos, una ingesta accidental de antidepresivos. En todo caso, detrás de sí dejó tres discos que desafían cualquier intento de categorización (podrías ponerlo en la sección "folk" de tu discoteca, pero con ciertas reservas debidas a su particular lectura de tal género, del que yo ni siquiera soy devota) y que nos muestran a un virtuoso de la guitarra acústica, un cantante de voz susurrante y cálida, además de a un compositor de inquietante talento. A veces -no siempre- se trasluce en sus temas parte de la melancolía que debía asolar su alma, pero eso también forma parte de su encanto. Recomiendo que escuchéis este disco con detenimiento, pues tiene demasiados matices como para que puedan apreciarse en una escucha superficial. Esta compilación contiene los momentos más brillantes de sus tres álbumes oficiales Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter y Pink Moon, además de algún que otro tema inédito que apareció en su momento en un par de bootlegs de amplia difusión a través de Internet. Desde luego, imprescindible para cualquier amante de la música. Y no dejéis de consultar sus introspectivas letras!!

1-0 out of 5 stars insipid!
Nick Drake is a complete bore. Why he is suddenly so popular is almost beyond belief except that one only has to be reminded of the sorry state of popular music these days to see why the naive could be duped into listening to something so amateurish and puerile. None of the songs on this album go anywhere and Drake is trying way too hard to sound poetic while saying almost nothing. He sings his vacuous lyrics with the fervor of a tree sloth and the raw emotion of a brick. Many of the songs are overproduced, and the musicians come off sounding like hired hands. A word of advise to all you 20-something Nick Drake fans loudly singing his praises: You are all going to be really embarrassed when you grow up and realize how dumb this is. Nick Drake albums are best left in the cheapo section of the record store next to Hootie and the Blowfish and 80's dance compilations.

5-0 out of 5 stars Eerily compelling folkie blues
This is an excellent introduction to the work of Nick Drake. It also provides an entirely new perspective on his genius since the tracks are not arranged in chronological order. The individual albums are all classics but they are very much self-contained units that make one associate a particular song with the album. Way To Blue thus lends a new angle in the mix of songs. Although 10 tracks are repeated from the 1985 Heaven In A Wild Flower, the sound quality is much better.

From the album Bryter Later come Hazey Jane I and II, Poor Boy, One Of These Things First and Northern Sky. Five Leaves Left contributes Cello Sing, Way To Blue, River Man and Time Has Told Me, whilst the stark minimalist album Pink Moon supplies Things Behind The Sun, Which Will and the title track. Black Eyed Dog and Time Of No reply come from the posthumous Time Of No Reply album.

On Sweet Old World Lucinda Williams beautifully covered Which Will and Swans made a bloodcurdling version of Black Eyed Dog, found on their Various Failures album. The group Drive covered his song Road on their early 90s album Out Freakage. The Dream Academy dedicated the song Life In A Northern Town (1985) to Nick Drake. His song Mayfair had already been covered by Millie (of My Boy Lollipop fame) in 1970.

My only complaint about Way To Blue is the omission of Fly, a song that first appeared on Bryter Later and was then included, in a different version, on Time Of No Reply. In my opinion, it is one of his most moving songs. Besides that, this compilation contains the best of Drake's eerily compelling music but it is still worth it to investigate the original albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars Haunting, melancholy & curious
This is the PERFECT Drake disc. It has all his highpoints. My favorite song is "Black-Eyed Dog" which is also on the "Practical Magic" movie soundtrack.

It personifies depression as a black dog that just shows up at your door one day. It is magnificent in it's simplicity and candor. Another stunning song that uses this metaphor is "Churchill's Black Dog" by the Aussie band, Things Of Stone & Wood, on their CD, "So Far: 1992 - 2002."

