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81. Building the Perfect Beast
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82. Neil Young
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83. Inside Job
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84. For Everyman
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85. Smokin' O.P.'s
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86. Jerusalem
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87. Slow Turning
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88. Brave and Crazy
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89. Double Fantasy
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90. Whenever We Wanted [Bonus Track]
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91. Like a Rock
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92. Empty Glass
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93. Scarecrow
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94. Dark Horse
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95. Unplugged
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96. Bubblegum
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97. The Mountain
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98. American Fool [Bonus Tracks]
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99. The Other Side Of Time
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100. Give It Up

81. Building the Perfect Beast
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Asin: B000000OPC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14550
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Henley--arguably the most talented member of the Eagles--had toyed with playful pop hooks on his I Can't Stand Still solo bow in 1982. Two years later he got down to business on this brainy, politics-themed sophomore disc, which indicted his native Hollywood as venomously as "Hotel California" once did. Surfaces were still somewhat glossy--there's no denying the foot-tapping elan of "Boys of Summer or "All She Wants to Do Is Dance." But the vitriol roiling just beneath those surfaces was deep, intellectual stuff. Henley, as he continued to prove with the more eloquent The End of the Innocence a few years later, is someone his fans can neither underestimate nor predict. Can we say the same of Glenn Frey or Randy Meisner? --Tom Lanham ... Read more

Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Don's Most Solid Album
Building The Perfect Beast was at the peak of music technology for 1984 and still sounds excellent today. Sunset Grill and Boys of Summer will live on as 80's all time rock classics. Don's lite rock is just as good as his hard rock songs. Don always has great studio musicians backing him and has an all star lineup here. Danny Korchmar's guitar playing rocks throughout the CD. David Paich and Michael Boddiker do excellent work on the synthesizers; especially on Sunset Grill. Every song is good, if not great on this album, plus Henley's lyrics always make his recordings worth a listen.

4-0 out of 5 stars From Hotel California to the Sunset Grill
In 1976, Don Henley and his fellow Eagles commented on the world in general and the Californian life style in particular from their own Hotel California. 8 years later, on this his second solo album, Don Henley still writes thoughtful poetry, set to beautiful music by Henley himself, anlong with veterans Daniel Kortchmar, J.D. Souther, Benmont Tench and others. "Building The Perfect Beast" is a great rock album with a wonderful mixture of good ol' lost-love-ballads ("You're Not Drinking Enough") and Henley's sardonic and sometimes bitter-sweet comments about the American way of life ("A Month Of Sundays"). A wonderful album, plain and simple.

5-0 out of 5 stars Henley's best solo album altogether.
This is easily the best of Don Henley's three solo albums of the 80's. 1982's I CAN'T STAND STILL was still too experimental and not melodic enough, and 1989's END OF THE INNOCENCE, although it had a few great songs, was veering too close to adult contemporary for my liking. This was the perfect middle ground, combining Don's trademark Eagles' classic rock sound with mid 80's synth rock.

1. Boys of Summer -- Everybody has heard this tough yet pretty mid tempo pop/rocker about lost innocence and the past. Plenty of synths and rhythm guitar make it sound like a California coast soundtrack (also supported by its black and white video).

2. You Can't Make Love -- Melodic semi ballad which, although it's heavy in synths, sounds like it could've been a classic 70's hit.

3. Man With A Mission -- An interesting mix of an oldies rocker with an 80's sound. Rowdy yet fun (semi autobiographical?) rocking tune about looking for a woman, meanwhile "running a few red lights, starting a few fistfights," etc. If someone in 1958 performed 80's hard rock, it would probably sound like this.

4. You're Not Drinking Enough -- Country inspired melodic ballad about drowning your sorrows after a breakup with a girl.

5. Not Enough Love in the World -- Another melodic, mid tempo pretty ballad with rhythm guitar. Though it was a minor hit, it's more or less forgotten today, sadly.

6. The syhtn heavy rocking title track isn't one of the better ones, but interesting nonetheless. Deals with technology and corporations taking over.

7. All She Wants to Do is Dance -- Hard edged uptempo hit, also sounding inbetween 70's classic rock and 80's pop/rock. Sounds like it's about a girl he knows who "wants to party. She wants to get down" while all this political stuff is going on in the world.

8. A Month of Sundays -- Quiet but angry piano ballad told in the first person, about an old farmer and how the land, politics, and generations have changed.

9. Sunset Grill -- Jazzy, slower pop tune about (what I later found out to be) a southern California restaurant going out of business. Not a bad song by any means, but I'm not crazy about it either. Certainly the least catchy of the four hits.

10. Driving With Your Eyes Closed -- Synth heavy somewhat loud rock song about a French and English guy who meet, and the differences between them and their countries. This would've been a good hit IMHO.

11. Land of the Living -- I'm not totally sure what this is about, but notwithstanding, it's just about the best non hit I've ever heard. Melodic synth rocking ballad with euqally good music and vocals.

Basically, even if you have all the hits (from the ACTUAL MILES collection), I'd still recommend buying this, since there's a number of underrated masterpieces that sadly never got to be hits. Any fan of the Eagles, as well as 80's mainstream classic rock like Tom Petty, Foreigner or Huey Lewis would probably enjoy this.

4-0 out of 5 stars Love and Hate,Perfect Country Cousins...
though don henley is,to put it politely, a very prickly pear...hes smart...hes out there..but his talent cant be denied...and the music(the net result of his angst) more than makes up for whatever character flaws he might possess..apparently a control freak....and something of an intellectual bully....henley is/was a transplanted east texas boy to the gold coast of southern california( who voluntarily checked himself into the hotel california)....and henley struggled,like all aspiring artists do early in their careers...likely melding his character...as to artist vs. the record companies...the eternal struggle of art vs.enterprise...henley claims the labels taught him how to hate, not to trust...but he apparently got even.. hired david geffen because he thought,"we know hes an SOB..a shark in a suit... but,he's our SOB"....the net result of all this manuevering was....great music....big ideas...big money...rock star status.....more independence....leading henley to(have enough money)to write about relevant topics,and themes, rather than the formulaic piffle much eagles music represents....without a doubt,henley is the best mind,best talent to evolve out of the eagles..not a bad drummer either...and this album is worth its weight....boys of summer...sunset grille...all she wants to do is dance....bang up hits...self explanatory...brilliant themes...brilliant structure...from a keen mind....yet, possibly at times, a conflicted soul..environmentalist/gazillionaire..???.doesnt matter in the end...this is a kicking collection of tunes...as timely as a jackson browne faire...though i might not care to know henley personally...you cant help but admire and respect the music...im not sure who the perfect beast really is..??? henley or the music..or both....??? this cd is almost a perfect beast...henley,like jackson pollack might not win any popularity contests....but like pollack you cant deny the art....theres a very fine bloodline between love and hate...perfect,country cousins....

5-0 out of 5 stars The best solo DH yet!
Those people giving this a "so-so" rating on here must not know what they're talking about. This is the BEST post-Eagles Henley album there is. No collection is complete without it. To those who think this has sappy or "filler" songs on it - spend your money from now on on just cd singles. You'll be much happier. You have no musically artistic tastes.

I originally bought this on cassette when it first came out. A few years after that, I deemed this worthy of replacing with the CD version and it will always stay in my CD collection, along with all the other CD's I bought from the 80's and '70's re-releases. ... Read more


82. Neil Young
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Asin: B000002KOG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7898
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Released in early 1969, Neil Young's first solo album is essentially an extension of "Broken Arrow" and "Expecting to Fly," his two most inventive contributions to Buffalo Springfield. Jack Nitzsche arranged and produced several of the tracks, fusing haunting strings and even funky female backing vocals to acoustic-oriented songs like "Here We Are in the Years" and "The Old Laughing Lady." "The Loner" is the one song from Neil Young to achieve classic-rock immortality, but "I've Been Waiting for You" is almost as good, and the rambling "Last Trip to Tulsa" presages the dark acoustic epics of On the Beach. Though it's not an essential album, Neil Young-like the man himself-is rarely less than interesting.--Dan Epstein ... Read more

Reviews (19)

4-0 out of 5 stars An understated, but fabulous, debut from a legend.
After a few years of coming and going with Buffalo Springfield, the "first American supergroup," Neil Young parted ways for good in 1967 with his band. In 1968, with Crazy Horse pianist Jack Nietsche arrangement, Young's self-titled debut was unleashed. Out of all his following albums, "Neil Young" is the most cohesive, mainly because Nietsche helped keep the budding artist on track. It probably has more overdubs than anything that Young did with the Springfield, and certainly everything since Granpa Crispy struck out on his own. The album starts off, ironically, with one of Nietsche's own compositions, "The Emperor of Wyoming," a nice, pleasant country instrumental. "The Loner" follows, and now we are clearly in Neil's world of angst and paranoia. "The Old Laughing Lady" is a great track, with female background vocals reminiscent of anything done for Motown, despite the fact the song is clearly not a Motown product. Besides the aforementioned, Neil's other songs of longing, like "If I Could Have Her Tonight" and "What Did You Do to My Life," make this a thrilling ride. The final track, "The Last Trip to Tulsa," is Young accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. The track is about nine minutes long, with the most arcane, non-sensical lyrics I have ever heard. The crazier the song become lyrically, the harder Young strums his guitar, until you think the strings will crack under the strain. With Nietsche's brilliant arranging, "Neil Young" is a fine start to a long, storied career.