Apparently, Prime Minister Winston Churchill sort of popularized the phrase "the black dog is here" to describe his severe bouts of depression. ... Read more

77. Let It Rain
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Asin: B00006JXYH
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5580
Average Customer Review: 4.47 out of 5 stars
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With Let It Rain, Tracy Chapman has found an almost perfect platform for her potent voice. She and coproducer John Parish have opted for a muted approach where guitars and tambourines stir among simple, unadorned rhythms. The singer's once boldly strummed acoustic guitar is here replaced by a more constant tidal flow, with handclaps, gospel-tinged choruses, and an open-barreled bass drum marking time. Chapman even goes trip-hopping on "In the Dark," a strangely shadowy highpoint featuring her artfully quavering vocal melody. The jumpy interludes on "Hard Wired" and the chamber interlude of "Over in Love" (which is reminiscent of the gorgeous interstitial tunes on Hem's debut) add color. This is an awesomely crafted folk-soul creation for seasoned fans and for those who love Beth Orton and Norah Jones. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent album
on her sixth album tracy chapman is awesome. i'm a huge tracy fan so i knew i would like this one too. it did take a few times listening for it to grow on me, because the sound is a little different. it's more rythmical less bare bones acoustic guitar and voice like her earlier work. the lyrics are more melencholy but their beautiful. my favorite songs are "let it rain" "another sun" "say hallelujah" and "in the dark" which is a song that sends shivers up my spine. if you have other tracy chapman albums don't miss this one.

3-0 out of 5 stars Solid but predictable
As is quickly becoming a trend for Tracy Chapman, with Let It Rain she has put out another predictable (and at times boring) album of solid material. She continues to write powerful, introspective lyrics...but the music surrounding those lyrics doesn't really mark any new vigor or new direction for Tracy Chapman. The music sounds like it would be perfectly at home on Telling Stories or New Beginning....both of which are good albums...but one would hope for something a little fresher this time around. While I'm certainly still a fan of Tracy Chapman, I would be hard-pressed to recommend this one. Newcomers should start with her incredible self-titled debut before this one. Alas, this one's only for the die-hards.

4-0 out of 5 stars Let It Play
Tracy Chapman is the anti-star. She avoids unnecessary media spotlight, shys away from the glitter and gold and is an avid charity supporter.

Every now and then, between her touring circles, she puts her confessional poems into melodies and another album is born.

In 1988, Chapman defied big-hair bands and senseless dance tunes by suddenly skyrocketing into super-success with her debut album and the hit singles "Fast Car" and "Baby Can I Hold You" - songs so uncomplicated, yet they spark an immediate emotion.

However, ever since her chart-dominating days, Chapman gradually faded away with albums not as directly radio-catchy as her debut, yet musically superb - resurfacing in 1995 with her single "Give Me One Reason."

Chapman's disappearance is directly due to the mainstream media's episodic fascination with new artists. The proof is Chapman's impressive catalogue.

"Let It Rain" is her latest full-lengther that continues Chapman's legacy as one of the best folk singers of our time.

The album opens in a rising fashion with the title track and the sorrowful "Another Sun." Then the first single "You're The One" takes off with its clap-along beat.

Then Chapman suddenly turns downhearted with the lo-mo "In The Dark" and then delves into the mysterious "Almost." This evolution is bittersweet.

What is pleasant about a Chapman album is that it merges perfectly and the album sounds like one long track. Here, Chapman uses an instrumental track "Over In Love" to achieve that ambiance, taking us from the Norah Jones-sounding "Goodbye" to the closer "I Am Yours" where Chapman wants to be wanted.

It is unlikely that Chapman will achieve former victories with "Let It Rain."

Although it is a complete and pleasing release, it still lacks a highpoint or a tune that is bound to strike gold.

But then again, who needs gold?

2-0 out of 5 stars Kind-of boring
The songs are mostly ballads. They sound very similar to one another. I had a hard time listening to the album in its entirety.

Buy her self-titled album or "Crossroads" or "Telling Stories" instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like this, check out Steven Delopoulos!
This CD gets 5 stars easily. The songs are heartfelt, and Tracy shows a depth and maturity that many singer/songwriters achive mid-career. If you like Tracy's music, check out a NJ singer/songwriter named Steven Delopoulos. He has a CD out titled 'ME DIED BLUE', and it is an acoustic singer/songwriter's masterpiece! Steven is the next big thing. ... Read more

78. In My Tribe
list price: $9.98
our price: $6.99
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Asin: B000002H4S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4097
Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan essential recording