4-0 out of 5 stars Neil Young's solo debut
Neil Young (1969.) Neil Young's first solo album.

In the sixties, Neil Young played with Stephen Stills in a band called Buffalo Springfield. Unfortunately, the band only scored one major hit, For What It's Worth, and the band disbanded shortly after. Stephen Stills went onto join forces with David Crosby (The Byrds) and Graham Nash (The Hollies), while Neil Young wanted to pursue a solo career. He would play briefly with the supergroup that his Buffalo Springfield bandmate joined, but for the most part, he would be focusing on his solo career. Early in 1969, he released his first album as a solo artist, which was self-titled. Read on for my review.

For Neil Young's solo debut, he follows the basic styling of gloomy pop-rock with a touch of psychedelia. This makes for one of the most interesting rock albums of the sixties. An instrumental entitled Emperor Of Wyoming starts the album off, and it does a good job grabbing the listener's attention and keeping it. The next two tracks, Loner and If I Could Have Her Tonight, sound like what a number of pop-rock artists would be trying to pull off in the next decade, although Neil's take is better than just about all of them. The Old Laughing Lady is a song that you'll hear many reviewers praise, and with good reason - it's an excellent track. Neil closes out his solo debut with the longest song on the album, a little number called Last Trip To Tulsa. This is an excellent album closer, and in my opinion, the best track on the album. All in all, an excellent debut.

If you're a Neil Young fan, casual or die-hard, his solo debut album is an album you should not be without. Later in 1969 he would join forces with David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Stephen Stills again, but his partnership with them wouldn't last more than a few years - he wanted to focus almost entirely on his solo work. And his first work as a solo artist is highly recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars The LP is much better
This album is good, but only if you have it on vinyl. The song "What did you do to my life" is mixed very badly on the cd, with that sort of droning incredibly irritating organ sound. This is only one instance of the poor transfer to digital that occured with this cd. It is on one of the best songs on the album, but just sounds horrible on the cd. I don't think they put this one out on vinyl since the early eighties, I was lucky to get it from an old neighbor. On LP, "what did you do to my life," without the bad electronic noises, gives the album a cohesion that it otherwise lacks. Does anyone else out there know what I'm talking about? The rest of the album lacks the rich production level of the LP. It's almost like it's a completely different album. I know--this is Neil Young minutia, but I just can't get over how bad this album sounds on cd.

4-0 out of 5 stars Nothing else quite like it in Mr. Young's catalogue
Neil's first solo album and the foundation of his signature sound (which he would perfect with his very next album) is here, but just a little more polished and (perhaps over?)produced. However, Neil was penning so many outright masterpieces around this time, the material overcomes the uneven production for a great listen. Recommended if you already know you like him.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Real Neil
Though Neil Young has been praised and damned in equal measure over the years for his abrupt changes in musical direction, one thing has always been a given: disrespect for his instrumental work, particularly those signature one-note guitar solos. And yet this, his first solo album, shows the true depth of Neil's guitar work. While some may be impressed with the speed and flash of Eddie Van Halen or Alvin Lee, nowhere has anyone before or since been able to wrench more pain out of his instrument than Neil does in "I've Been Waiting For You." This guitar is not gently weeping - it is crying from the pit of its soul. Maybe one of the best solos of all time, and yet universally overlooked. The rest of the album is just as impressive. ... Read more


83. Inside Job
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Asin: B00002R0KF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12428
Average Customer Review: 3.79 out of 5 stars
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Often taken to task for the maudlin mellowness of his back catalog, Don Henley's viewpoint on Inside Job is frequently as astringent as any of the best of his solo work, if refreshingly more stylistically diverse. Whether skewering the self-absorbed target of "Nobody Else in the World but You" with some welcome funk or lambasting the corporate co-opting of Mother Nature in "Goodbye to a River," Henley still wears his heart proudly on his sleeve. But the changes in his life have also blunted a previous propensity for self-righteousness into something more akin to subtle, resigned irony, and this album wears it well, especially on strangely downbeat "celebrations" like "For My Wedding." Featuring a typically all-star cast of guest musician pals (including Stevie Wonder, Randy Newman, Glenn Frey, and Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench), coproducer Stan Lynch (formerly of Tom Petty's Heartbreakers) has helped Henley fashion a more timeless, deftly shaded production envelope that should age better than most. Though he still can't help lament his world's hardening and loss of innocence (to the point of "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming," echoing Randy Newman's "Trouble in Paradise" nostalgic plea to "bring back the Duke of Earl"), Henley does it here with a subtle grace that may just win him a few new, late-blooming fans. It's an album that underscores how quickly life's fine wine can unexpectedly turn to vinegar. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (199)

5-0 out of 5 stars As Good As It Gets
To make a simple statement, Don Henley's newest CD "Inside Job" is as good as any CD he has ever produced. Being a Henley fan for years, I have often thought that he probably reached his artistic peak with "The End of the Innocence," with all of his other ventures during the nineties with the Eagles, Walden Pond, and personal issues.

"Taking You Home" and "For My Wedding" are just beautiful love songs that touch the heart delivered by Henley's vocals that are strong, clear, and with feeling. "Everything Is Different Now" is truly a great song which deals with the reevaluation of one's life and the prevailing enlightenment which enabled fulfillment. These three songs represent a softer touch that Henley hasn't really displayed before.

I have really never got a lot of enjoyment out of of music with political or anti-establishment themes. In many of these songs, the music is secondary and listening is tedious. Henley comes across real well musically with "Goodbye To A River" and "Inside Job." He is also bold and courageous in a brutal attack on his own industry in "Workin' It."

If there is one flaw, and under the circumstances it is minor, there is lack of innovation musically. There were no jazzy trumpets as on "New York Minute" which evoked a strong Manhattan mood. But what might be lacking musically is more than compensated for in Henley's description of life's darker conditions and love songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Aged Like a Fine Wine
Well, it's been a while since Don Henley visited my radio or CD player. I remember being moved by "The Heart of the Matter" on End of the Innocence and how it seemed like Don Henley was softening just a bit from his cynical, sometimes sanctimonius preaching. Inside Job seems to be another step in that direction for him. Apparently his marriage and becoming a father have made him a little less jaded and a little more optimistic about the world. Don't get me wrong, I loved his music before but it did get preachy. This is a lot less so and yet still has trademark Henley lyrics. For those of you who loved his railing against corporate greed and excesses of the world there are a couple tracks here for you in "Inside Job" and "Death of a River" but all in all a smaller dose than in the past. I personally enjoy the change quite a bit. Henley's CDs were always great if for nothing else than his lyrics and voice. There is no less thought into the lyrical content here, no less sweetness of his voice, just a little less feeling like you got out of church when you're done listening. I'd highly recommend it! Let's not wait 11 years for the next one!

5-0 out of 5 stars Henley's Inside Job
I had purchased this C.D. when it had first come out. Unfortunately, it was one in my collection of music that was stolen out of my car.

This by far is the best C.D. that Henley has ever created. So much so that Im ordering it again so that I can re-live past enjoyment of listening to him.

2-0 out of 5 stars They're not here, they're not coming. The tunes, that is
I have tried really hard to like this album.

I have all of Don Henley's solo albums, all of Glenn Frey's as well, and every Eagles album, of course, and they're all very good - except this one. Actually, two stars is almost generous, because this CD is beyond mediocrity.

Don Henley is very opinionated as usual, coming down hard on everything from mass media to people who believe in UFOs, and finding room for some well-wrought love songs as well.
But he and his co-composers apparently forgot about the music.
"Taking You Home" works. It's a pretty nice little ballad. And that's about it. Try as I might, I can't recall even a single chorus from the remaining twelve songs. Henley and his co-composers seem to have so much so say they forgot to write some decent music to go along with the (generally very eloquent) lyrics.

I remember listening to "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming" for the first time. I kept expecting some kind of a hook, some even slightly memorable chorus, anything. And it's almost there - but no. And that's a shame, because some of the lyrics are really good, and they could have used the company of some well-written tunes. But no, no hint of a riff or a hook anywhere.

(I know I won't get too many helpful votes on this one ;o)
But reviews are written for prospective buyers, not for fawning fans who already made up their mind and decided that Don Henley can do no wrong, remember?)

3-0 out of 5 stars Henley Mellows Out
I've tried over the years to tell myself that Don Henley's solo albums are as good as his Eagles work and the fact remains that they are not. Here, he has found marriage and fatherhood, which makes for some more personal songs such as 'Annabel', 'My Thanksgiving' and 'Taking You Home', but does that mean the songs are necessarily better? In the case of 'Taking You Home' its cliched lyrics and overworked arrangement could be by anyone, not Henley in particular. As for his standard rants against politics, the environment, the post-modern world, lack of privacy, etc etc, we've heard them all before, done much better. 'Nobody Else In The World But You' is typical 'I'm Don Henley and you're not' and if it weren't for the contributions of Stevie Wonder and fellow Eagle Glenn Frey I would ignore it. Songs like 'The Genie' and 'Workin' It' are anonymous techno-rock with no melodies and Henley just sounding off. The more interesting tracks are 'Miss Ghost' and 'Damn It Rose' which are a departure from the usual polemics, while 'Goodbye To A River' has real poignancy. And if you ever get to see the Inside Job DVD in which Henley's alleged band make it clear why the Eagles had to reform, while he stands there in dark glasses and orange hair pretending to be interested, well, don't bother with it. ... Read more


84. For Everyman
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Asin: B000002GYU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5889
Average Customer Review: 4.61 out of 5 stars
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Jackson Browne's second album defined the idea of the Southern California singer-songwriter--one part country, one part folk, eight parts introspection. It would be disgustingly maudlin except for the fact that Browne has some powerful songs, like the title track and "Lady of the Well." But he can up the volume a little, turning out a version of his own "Take It Easy" that outdoes the Eagles and cranking up the bar-band boogie on "Redneck Friend." For the most part, though, it's late nights in the dark and candlelight, and Jackson Browne did it well. --Chris Nickson ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars Jackson Browne's best
This has always been my favorite release by Jackson Browne, possibly because it was the first entire J.B. album that I listened to, but I believe it is because of the organization of the tracks. It begins with a familiar tune that everyone recalls from 70's radio,"Take It Easy", and blends into a series of introspective songs. The mellow mood is interupted in the middle with two songs,"Red Neck Friend" and "Ready or Not" which are considerably more upbeat. Some say these two songs don't really fit the mood of the album, but I find them refreshing from the somberness. The disc ends with two more easy to listen to songs,"Sing my Songs to Me" and the title track,"For Everyman"."Sing my Songs to Me" has been recorded by more artists than any other song I can think of which should say something about the song itself. This is in my opinion Browne's best and should be in anybody's collection if they like classic rock(not metal, disco, R&B, etc.). I consider this an "old faithful", something to listen to when nothing else is appealling.I have only three "old faithfuls".

5-0 out of 5 stars For Everyman - A Browne Classic!
Before I met a man online in 1996, I had never listened to Jackson Browne. He loved his words and music. We sat for hours chatting online listening simultaneously with headphones to For Everyman. He once said about the song Our Lady of the Well; "that has to be the most beautiful 16 lines of verse I've ever heard." He was right. There is a verse that say's: "Oh it's so far the other way my life has gone." Very poignant words.

"These days I sit on corner stones, and count the time in quarter tones to ten, my friend. Don't confront me with my failures I had not forgotten them" (from "These Days"). I have quoted this verse on my pages within my websites countless times.

The guitar, piano and sage words of Jackson Browne make For Everyman his best album. All too often we shy away from an artists earlier work. To not hear For Everyman would truly be a loss. The Empire thanks RomDog for giving me the best music of my life - Jackson Browne. "Long ago I heard someone say something about Everyman."

I highly recommend this to anyone who likes Browne with 5 stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars None Better
If you're looking for an introduction to recent hall of fame inductee Jackson Browne, this is where to start. After the success of his debut lp titled JACKSON BROWNE and the single DOCTOR MY EYES, JB had the creative control over the making of his next record every artist hopes for and he didn't disappoint. It kicks off with his marvelous version of TAKE IT EASY which he cowrote with Glenn Frey of the Eagles. Many of the songs here; FOR EVERYMAN, OUR LADY OF THE WELL, I THOUGHT I WAS A CHILD and SING MY SONGS TO ME are so relative to the early 70's when it was becoming clear that the optimism of a better world rooted in the 60's generation was crumbling and there is a feeling of disullusion to them. Along with TAKE IT EASY, Browne breaks the mood with the hilarious rocker, REDNECK FRIEND that even today could slip by the FCC sensors. READY OR NOT is a fine description of how life can change drastically when you least expect. Also included is the beautiful THESE DAYS which Gregg Allman, Browne's old roomate from their days of struggling unknowns in LA, had previously put out on his first solo record.
Not only was this recording the beginning of JB's partnership with the talented David Lindley (Guitars, Fiddle), it also features the backing vocals of Frey, Don Henley, Bonnie Raittand David Crosby, as well as a who's who of emerging studio players who would be found on numerous hit records over the years. This record flows beautifully and although JB's next record LATE FOR THE SKY is often cited as his highwater mark, I prefer FOR EVERYMAN. It has a less somber tone and Browne's singing is superior. This recording along with a handful of others represents the finest of the singer/songwriters who emerged in Southern California in the early 70's

3-0 out of 5 stars The Only One I'll ever buy...
I alluded to a song from this album, "Ready Or Not" in my review of Alvin & Mylon's "On The Road To Freedom." It's a interesting little ditty about his ladyfriend (please tell me it wasn't Darryl Hannah) turning up....pregnant. In the key of "E," Jackson tells us, "someone's gonna have to explain it me." Dude, if you didn't know then, you've only your folks (I guess) to blame. And there's a great version of "Take It Easy" on this thing too, yeah, THAT one that he wrote for the Eagles. A tad too...."mellow" for my tastes, but then there's a song, "Redneck Friend," which ain't bad. The pianist noted in the liner notes is - ahem - "Rockady Johnnie." Which translates to a still closted, not yet a "sir," Elton John. I just can NOT deal with Jackson Browne in all honesty; however, after hearing "Ready Or Not" while "similarily inclined," I guess I felt I had to run out in a buying frenzy and purchase the album. It ain't bad, but my wife's the only one of us who listens to it anymore. Go figure...

5-0 out of 5 stars Browne's early masterpiece
I have only recently come to know and love the music of Jackson Browne, and this was the first album I bought of his (mainly because I wanted to hear the writer of "Take it Easy" sing it). This is not your typical album, however, and I was taken by surprise as the flow and continuity between the songs drew me into the depth of Browne's ability to match lyrics with gorgeous melodies. "Take It Easy" is an undeniable classic, and Browne's version makes you feel like you've never heard it before. That song flows seamleslly into "Our Lady of the Well," which makes a bold statement about what was going on in America at the time under the guise of a rolling acoustic melody. "Colors of the Sun" is classic Browne, from the opening bassy piano chord to the gradual softening into the chorus. The absolute standout track on the album is next in "I Thought I Was A Child," which has one of the best opening lines I've ever heard (I won't give it away here). "These Days" completes the beautiful opening half of the album, where all the songs seem to be connected musically and thematically. "Redneck Friend" is a departure from the tone of the album, with rocking piano played by none other than Sir Elton John. "The Times You've Come" is gorgeous, followed by the clever "Ready or Not," which is more country than anything else on the album. Finally, "Sing My Songs To Me" and "For Everyman," which also flow together seamlessly, close this profound album with something between a whisper and a bang. This is one of those albums that has to be listened to all the way through, non-stop, to be fully understood and appreciated. This may be why it was not a commercial success, but as we know, many times commercial failures stand the test of time much better than "successes." This is a deep, dense, beautiful and underappreciated statement made by a young Browne who appears to be much older and more experienced than he really was when he made this. Definitely the masterpiece of his career, and one that will not fade away. ... Read more


85. Smokin' O.P.'s
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Asin: B0009IW98O
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 12810
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86. Jerusalem
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Asin: B00006GEX6
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3859
Average Customer Review: 3.87 out of 5 stars
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On 1997's El Corazón, Steve Earle wished for the return of Woody Guthrie to a world sorely lacking voices of righteous dissent. Here, Earle stops pining for ghosts and gruffly makes his own claim to the agit-folk crown. The controversial "John Walker's Blues" drew attention to the album and the ire of many who misunderstood it, but it's only one of many topical tunes on a disc that issues a kind of call to arms: over the distorted guitars and garbage-pail drums of "Amerika v. 6.0" and in the spare and creepy satire "Conspiracy Theory," Earle rallies listeners to resist such corrosive cultural forces as consumerism, xenophobia, and apathy. And as Earle's songs often do, several cuts offer sympathetic portrayals of folks on the margins: a busted Mexican migrant writes a letter home as organ chirps and guitars blaze through "What's a Simple Man to Do?" and in "The Truth," Earle's fuzzed-out drawl depicts life behind bars. Though nearly every moment of this ambitious album is laden with meaning, there's room enough for simple beauty--like the velvet voice of Emmylou Harris on "I Remember You"--and, more importantly, hope. "I believe there'll come a day," Earle affirms in the closing track, "when the lion and the lamb will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem." --Anders Smith Lindall ... Read more

Reviews (97)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great CD
Since 1995 when Steve Earle recorded Train-a Coming he has been the most prolific and talented songwriter in this seven year span.This album adds to his lustre.The range on this album is remarkable.Ashes to Ashes could(and should)be played on alt.rock stations and fit in perfectly.The cynicism on Amerika vs. 6.0 is scathing.Just love the chorus on Conspiracy Theory and the rest of the song is great as well.Anyone who listens to John Walker's Blues with an open mind will realize that this is not a glorification of this young man but rather a comment on the shallowness of American popular culture and one kid's search for a more meaningful existence who came to a bad end.

In 1986 Earle hit the country scene as a great new talent who almost wasted his career due to his excesses.His music now defies categorization.He plays anything from bluegrass to hard rock and and does them all superbly.He's the best songwriter working today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Other voices
I am not a Steve Earle fan and I know very little about his previous work. I have "The Essential Steve Earle" and don't care for it, but I am impressed by this CD. The lyrics are thought provoking, the Dylanesque songs are catchy, and the edgy production gives the album just the right sound.

I caught Steve on Conan O'Brien singing "Jerusalem", what a fantastic song. It is definitely the highlight of the CD, but, save for one song, the rest of the CD is very listenable. It's one of those CD's you can put in and listen all the way through without fast forwarding by a stinker.

John Walker's Blues is an intriguing song. I heard the talking heads bashing it on the morning talk shows, taking the lyrics out of context. The whole scene reminded me of the press' crucifixion of John Lennon after his infamous Jesus remark.