In My Tribe was 10,000 Maniacs' second (and best) album and the record that made the band collegiate favorites and singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant a star. Producer Peter Asher's rich balance of acoustic and electric instruments gave muscle to the group's folk-rock. "Hey Jack Kerouac" found Merchant musing on the literary beats of the 1950s, but the song's musical hook was the rich bed of rhythm guitars laid atop the solid drums. "Don't Talk" offered a similarly propulsive rock sound, with lyrics that advised troubled lovers to keep it to themselves. R.E.M. singer Michael Stipe offered hipster credibility by guesting on "A Campfire Song," while a cover of Cat Stevens's "Peace Train" offered listeners a familiar port of entry. However, when Muslim convert Stevens announced his support of Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini's call for the execution of Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie, the band rereleased the album without "Peace Train." --John Milward ... Read more

Reviews (50)

5-0 out of 5 stars Passionate, beautiful, important music
This really is an amazingly good album, filled with depth and passion and shaped by one of music's most distinct, compelling voices (Natalie Merchant). I actually bought this album long ago, before I had even heard any 10,000 Maniacs music. The name of the group had a certain appeal to me, and there is something about the cover and its enticing shade of purple that drew me to it. Of course, what matters here is really the music, and I think this album reveals the very heart and soul of Natalie Merchant and the Maniacs. Not yet superstars, all of the musicians poured copious amounts of passion into each and every song, making this music both incredibly enchanting to the ears and compelling to the heart and mind. Merchant's unique voice is a beacon of soul-seeking enlightenment examining themes most artists (as well as most people) often shy away from. For example, What's the Matter Here? focuses on child abuse, Don't Talk addresses a struggling alcoholic, and Gun Shy is a plaintive lament for a world in which soldiers are needed. Cherry Tree, my favorite, is a song about the personal shame illiteracy can engender in a person, and it expresses such passion and joy in the prospect of learning that it could well serve as the de facto theme song for any adult literacy program. Verdi Cries is, quite simply, hauntingly beautiful. It is unfortunate (yet understandable) that the group's cover of Cat Stevens' Peace Train was removed from later releases of the album because I quite enjoy it-it's certainly much better than the original.

About the Weather is really the only song I remember ever getting playing time on the radio, but there are at least half a dozen songs on here that I find even more enjoyable. R.E.M. fans might be interested to know that Michael Stipe lends his voice (albeit rather briefly) to A Campfire Song. I can't get very excited about My Sister Rose, but every other song on the album is simply fabulous. Merchant's devotion to the music is beyond question, considering the fact that she essentially collapsed from exhaustion during the tour that followed this impeccable album's release. It's almost impossible to get tired of any of these songs, no matter how many times you listen to them.

5-0 out of 5 stars A True Original
I was very sad to learn that Rob Buck of 10,000 Maniacs died on 12/20/00. He was the lead guitarist for this exceptional band and will no doubt be missed in the world of music.

....The album, "In My Tribe" has had a profound impact on my life. It was here that I first listened to thought-provoking and innovative music that caused me to dwell upon other things besides myself. From the theme of child abuse in "What's the Matter Here," alcoholism in "Don't Talk" and illiteracy in "Cherry Tree," 10,000 Maniacs provided me and many other college aged listeners with powerful themes during the mid-80's. It was also in this album that I was introduced to politically charged and socially conscious music. Natalie Merchant's magnificent voice was also the perfect medium for the band's lyrics.

It is rare that I listen to a record and find myself instantly mesmerized and speechless. "In My Tribe" is a piece of work that did just that. It also perfectly captured my mindset, political voice and even to some degree my intellect, during my college years.

Rob Buck was an incredible musician. Fortunately his voice will live forever on this signature work.

4-0 out of 5 stars The tribe has broken...
In My Tribe by 10km is a pretty straight-forward album. Catchy tunes with serious messages, Natalie's beautiful and gorgeous voice (it got really good later on in years), and thought-provoking and social-consciencious lyrics make this album worth listening to.

Definitely a top 5 classic of alternative-pop in the 80's.