September 11th was a tragedy, but we don't all goose step to the drum beat of war. Eventually, other voices, those of peace and reason, will prevail. I pray that I am here "when the lion and the lamb will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem."

4-0 out of 5 stars Jerusalem is one amazing song!
I like everything Steve Earle does. So it comes as no surprise that I like this album too. But the one song that stands out above all others for me is "Jerusalem." If you have any interest whatsoever in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this song plumbs it to the depths. Almost no singer-songwriters (except Israelis) have attempted to write about the conflict & I feel enormous gratitude to Earle for taking the subject on and doing it such justice.

5-0 out of 5 stars I love Steve Earl...
Words can not describe the greatness of this album. Wow! Simply breathtaking.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good album- what can you expect, its Steve Earle
It took a couple listenings to warm up to this one. The first 4 tracks are very 'heavy', probably why I was a little apprehensive about the cd's demeanor. "Ashes to Ashes" has some great harmonica accents, and the first 3 tracks lead into a very haunting 4'th track, "John Walker's Blues". Then when you are getting pretty seduced by the heavy songs, in comes track 5, "The Kind". I think this is a beautiful song. The lyrics and music is simple and pretty. The song underscores my feeling that Steve is a great poet. I love this song. After this the cd has some good cuts and some not so good, "Go Amanda" tends to be boring, "Shadowland" must be some song from his early days, and pretty boring. "Jerusalem" seems to use the music from "When I Fall" (a great tune). If you are a fan of Steve's, this is one you should add to your collection. ... Read more


87. Slow Turning
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Asin: B000002GI0
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Sales Rank: 8752
Average Customer Review: 4.65 out of 5 stars
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John Hiatt was feeling strong after the success of 1987's masterstroke Bring the Family, so he rocked out a little more on the joyful, confident Slow Turning. His Louisiana quartet, the Goners, spearheaded by slide guitar innovator Sonny Landreth, made each hot tune ("Drive South," "Tennessee Plates") crack like a whip. Hiatt's rubbery soul singing, in turn, made each ballad ("Icy Blue Heart," "Is Anybody There?") tug at every available heartstring. The album became a bit of a hit factory for others, too--with Emmylou Harris, Suzy Bogguss, and Aaron Neville among the many who made Slow Turning's songs their own. This gold version of the title offers superior sound quality for a higher price than the standard-issue CD. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Rock and Roll For Grownups
If you want to explore John Hiatt -- and you should -- start here. If you're a fan without this CD, what in the world are you waiting for? It just doesn't get a whole lot better than this.

John Hiatt writes about real life. There are no sappy teenage love songs, but there is a great song, "Drive South," about two lovers with "heads in the clouds, just a little off-course" and one more chance to make it work.

"Trudy and Dave" aren't your average couple, but their descriptions (and the baby's) are laugh-out-loud funny. "Tennessee Plates" has a great, catchy guitar riff and an even better storyline: a lonely, desperate man; a female Elvis fan who's "been living in-between" and a car theft in Memphis.

"Georgia Rae" is a song about Hiatt's daughter and fits in well with everything else here. The title song is Hiatt's view of the world: unbowed, but realistic. "Is Anybody There?" will put chills down your spine with its mass choir effect and deep lyrics. "Feels Like Rain" paints a beautiful, languid picture of lovers in the Deep South and the music fits as perfectly as the lovers do.

If you like meaningful lyrics, melodies that linger in your head and you still don't have this CD, then you need to do something about it right now. You won't believe how great this is.

4-0 out of 5 stars Slow Turning - a John Hiatt essential
I bought this cd for the incredible song that Emmylou Harris covered - 'Icy Blue Heart'. That song alone puts John Hiatt up there with the best singer songwriters. As a bonus I also got top tracks like: 'Drive South', 'Sometime Other Than Now', 'Ride Along', 'Slow Turning', 'Is Anybody There' & 'Feels Like Rain'. I also highly recommend the previous album: 'Bring The Family', for more gems like: 'Memphis In The Meantime', 'Lipstick Sunset' & 'Learning How To Love You'. The bonus on that album is you get Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner & Nick Lowe in the band, and you can't ask for more than that.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good follow-up to Hiatt's best-ever release
"Slow Turning" is Hiatt's first collaboration with Louisiana trio The Goners, which includes slide guitarist Sonny Landreth.
The arrangements are variously acoustic and electric, and several guest stars pop up: Former Eagles guitarist Bernie Leadon plays his National resonator guitar, then-session vocalist Ashley Cleveland and Dennis Locorriere of Dr Hook contributes backing vocals, and the Amazing Rhythm Aces' James Hooker sits in on organ.

Highlights include the tough rockers "Paper Thin" and "Tennessee Plates", the resigned, unsentimental ballad "Icy Blue Heart", the country-rock shuffle "Sometime Other Than Now", the tender love song "Feels Like Rain", and the excellent title track.

John Hiatt's 1987 album "Bring The Family" is without question his best ever, not least because he was able to work with his dream band (Ry Cooder, Jim Keltner and Nick Lowe).
But "Slow Turning" is no throwaway either. Not everything is equally memorable, sure, but it is still among Hiatt's better albums.
3½ stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars One you can wear out
John Hyatt as a songwriter/musician/performer is at the top of his profession. If you are a fan, or certainly if you are new to his music, Slow Turning is a must. It has been 10 plus years since I discovered this album, and I have had it on cassette, and more than 1 CD. It is wear-it-out good. From the title track to "Georgia Rae", you won't be disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars This is what rock and roll sounds like when it grows up
John Hiatt succeeds in writing rock and roll for grown ups. Buy this CD! ... Read more


88. Brave and Crazy
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Asin: B000001FSA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7212
Average Customer Review: 4.84 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars How can I possibly be the first one to review this album????
Melissa Etheridge is a heroine to me - any public figure who is brave enough to be openly lesbian or gay in Reagan-Bush America is a hero. Few songs have ever been written that are more beautiful than "You Can Sleep While I Drive". I first came across it on CMT, when Trisha Yearwood covered it (very well, too), but it's a Melissa Etheridge song, and if she's brave and crazy, then I like me some brave and crazy. Go, Melissa - go, girl. Ain't much better than you.

4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely some classical stuff!
While not her best album by far (I rank them: Melissa Etheridge; Yes I Am; Your Little Secret; Brave and Crazy; Never Enough) it still has some must-haves: You Can Sleep While I Drive; The Angels; Testify; Let Me Go. Really cool pieces that I just can't have enough of. What I don't understand is why these never became big hits -- I mean "You Can Sleep While I Drive" is one of the best ballads I've ever heard!!! And if you've seen how Melissa performed this with kdlang at a concert back in 1994, you'll know that you MUST have this song!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Melissa Etheridge Great As Always
"Brave And Crazy" is Melissa Etheridge's sophmore album released in 1989. The songs and her performances are more raw and personal than her self-titled debut. Yet, she keeps her musical quality on top. This is only one of eight albums that proves that she is one of the greatest female rockers of all time. Her lyrics are always honest, which deserves her tremendous respect as an artist. She pours every drop of emotion through every note in every track. This forces listeners to feel her words. Melissa Etheridge once said in an interview that she felt more honest and lyrically free after she come out with her sexual orientation in 1993. She felt that this improved her music. Still, "Brave And Crazy" is amazing like her other seven albums. Whether she sings an upbeat song or a ballad, her performances stay on top. Her guitar playing matches the themes perfectly. Whether she writes hardcore rock, folk, pop, or blues, her songwriting always has the intense chemistry that keeps listeners interested. "Brave And Crazy" is a great album from a true rock artist that will keep people listening for a many more years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Her best by far
There is something about this CD that makes me love it more than anything she's ever done. In fact, it's one of my five favorite CDs of all time. The range of music, the quality of the lyrics, the sound, her voice -- everything comes together perfectly to create an amazing experience for the listener. Etheridge knows how to rock, as she shows in the title track, but she also has tremendous depth and soul, as shown in the plaintive, poignant ballads You Can Sleep While I Drive and You Used to Love to Dance. I particularly like the way Etheridge manages to add some songs which reflect a social conscience - specifically Testify, which is possibly my favorite song of all time -- while still keeping a personal, intimate feel to the songs. If you consider yourself a serious music fan, or even just a serious Etheridge fan, I think you need to add this CD to your collection. This is one of the gutsiest, most well done CDs I've ever heard.

3-0 out of 5 stars Promising
Yielded one of Etheridge's most requested classics, the hauntingly romantic You Can Sleep While I Drive - also covered by Trisha Yearwood - it is a gorgeous guitar driven song about selfless love. Swoon! The rest of the album shows much promise, but is not a worthy successor to Melissa's first album which is much more simple in statement & musical direction. Nevertheless, it's not a bad album if you like Melissa's voice or indeed the aforementioned classic. If it's a first Etheridge purchase, you need to check out Yes I Am or Skin for true appreciateon, but if you're seeking a little indulgence or musical adventure, this album will please. ... Read more


89. Double Fantasy
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Asin: B00004WGEK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3599
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Strange as it seems now, the last album John Lennon released in his lifetime was intended as a comeback, or rather as a parting wave at retirement: "Watching the Wheels" and "Beautiful Boy" celebrate the joys he found outside the star system, and "(Just Like) Starting Over" is a slightly awkward rocker about rejoining the domestic world that's also sort of about rejoining the pop world. The studio-pro arrangements are a little too slick, but Lennon rarely sounded happier. Ono, whose songs alternate with his in a series of thematic diptychs, was taking a stab at channeling her artier impulses into pop and is generally less successful--her voice works in a context of art-weirdness, but not as well in conventional tunes. This 2000 remastered reissue is fleshed out with a demo of "Help Me to Help Myself" and Ono's solo version of "Walking on Thin Ice," which was recorded on the same day her husband was shot to death. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (52)

4-0 out of 5 stars Very fine, very Lennon - shame about Ono
In the days of vinyl, there was a story that Lennon actually wanted to put all his songs on one side and Yoko's songs on the other. She protested, knowing full well that one of the sides was going to be played less that the other. Yoko got John to agree to "One Lennon, One Ono" model which we have here.

I have actually seen compilations with all Lennon songs from this album plus "Imagine" thrown in for good measure. Now, can you imagine anyone paying money to hear an album of just Yoko Ono songs? Exactly.

Beginning with "Just Like (Starting Over)", a spirited and uplifting rock number, Lennon's magic never stops, including crisp and clean "Watching the Wheels", warm "Beautiful Boy", supremely melodic "Woman", and even "Dear Yoko", which frankly should have been "Dear Yoko (I Wish You Left The Studio Now)".

Yoko Ono's songs are so bad it hurts - nothing but a talentless "experimental" moans in flat annoying voice. There are no redeeming features AT ALL, and all this on the same album with one of the best songwriters in the history of rock music. It is grotesque.

If there is one album which can teach you to use "Skip Track" facility on your CD player, this is it. However, thanks to Lennon songs, it is still worth every penny.

4-0 out of 5 stars A glimpse of what could have been
The last album released by John Lennon before his assassination, "Double Fantasy" heralded his return to music recording years after his self imposed exile in order to play the role of family man and father. The album alternates Lennon songs with those of his wife Yoko Ono, and the results are very mixed. As mixed as the songs by each artist. As far as ratings go, John's get 5 stars, no questions asked. Yoko's on the other hand....well, let's just say they don't.

For John's half, every song on here by the ex-Beatle is excellent. My personal favorite is the reflective "Watching the Wheels", but other true standouts are the tender "Woman", "Oh Yoko" (awesome song... shame it's got the word 'Yoko' in it), "(Just Like) Starting Over", and "Cleanup Time". Of Yoko's songs. . . the most listenable is probably "Kiss Kiss Kiss", but whenever I pop this disc in the 'skip' button gets some heavy usage. So not to do any serious bashing, I'll just leave it at that.

John returns to the studio refreshed and with a lot to say. This is just a glimpse of what he might have been capable of doing had his career been allowed to continue, but unfortunately all we can do now is wonder and appreciate the music that he left behind. For fans of John Lennon, his half of the album alone makes it worth the purchase.

3-0 out of 5 stars Three stars for Lennon!
If Yoko's tunes had been left off this album I would've given it five stars. But since it's a John/Yoko collaboration- I'll give it three.

God, I miss John Lennon. I miss his irreverent humor and lacerating wit. He'll be gone twenty-five years come 2005, hard to believe! I wonder what he would think of our modern 21st century world?

McCartney gave us TONS of solo music back in the '70's. Do you remember any of it? Sure, a few hits here and there. John didn't leave us with much music during that decade, the final decade before he died. I'm sure he never thought he'd be "checking out" of Planet Earth at the age of 40. But the music John gave us in the '70's, though occasionally tedious, always burned brightly with his heart-felt soul. John's music in the last decade of his life was always extremely personal. He wasn't afraid to show the ugly along with the good. The scars along with the beauty.

John's songs on "Double Fantasy" are among his best. I do wish he had recorded an ENTIRE album of just HIS songs. But what can ya do? Let's be glad he put these gems onto tape for us.

It's difficult to listen to this album without a lump in your throat. You thank God that this great singer/songwriter existed to bring joy to us. While cursing the fates for his death right at the time when he was coming out of a five-year hibernation. John, in his last interviews, was enjoying life and music-making again. Who knows what wonderful songs he may have given the world if his life hadn't been snuffed out by such a cipher as Mark David Chapman!

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic John Lennon Material
Now here's a perfect example of why John and Yoko shouldv'e
kept off of their own respective albums.Yoko's voice isn't as strong as Johns and since all his songs here are classics,they
stand heads and tails above her's in that aspect too.What should
have been done is to have had combined John's songs from the
'Milk & Honey' sessions with his on this and do the same with
Ono like the couple had earlier in their career on their
first group of solo records-seperate but related.Otherwise this

is prime stuff!

3-0 out of 5 stars John Lennon Can Sing...... Yoko Ono Can't
I'm sure I'll piss off many of the readers and reviewers here... but I need to continue to be honest about the music I listen to. There are 16 songs here, split right down the middle by John and Yoko with 8 each. The John Lennon songs are amazing - with 3 solid "comeback" hits in "Watching The Wheels", "(Just Like) Starting Over", and "Woman". And, Yoko Ono's stuff is complete trash. Ono's 8 songs are extremely uneven, very patchy, and down-right painful to listen to... and anyone who says they can listen with admiration to her vocals must be on heroin. Listen to some of Ono's songs (specifically "Kiss Kiss Kiss", "Beautiful Boys" or "Give Me Something") and see if you don't want to blame her for the break up of the Beatles. I admire the relationship between Lennon and Ono, but it absolutely did not translate into music for Ono. As for Lennon's songs... they are brilliant, passionate, political and personal. If this album was purely Lennon material it'd be an easy 5-star review, but Yokohama's material lowered the score. While this is no "Imagine" or "Walls & Bridges", this "Double Fantasy" still ranks up there with some of Lennon's best post-Beatle material. Only other thing wrong with this album is the cover... it's way to similar to "Milk & Honey". John Lennon was so creative - I know he could have come up with something else (maybe "I am The Walrus - Part 2"). "Double Fantasy" was John's last studio album (1980).... he will be missed. R.I.P. ... Read more


90. Whenever We Wanted [Bonus Track]
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Asin: B0009IW9DY
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Sales Rank: 21119
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91. Like a Rock
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Asin: B000002U9G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4813
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The music is hard like a rock!
At this point in Bob Seger's life,he had begun to slow down writing and recording. Here is where the long gaps between albums begin. Well,Seger's previous album THE DISTANCE was released a little over 3 years earlier than when LIKE A ROCK was released(spring 1986). Seger,since the time of THE DISTANCE,has had 3 Silver Bullet Band members,keyboardist Craig Frost and remaining original members bassist Chris Campbell and saxophonist Alto Reed. AMERICAN STORM was on hit parade in spring 1986 but does not appear on 1994's GREATEST HITS or the newly released sequel,GREATEST HITS 2. LIKE A ROCK was a bigger hit and became a signature song for Chevy truck commercials. MIAMI has ex-Eagle Don Henley singing background vocals. THE RING tells about "when he met her" and the marriage that followed. TIGHTROPE,THE AFTERMATH,IT'S YOU,SOMEWHERE TONIGHT and SOMETIMES are pretty cool. Also,there's the cover of FORTUNATE SON,written by John Fogerty of the Creedence Clearwater Revival. That song did not appear on the defunct LP. That track was recorded live.

3-0 out of 5 stars Stone Like
After the brilliance of his previous album, The Distance, Bob Seger took four years to release 1986's Like A Rock. The album is just a middling affair with some excellent song surrounding by sub-par efforts. The album's opening song is the blazing "American Storm" which sounds much like previous opening album tracks "Even Now" and "Hollywood Nights". The title track is much abused due to its use in truck commercials, but that doesn't lessen its strong quality. The best track on the album is "The Ring" which is a forlorn tale of a woman who has grown tired of her marriage and knows that she is trapped in the fading relationship. The rest of the album is not very good especially the awful cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son".

4-0 out of 5 stars Not their stongest album, but still good.
Bob Seger is one of those bands that makes good rock and roll what it is. He is truly origanal and easily one of the best. Like a Rock is far from his best album, but it is still great. All The songs here are top notch. 'Like a Rock' is easily the best song on the album, with its great lyrics, and Segers great vocal delivery, and that guitar solo oh, that guitar solo is one of the top five slide solos ever recorded! Other stand out tracks are 'Miami', and 'American Storms' both of which are Seger classics. The silver bullet band sounds great here, and Bobs vocal delivers once again sounds great on everytrack here. There are no real classics here except for the title track 'Like A Rock' and that is why this was only a 4 star album instead of a 5.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like "The Distance", "Like a Rock" a Under-rated Gem
The albums, "The Distance" and "Like a Rock" are the two LP's lost in Seger catalogue, nobody talks about either one of them yet they rank up there with his finest works. It seems like everyone remembers "Night Moves" and "Stranger in Town" but forget his other albums even the fine "Against the Wind" LP. The "Stranger in Town" LP is quite possibly the best album of the 70"s period but it has the most overplayed over-rated song of the 70's "Old Time Rock and Roll" included on the album.
By the time 1986 rolled round most people forgot about Bob and moved on to someone else, why who knows. The "Like a Rock" album is every bit as vital to a music collection as "Night Moves" The track "American Storm" is a fast paced energy filled performance by Seger and is a fine lead off track for the album. The title track" Like a Rock, stands like a rock, and is one of Seger's finest songs, forget about the Truck Commercials. Other stand-out tracks include the inspired cover of CCR's "Fortunate Son" and the fine over-looked ballad "Somewhere Tonight" Two songs, "It's You" and "Miami" have a mid 80's sound to them which fit in perfect on this album and give Bob a up to date contemporary sound. This album is Seger's last Quality album to date.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good...
But not his best. The title song is one of Seger's very finest, a timeless, powerful ballad which still provides an emotional wallop. "American Storm" is a fine, driving Seger rocker, although it sounds very similar to his other up-tempo material. "The Ring" is somber and impressive, and "Miami" faintly recalls "Even Now" in its approach. The remainder of the tunes are all fine, although none stand out. The CD addition of the live "Fortunate Son" is excellent, however, and its inclusion greatly increased the value of the album. ... Read more