5-0 out of 5 stars Five Stars is not enough
At age 17, I had an old blue VW Beetle with a tape deck, an invitation to visit my older brothers at the University of Alabama, a 2 1/2-hour drive, and this album on tape - recorded from an album. I listened to it all the way down and all the way back, and the stereo at the party that weekend played these tunes.
Now, 16 years later, I still have the tape - worn, cutting out in places. My sister pushed REC by mistake in the middle of "Don't Talk" and now her gasp is stuck in the middle of it - but I still listen. My favorites have to be "Cherry Tree," "Campfire Song," "Like the Weather" (of course), and "City of Angels."
It's the perfect soundtrack to a weekend or a life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Desert Island CD
I have over 500 CDs in my collection. If I were stranded on a desert sland with only my walkman, this album would definitely be one I would hope to have with me. ... Read more

79. Live from Mars
list price: $23.98
our price: $20.99
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Asin: B00005AFR0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3164
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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With a slate of more than 200 shows a year, Ben Harper has never been an album-tour-album-tour kind of artist; for him and his fans, the stage is the ultimate proving ground. So after four studio albums, Harper has finally released his first official live set, a 25-song double-disc collection that surveys each of his four albums and adds a couple of well-executed, if not terribly inventive, covers. Disc one is electric and finds Harper and the Innocent Criminals tearing through their patented mix of rock, folk, soul, and blues. Yet, the solo-acoustic disc two is the true prize, putting the spotlight squarely on Harper's incredibly agile, versatile, and enormously moving voice. In this pared-down setting, Harper shows an uncanny ability to connect with his audience, offering one spellbinding performance after another. Culled from two years' worth of shows--no two songs are taken from the same concert--Live from Mars provides a welcome overview of Harper's many facets. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

Reviews (72)

5-0 out of 5 stars Past Due
Finally Ben Harper has a live album and while it's past due it's well worth the wait. This cd is a perfect compilation highlighting the many aspects of his show with one disc being the band and one being solo acoustic. And because each is taken from a different night, every song is top quality. Especial highlights for me would be "Steal My Kisses" w/Rahzel and the cover of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work." The only complaint one could have would be the inevitable and unavoidable one of track selection. There are going to be a few of his songs not on this that you wish were but if anything that just makes all the reason for another live album of similar nature to be released. And that is definitely a good thing so if you buy this and you are not amazed, maybe you are listening to the wrong type of music.

5-0 out of 5 stars I already love this album
For those who don't about know them, Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals are going to be a pleasant surprise: their music has this incredibly big sound, but the material is very introspective and personal. Ben Harper as a musician is a study in contrast also: his vocals are kind of reminiscent of Cat Stevens if he was a gospel singer, and he plays these blistering licks and chords, completely without any showmanship at all, dictated by his lap-style playing.

Live from Mars is a great title, and a great description. It's a two-record set of live recordings; seemingly recorded in a variety of venues and edited together. This gives the entire album a kind of weird disconnected feeling - the recordings are soundboard mixes that eliminate most of the crowd noise, but it actually serves the songs pretty well. The two discs have been organized to be Loud (disc one) and Quiet (disc two) - kind of splitting up the flow of a coherent performance. While this would be my only complaint, it does allow you to listen to an entire record of your preference, however.

Ben Harper's albums can be a little spotty because the variety of his playing: from bluegrass and zydeco-influenced, to wailing rock guitar, to funky covers of Motown. His live shows are incredible however, and with live recordings like Live From Mars, we'll never need a greatest hits record.

This album is a complete out-of-body experience, either Loud or Quiet. If you like great songwriting that has a great vibe and a great rhythm, or you just like artists that don't sound like anyone else, get this record.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must Have
A classmate always talked about Ben Harper, so I decided to download a couple of his songs to see what he was about. I didnt really like what I heard but when I borrowed Live From Mars it completely changed my mind. Disc 2 is great and I can listen to it over and over for hours. After hearing the studio versions and live versions I realize that I like Ben much better live. If you havent been impressed by Ben yet buy Live From Mars and you will be. Everyone loves DMB but I think that Ben is much better. I cant wait to catch a concert.

2-0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointed
Ben Harper was brought to my attention through his association with Jack Johnson. Then Direct TV showed Ben Harper this month on their free concert. I only saw part of the show and decided to buy Live from Mars as my first (and last) Ben Harper CD. I can't get into his doesn't have any flow. His guitar playing is mediocre at best, and his vocals even worse. At times I thought Tiny Tim had come back from the dead. I'll stick with Jack Johnson. Ben Harper was not what I expected, and I utterly fail to see what all the hype is about.

4-0 out of 5 stars a good sampling of Harper's work
The editorial review nails it in describing this release, but what it fails to mention is that the best part of this compilation is the cover of the Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work." Harper's version of this song is beyond spectacular. There are no words to appropriately describe his ability to seemingly connect w/suffering and hardship and portray it w/such grace, sensitivity, and emotion. It's up there w/Elliot Smith's "Between the Bars." Not to mention that the "Whole Lotta Love" cover that's played in the middle of "Faded" makes it my new favorite BH song. The only reason I won't give this release 5 stars is because I would have preferred to hear a different mix of songs, but this album is still highly recommended. ... Read more

80. Time Out of Mind
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B000002C2E
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2373
Average Customer Review: 4.36 out of 5 stars
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At the beginning of Time Out of Mind, Bob Dylan finds himself in the same dead-day world as on 1964's "One Too Many Mornings." By now, though, he can't be bothered to romanticize the street and the distant dogs' barking; he can only moan about how sick he is of love, of himself. Saying it seems to give him the strength to go on, and go on he does, over 11 songs that are among his most plainspoken and musically eloquent. The reconstituted bottle-blues that sparked the early '90s acoustic masterpieces Good As I Been to You and World Gone Wrong carries over to Daniel Lanois's carefully dirty production and a groove that tops anything Dylan's done in a studio since, at least, Blood on the Tracks. No matter how lousy he feels, this is the work of a mighty, mighty man. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (148)

3-0 out of 5 stars OVERRATED BUT NICE
I'm the biggest dylan fan, although he HAS come out with some sorry albums to say the least. When "Time oOut Of Mind" was realeased it won a Grammy and the word was it was his best albums. This isn't true. His best albums would put this album to shame. Don't get me wrong, this is a damn good album and it could have been better if some of the filler songs were removed. "Highlands" for one is like around 14 or 15 minutes and it may very well qualify as the worst song on the entire 73 minute album. It's slow and boreing and that's all there is to it. That's just an example, there are others. Some songs are awsome though. For instance, "To make you feel my love," is a faverate. Another is the bitter "Love Sick." You have to keep in mind as well that he's an old man now so he is becomeing aware of his mortality. "Not Dark Yet" shares his feelings, its terrific-highly personal. His voice is now even more scratchy and lower but usually it favors his bluesy songs. Not his best by all means, and as far as the comparasons to "Blood On The Track" I don't see any. Good for those who already have his essential.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Grammys were deserved -- extremely memorable
A stunning album in which Dylan builds on 1989's Oh Mercy and 1993's World Gone Wrong to create a musical landmark that transcends genre, though if you had to classify it it is more blues than anything else -- a raw, juke-joint blues whose apparent spontaneity of performance coexists with incredible songwriting artistry.

There are no wasted words here, and Dylan is even more direct than on Oh Mercy or Blood on the Tracks. His ravaged voice is still amazingly expressive and musically precise. Every song is strong, but deserving special mention are Highlands (for its hilarious restaurant scene and powerful emotional journey), and the masterpiece Not Dark Yet, a devastating portrait of the singer's awareness of his dwindling emotional and spiritual resources. Dylan's vocal on this song is extraordinarily accurate, capturing both subtle tonal gradations and large tonal slides in a way musical notation can't reproduce.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very good.
Best Dylan album since "Blood on the Tracks".....That one I'd give a 10 if possible.

3-0 out of 5 stars Ripper dipper return to form
Time Out Of Mind is a ripper dipper return to some sort of form from da mang who had set his sails for pissing his reputation away for good, but for me it is a tad too bleak and a little samish all da way through... it be a brilliant album don't get me wrong, n I can see why everyone hails it as a masterpiece n schitt, but I don;t know it's too similar for me all the way through... joo know, slow ballady song followed by dark fast blues song followed by ballady song followed by dark fast blues song followed by ballady song followed by dark fast blues songballady song followed by dark fast blues songballady song followed by dark fast blues songballady song followed by dark fast blues song, etc.

5-0 out of 5 stars In Bob We Trust
This album's loveliness has wounded me - I'm reelin from the blow... Yes I'm a dedicated Bob fan and this is a definitive piece that is not even remotely depressing to me. Bob has always defied traditional songwriting and this is no exception. 'Highlands' is in fact a hilarious song/spoken word that is an example of the man's brilliant diversity. No other artist could win a Grammy for such inanity. This one ranks up there with the best of his works if not at the top. ... Read more

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