92. Empty Glass
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Asin: B000002J6J
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3328
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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The Who's avatar was galvanized by the punk movement when he penned the 10 songs for this 1980 outing, his most commercially successful solo release. The album's opening track, "Rough Boys" (dedicated to the Sex Pistols), puts his viewpoint on the safety-pinned insurrectionists on the line: "I want to bite and kiss you," Townshend barks. In "Jools and Jim" he scolds bilious upstarts who "don't give a shit Keith Moon is dead," while the title track finds the "aging" punk godfather (he was 35 when the record came out) dismally admitting that "life is useless." Elsewhere, Townshend returns to the spiritual concerns that dominated his 1972 Who Came First solo debut, notably on "And I Moved" and "Let My Love Open the Door," Empty Glass's hit single. Musically, Townshend resurrects the rhythmic synthesizer patterns he concocted for Who's Next while also drawing on the drive of those punks whose devotion and contempt he so openly pines for. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars When you think Pete, Think This
Peter Townshend never fails to surprise us. Incorrectly dubbed his first solo album (actually his first was "Who Came First," an album dedicated to his spiritual guru Meher Baba) Empty Glass achieves two things; firstly it demonstrated to his record label that Pete could be a commercially viable solo artist, and secondly it is the consumate illustration of the artiste extraordinaire behind The Who, essentially doing it all without his original band. The cascading piano on "And I Moved" sounds wonderful as a digital re-master, and "A Little is Enough" still stands out as one of the few "chicks" songs which us guys melt over as well. Interestingly "Let My Love Open The Door," which Pete referred to in an interview as a 'simple love song,' is not so simple at all. It became clear upon its' release on the Townshend compilation "Coolwalking. . . ," as written in the liner notes, that the primary voice is that of God. This is not the first time Pete has displayed his religious passion, indeed "Tommy" was a harbinger of things to come, as was "Rael" prior to that. Empty Glass is divine as pop albums go. I revere the song "I am an Animal" about as much as I do any of Townshend's work, because of the HUMAN voice, "...the passion is so strong when I'm alone, loneliness will change me." Empty Glass is honest, biting (and kissing) and remains a true testament to what Townshend has within him. It wasn't downhill after this album for Pete, No. He got this out of his system and then moved on, and we've all benefited from his catharsis time after time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Townshend's best solo album
None of this would have worked on any of The Who's albums. I just listend to this great album for the first time in years. I do have to take exception to the amazon.com review. And I Moved, despite the etheral quality of the music, is about a peeping tom written from the point of view of the victim. It's an odd juxtaposition of melody, galloping bass line, sweet harmonies and lyrics that are on the weird side.

The album is amazingly consistent twenty-three years on. Rough Boys still packs a wallop long after the punk era has passed. Let My Love Open The Door is probably the most optimistic and emotionally open song Townshend has written. There's still an element of spiritualism to much of the album and, given Pete's recent brush with the law (...), there's much that can be read into the angry lyrics of some of these songs.

I like The Who but I always felt that their bombast frequently outweighed their genuine talent and that Townshend's songs were swallowed up by the performances by the band. Empty Glass allowed Townshend to reclaim his soul so to speak without the overblown production that had become a hallmark of the last couple of Who albums. It's clear that writing material for Roger Daltry to sing effected the quality of his output. None of the last couple of Who albums can compare to this album or the less well regarded All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes.

5-0 out of 5 stars Townshend at his best
Pete's debut album "Who Came First" was a spirtually based mediocre collection. "Rough Mix" focused more on basic rock roots but still lacked the Townshend uniqueness we all know and love. "Empty Glass" is a combined effort of both albums.

IT'S SIMPLY AMAZING.

"Rough Boys" opens the album with a punch. Townshend proves his punk roots no matter how old he is. "I am an Animal", one of the stronger songs, continued the greatness with transformation based lyrics. "And I Moved" contains some of the best piano work ever heard (courtesy of Rabbit Bundrick). "Let My Love Open the Door" was Empty Glass's hit single and was rightfully so. "Jools and Jim" brings in more hard rock and is incredibly cathcy. "Keep on Working" is a fun tune with a very good bass line. "Cats in the Cubbard" is the weakest song on the whole album but it's not that bad. It's a bit to heavy on the guitar part in my opinion. "A Little is Enough" is a simply amazing, with synth work similar to "Let My Love Open the Door". The title track "Empty Glass" is a tune with heavy rock chords and the type of Townshend spirituallity we are all used to. "Gonna Get You" rounds out the album with a hard rock, multi vocal finisher.

If anyone thought that Townshend could not survive outside The Who then they've obviously never heard this album. This is the Townshend that should be remebered. His best album with his best work.

4-0 out of 5 stars almost great
I'll save my 5 star reviews for albums on which (almost) every songs is excellent. "I am an animal" and "keep on working", at least musically, leave a something to be desired and "Let my love open the door" is absolutely too commercial. I also expected more guitar and guitar solos on this album as it's quite piano heavy. "Rough Boys" and "And I moved" gave his fans the first hint of his now open bi-sexuality. "Jools and Jim" captures the essence of the 80's punky style without being annoying. "Empty Glass" and "Gonna get ya" (and "Rough Boys") are classic Townshend and, alone, make this album worthy of your ear and money.

5-0 out of 5 stars A great album from beginning to end
With this album Pete Townshend shows us what he's capable of on his own, which is every bit as good as anything he's done with The Who. The hits are good but so are the songs you'll never hear on the radio. ... Read more


93. Scarecrow
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Asin: B000001FCY
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Sales Rank: 6349
Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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Though the comparison has often been applied to him unfairly, it's fair to say that Scarecrow is to John Cougar Mellencamp what Born in the U.S.A. is to Bruce Springsteen: a hugely popular hit that solidified both his fan base and his critical reputation. The one important difference is that U.S.A.'s message was largely misinterpreted (Ronald Reagan co-opted the title song in a manner that's tragically ironic), while Scarecrow's ode to Mellencamp's native Indiana comes through loud and clear. Shortly after the release of this album, Mellencamp got involved in the Farm Aid benefit-concert series, and his concern for that lifestyle is evident on songs like "Small Town," "Rain on the Scarecrow," and "Rumbleseat"; other songs ("Lonely Old Night," "R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.") are straight from the heart(land). --Randy Silver ... Read more

Reviews (41)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Every reviewer here is right. This is a classic album. The songs on it all keep a flow to the CD that never wears out. When it comes down to key moments on the disc, Mellencamp laid out with such exquisite beauty tracks like Between a Laugh and a Tear, Minutes to Memories,Rain on the Scarecrow, Rumbleseat, and Small Town, that half the album is unforgettable. The rest of the album is good filler, more rock out tunes, some social commentary- Face of the Nation, Justice and Independence, ROCK, Lonely Ol' Night. This album yielded five top 40 hits, there's no question why when you listen to it. John Mellencamp simply sang from his soul honest songs about the people he knew. Instead of the people being junkies from LA, they were regular men and women of the midwest. It still stands a perfect roots-rock album for any time and place.

5-0 out of 5 stars He's the voice of America...whether you like it or not!
John Mellencamp is controversial. For instance, on this album, "Justice and Independence '85" is basically a slap in the face to American politics, set to one of the catchiest rythms ever created.

Mellencamp is controversial, but he's the voice of America. This album, the best of his that I've heard (I haven't listened to them all--yet--but I've listened to most), is about America's heartland: the place where real people live and die for the rest of the world. I'd know; I live there, too.

"Rain on the Scarecrow" is an ode to all farms lost due to big corporations. "Small Town"--a song I can relate with whole-heartedly--is about life in small America, which often gets overlooked outside of country music (which I am a fan of). "Lonely Ol' Night" is a song of desperation and lonliness, as is my favorite, "Rumbleseat." "You've Got to Stand For Somethin'" takes you through the pitfalls of celebrity life, while reinforcing the values you hold so near and dear to your heart. "The Kind of Fella I Am" is a witty, sarcastic look at a man bearing his heart to his girl--not caring if she likes it or not.

There're more tunes on here; but I can't tell you about them all, can I? You've got to have some surprises. One thing's no surprise, though: John Mellencamp (with or without the unnecessary "Cougar") is one hell of an artist. Blending rock and country into a sound all his own, he's forged a career out of telling it like it is, waiting to see your reaction, then continuing again regardless of whether you like it or not.

John Mellencamp is the voice of America. Buy "Scarecrow" and discover why.

5-0 out of 5 stars At His Best
This is (Most Likely) Mellencamp's best album. "Uh-Huh" and "American Fool" are very good as well and everyone should have all three, but start here first.

5-0 out of 5 stars A big step forward
Until this album, I had always thought of John Mellencamp as a low-grade Bob Seger wannabe and I found it hilarious that some friends actually ponied up money to see him in concert when he came to Cincinnati. My feelings of superiority disappeared when this album arrived, and I grew to envy my friends who had seen this phenomenon in it's early stages. Hot on the heels of Springsteen's Born In The USA, this is the album that I'll grab if it comes down to a choice between the two. Part of the reason for that is that I'm just sick of the overplayed BITUSA, but another bigger part is that Scarecrow is really that good. Things were never the same for "Johnny Cougar" after this album, and in the years since he's proved time and again that this was no fluke. He's the real thing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Piece of Work.
I think "Small Town" may be among my top few favorite songs of all time. This album is where you'll find it. Never mind the other jems on it... heck, he should have released every song on here to the radio. The few he did all did great on the charts.

Gutsy, heartfelt heartland rock and roll sung by the guy whose name has become associated therewith. I hope he never stops playing: he'll be as much an American icon as Willie Nelson by the time he's done. ... Read more


94. Dark Horse
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Sales Rank: 6347
Average Customer Review: 3.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (43)

4-0 out of 5 stars Running on a dark racecourse
There's a general misconception amongst newer Beatle fans -- there's a "worst" solo album for every solo Beatle. If you had to pick one for each, George's would probably be assumed to be "Gone Troppo," but others would certainly pick "Dark Horse." Why? That's the question that begs to be answered!

"Dark Horse" is different, yes. It's not everyday that a performer chooses to forego a sore throat and serious laryngitis and record an album to help his record sales. But, if anything, this shows us the wonderful kind of person that George Harrison was. You can only admire the man for his persistence, and the fact that this record turned out much better than expected also helps.

Every song gets a dose of character with Harrison's scratchy vocalization. On his first two albums, he could be toted as a Dylan wannabe. But the laryngitis actually gets him away from that a bit -- and it helps such songs as the wonderfully jazzy "Far East Man." The only song that could probably go better with George's "true" voice is the wonderfully morose "So Sad."

"Simply Shady" is a perfectly nonsensical song with some deep-rooted meaning or another. And as far as religion goes, "It Is He (Jai Sri Krishna)" is definitley George's best attempt at writing religious pop for the general public. This is definitley a pseudo-raga you can hum.

With his death, George Harrison left behind a tremendous legacy. Let's not all toot "All Things Must Pass"'s horn and forget about his near-perfect later albums -- "Dark Horse" included.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still sounds good 28 Years Later!
George Harrison's 1974 release "Dark Horse" was somewhat panned by music critics upon it's arrival. The truth is that this album has withstood the test of time. Every song is very listenable with the exception of "Bye Bye Love". Songs like "Dark Horse", "Simply Shady", "Hari's On Tour Express" and "It is He" are all musically solid as Harrison blends in sitars, flutes, and horns. The song "Ding Dong, Ding Dong" is a fantastic winter holiday tune that is ear catching upon its first listen. Harrison gets support from Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Jim Keltner, Ringo Starr, Tom Scott and his "L.A. Express", Gary Wright, Alvin Lee, Mick Jones and Klaus Voormann just to name a few. A prior review stated that George was never on par with Lennon and McCartney. The fact is that George Harrison's solo work often proves itself musically superior to many of John and Paul's solo efforts? Has paul ever written anything as thought provoking as "Beware of Darkness", "What is Life", or the "The Art of Dying" as a solo artist? The person who wrote that prior review probably thinks "Silly Love songs", is thought provoking? George may have not been as popular with the masses like John and Paul[maybe that's the way he liked it],but george was without question the more sophisticated musician of the bunch. George certainly was the "Dark Horse".

3-0 out of 5 stars Four good tracks
Having begun his solo career with a bang ("All Things Must Pass") and putting out a pretty good followup album ("Living In the Material World"), George eventually ran out of gas and spent most of the seventies putting out a series of inconsitent and fairly boring releases. To be sure, there are bright moments on "Dark Horse" - the title track remains a good song, and in many ways a defining one for the artist. "Ding Dong" is a catchy song for New Year's eve - everyone and their uncle puts out a Christmas song, but very few have given us anything so durable for New Year's. "Far East Man," written with Ron Wood, is a cool, somewhat bluesy song that holds up well today. And "It is He," Harrison's usual nod to Hindu chanting, is also catchy and spirited. All of these tracks come from the album's second half. Unfortunately, the first half is a snooze, lacking good melodies and swimming in a kind of bathos. There is a ghastly version of the Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love" (if you can find the melody in it) that is meant to be a joke about Harrison's friend Eric Clapton taking off with George's wife Pattie, but it sounds fairly creepy and sardonic today. The others are a yawn, with the possible exception of the depressing "So Sad." In short, George only had four decent songs here, which might have been better released as two singles instead of a whole album.

4-0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars - severely underrated
Dark Horse (1974.) George Harrison's third solo album.

It's amazing how quickly George Harrison managed to find success in his post-Beatles solo career. Sure, Paul McCartney remained the former Beatle that the public followed the most, but Harrison was no slouch when it came to writing musical masterpieces. His albums All Things Must Pass and Living In The Material World were regular masterpieces, as was his live collaboration, Concert For Bangladesh. In 1974, Harrison released his third solo studio album, Dark Horse. Read on for my review.

Harrison doesn't waste any time rocking here. The opening track, Hari's On Tour, is a guitar-heavy instrumental, and a damn good one too. The opening track on an album should grab the listener's attention and hold it, and this opener does just that. Simply Shady comes next. This is one of George's most underrated songs, in that it experiments with a number of different styles - and succeeds! Why didn't this song become a bigger hit? It's every bit as good as any number one hit Paul McCartney ever had in his solo career. So Sad is a song that George wrote about his (failing) marriage to Patty Boyd, who would end up leaving him for his best friend, Eric Clapton - and she left HIM not long after. Odd story, but it made for a good song nonetheless. Next up we have Maya Love. This is an excellent tune with some slight jazz influence which resembles his Beatles-era number, Savoy Truffle. It's another damn fine underrated Harrison tune. Ding Dong Ding Dong is a weird song, but, it too, manages to be a pretty good one overall. Another one of the many underrated masterpieces is Far East Man. The lyrics here are about never turning your back on a friend - and Harrison pulls it off excellently. The title track was the only really big hit to emerge from the album, and it's only natural that the song became so popular - it's nothing short of excellent. We even get a cover of the old Everly Brothers tune Bye Bye Love! Although this version of the song differs substantially from Phil and Don's original, I actually like it better than the original! The closer, It Is He, is quite different from the other songs on the album, but is nothing less in the quality department. It was an excellent way to finish off the album.

In the end, I would have to say that this album is some of Harrison's most underrated work. And that's a real shame, because it's also sone of his best. Although the album doesn't top All Things Must Pass (it's doubtful anything ever will, in my book), it's solid nonetheless, and well worth buying if you're a fan of George's.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Album Harrison Had to Make
There comes a moment or two (or three) in an artist's life when he hits a trough and finds himself spiraling out of control. Back in 1974, when George Harrison embarked on the making of "Dark Horse", he was in the midst of preparing for a tour of the United States, which came on the tail of an infamous marital breakup. The man was human. Profoundly spiritual and conscientious of his commitments, he damaged his voice rehearsing. George was perhaps a bit lonely, became a little crazy, and momentarily lost sight of God. However, through it all, he had a pocketful of songs that were a cathartic expression of pain, venom and ultimately, redemption.

This was a gravely underrated album. After the success of "All Things Must Pass" and "Living in the Material World", expectations were high for "Dark Horse". The album didn't soar in the charts, but that does not mean it was below standards. It was panned for his shot vocals; however, this was an unfair assessment. He voice cracks here and there, but it doesn't falter. It works well. He sounds soulful. The songs are melodious, driving, and beautiful. Never have fans heard such a contrast of emotion from Harrison on a record before. It starts in the kick off instrumental delight of "Hari Express" to the lament of "Simply Shady" where he realizes that "things aren't so simple anymore". Although the lyrics in "So Sad" are a bit self pitying, one can't help but love the catchy hook of the chorus, and feel deep empathy for a man who is virtually crying in his beer. The range of emotions continues in the venomous re-written version of the old Everly Brothers song "Bye Bye Love". This isn't your mother's version. It starts with a slithery bass, ready to pounce and confront. The new words express a bit of the macho Liverpool lad who is so hurt and furious, he's basically ready for a fight.

When his anger reaches it's peak, he slowly, but assuredly, begins to turn to God. "Maya Love" seeps in as personal reminder that physical love can be transient in this life, part of the illusion. Once that realization is sung to us, we sense he is starting to heal himself by his need to shed the past in "Ding Dong, Ding Dong", a tune so cheerful and fun, it can make anyone want to "ring out the old, ring in the new." In Harrison's book "I, Me, Mine", he explains that "Far East Man" was in fact about Ron Wood, a friend to whom he promised to write a song, and who particularly loved wearing a tee-shirt emblazoned with the words "Far East Man". It's a fun loving, jazzy, lounge-act romp, showing he still has devotion to a friend in need, and that his humor is still in tact. George finally ends right back to the "source", in his ultimate and joyous chant for God in "Jai Sri Krishna. Here he has found himself again, upon his return from the dark side, at one with God, open hearted, ready for anything the universe throws at him.

The album's focus is that he's a "Dark Horse", expressed in the title track, a beautiful, galloping song, where his voice shows the wear and tear. He's "a blue moon", not your average winner, rather, the underdog who comes through when the stakes are down, and no one is looking over their shoulder. The album is a culmination of the sadness, loneliness and failures he had to face during a low phase in his remarkable life. In the shadows of McCartney and Lennon, in the adversities of love and war, he will come through every time, just when people think he's beat. It's a heartbreaking, if not harrowing emotional rollercoaster from a spiritual man who was at a crossroads in life, and whose devotion to God was in dire need of being applied, and indeed, gracefully used. ... Read more


95. Unplugged
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 6640
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Based on past form ol' Neil should have been about ready to kiss off the sizeable audience he recaptured with Harvest Moon with an amp-shredding noisefest. Instead he aims to please here with vintage repertoire, the debut of a 1976 gem ("Stringman"), some tasty departures (the pump-organ "Like A Hurricane") and a heart-tugging "Helpless". The Unplugged backlash does not begin here. Jeff Bateman ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Acoustic Young
Neil Young was unplugged before the MTV show become a phenomenon, so it was only natural that he make an appearance on the show. As usual, Mr. Young mixes up his set, playing new songs like "From Hank To Hendrix" and the sweet "Harvest Moon" to old chestnuts like the Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul" and "The Old Laughing Lady" from his first solo album. While many of the songs like "The Needle & The Damage Done" & the brilliant "Pocahontas" were acoustic to begin with, there are songs that go under some radical transformations. "Like A Hurricane" was a fuzz guitar heavy, sonic blast, but here it is propelled by only Mr. Young's voice and an eerie pump organ. The results are outstanding. "Transformer Man" is from his electronic album, Trans, and the vocals were distorted by a vocoder. In it's acoustic form, it takes on a weird perspective with its futuristic lyrics. "Helpless" is absolutely gorgeous with lush harmonies led by old Crazy Horse member and current E Streeter, Nils Lofgren. Unplugged is one of the better album taken from the show and shows Neil Young's chameleon like ability to transform songs into different styles.

4-0 out of 5 stars Emphasizing the Mellow
Neil Young appeared on MTV's "Unplugged" series after the release of his "Harvest Moon" album. Like that album, "Unplugged" definitely puts firm emphasis on Neil's mellow side, which in this case yields beautiful results. The material spans the artist's whole career, from Buffalo Springfield (a haunting, stripped-down "Mr. Soul") to his early solo triumphs ("The Old Laughing Lady," "The Needle And The Damage Done"), from CSN&Y ("Helpless") to the mid-'70s "dark" period ("World On A String"), from the Crazy Horse guitar hero days (a radically reworked "Like A Hurricane") to the then-current "Harvest Moon" period (several tracks). My personal gripe is that there's no material from 1974's "On The Beach" (tell me "Ambulance Blues" wouldn't have made this a five-star disc), but the beautiful acoustic reading of the previously electronic "! Transformer Man," from the much-maligned "Trans" album, makes up for it: the performance casts a familiar song in a refreshingly new light, always a neat trick if you can pull it off. (The previously unreleased "Stringman" is also a nice bonus.) Neil is alone for part of the show, until he is joined by pals including Nils Lofgren, Ben Keith, Tim Drummond, Nicolette Larson, and Young's sister, Astrid Young. All do quite well, especially during a take of "Harvest Moon" that is actually more beautiful than the album version (which is saying a lot).

5-0 out of 5 stars Unique Artist..That's for Sure!
Neil doesn't disappoint. I would love to see him in concert and do the national anthem Hendrix-style. That would be interesting.
From "Mr. Soul" to "Hurricane" this is a great collection!

Alot of us in our 40's are still very fond of Neil.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Brilliance of Depression
This album is probably the best acoustic performance Neil has done in awhile. Everyone knows this is a great album. I just want to clarify that the version of "Mr. Soul" on this album is the way he ORIGINALLY wrote it. He did not remake this song...the Buffalo did that in the 60's. So there's a little more incentive for you to buy this record.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wasn't he unplugged already?
Given Neil Young's huge catalog and its inclusion of so much acoustic material, you might think that 'unplugging' him would just amount to his doing a show of his acoustic songs. Well, that certainly would have been the easy way. But if Neil took the easy way, he wouldn't be the Neil we've come to know and love.

In fact, although there is a generous helping of material on this CD that was originally released in 'acoustic' form, there are also a number of surprises. For this show, Neil took several highly non-'acoustic' songs and converted them.

One of my favorites is his bluesy, wailing version of 'Mr. Soul'. Originally a Buffalo Springfield tune, this time it's just Neil with his guitar and harmonica. I also like the stripped-down, countryfolkified performances of 'Old Laughing Lady' and 'World on a String'.

And wait until you hear what he's done with 'Transformer Man'. Even if you didn't like it before, you may like it now.

There's also 'Like a Hurricane', a blistering rocker originally released on _American Stars 'n' Bars_ (which, incidentally, is now available on CD at last!). Here Neil performs it solo, accompanying himself on pump organ.

This show took place not long after the release of the magnificent _Harvest Moon_, so there are a couple of selections from that album. And the rest is what you'd expect -- a set of solid performances of old and new favorites, some well-known and some obscure, from all stages of Neil's long career. "The Needle and the Damage Done', 'Look Out for My Love', 'Long May You Run' -- this stuff is never going to wear out its welcome.

One last highlight: Neil also does a fine tune called 'Stringman' (which I suspect is about Stephen Stills); I don't believe I'd ever heard it, or even heard _of_ it, before this release. ... Read more


96. Bubblegum
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Asin: B00026YO36
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Sales Rank: 5788
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Bubblegum is Mark Lanegan's sixth solo album, but still he's relatively unknown to all but a few. Since going solo, the former Screaming Trees frontman has attracted a cult following, but if a man can be judged by the stature of his friends, then surely Bubblegum marks the beginning of Lanegan's turn in the spotlight. Featuring such high-profile guests as PJ Harvey ("Hit the City" and "Come to Me"), Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver's Izzy Stradlin and Duff McKagan ("Strange Religion"), Afghan Whigs/Twilight Singers' frontman Greg Dulli ("Methamphetamine Blues"), and Masters of Reality's Chris Goss (who shares production credits, as well as appearing on a number of tracks), the songs on Bubblegum display a breadth of style that matches Lanegan's trademark depth of substance. And though he kept his profile comparatively low as a longterm collaborator with Queens of the Stone Age, his two bandmates Josh Homme and Nick Oliveri feature heavily throughout (Homme, in particular, plays guitar or drums on five of the tracks here). But this is by no means a QOTSA album. Bubblegum has a sound all its own, and Lanegan is firmly at the helm, with his gravelly voice and somber observations making him sound more and more like Tom Waits. Its pleasures may not be immediate to all listeners, but once found, they're difficult to shake. --Robert Burrow ... Read more


97. The Mountain
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Sales Rank: 4564
Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (78)

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve's big bluegrass adventure
Like a reviewer below, I'm a hopeless Steve Earle junkie. I've only recently become a fan, but I'm trying my best to catch up. So far I've got Guitar Town, Train A Comin', I Feel Alright, El Corazon & now The Mountain. I've listened to Exit 0 and Transcendental Blues but haven't got them yet. I also have a concert video from the TB tour that kicks butt.

The Mountain stands out from the crowd, for sure. First of all he's writing for a different style - not the country-folk-rock-alternative-bluegrass fusion that we're so used to, but pure bluegrass. We're used to the occasional foray into this idiom (I Still Carry You Around from El Corazon) but a whole album? I can easily see how some hard-core fans might be put off by it at first, I can admit that I was.

When I really started listening to it, however, and realized what a statement it makes about Steve's talent, reputation and guts, I found a new perspective. Who else could pull something like this off? "Gee, I think I'll learn bluegrass, and write a whole album of bluegrass songs, and recruit the most well-respected bluegrass band around to BACK ME UP." The real kicker is, Steve's good enough to pull it off, and Del and the boys are good enough to know he's good enough. 'Nuff said.

5-0 out of 5 stars "The Mountain" - Essential Steve Earle & Essential Bluegrass
I find some of Steve Earle's albums too diverse ("I Feel Alright", "El Corazon", "Transcendental Blues"& "Sidetracks" are all over the musical map) - but when he focuses on the Country side of things, I love his work.
"The Mountain" is a superb bluegrass album by Steve & the Del McCoury Band - an essential in my book.
Also recommended - "Train A Comin'" & "Guitar Town" by Steve Earle and "Blue Side Of Town", "Deeper Shade Of Blue", "Cold Hard Facts", "Family", & "Del And The Boys" by the Del McCoury Band - 5 Stars all 'round.

3-0 out of 5 stars Steve Earle should have left the singing to someone else.
This would be 5 stars from me if Steve Earle had left the singing to a real bluegrass vocalist. He has the best back-up band with Del McCoury, and the songs he composed for this production are fair enough. He needs to back off the "corn" accent in his singing because it sounds contrived. And leave out the "Mickey Mouse" intro. I'm glad I bought this second-hand. I hate to think of Steve getting royalty money from me for what I take to be a little joke he is pulling over on the bluegrass fans out here.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steve brings bluegrass to a wider audience
I was already familiar with bluegrass music when Steve recorded this album, but a lot of people who weren't also bought this album and most were pleasantly surprised at what they heard. To create an authentic bluegrass sound, Steve teamed up with the Del McCoury band, one of the finest bluegrass groups you're ever likely to hear. Steve wrote all the songs, declining the opportunity to include any covers of bluegrass standards. Given all the praise he gives Bill Monroe in the liner notes, it would have added a nice touch to hear him cover one of Bill's songs.

Steve covers a variety of topics on this album, delving into American history to find inspiration for such songs as Dixieland (about the civil war of the 1860's), Leroy's dustbowl blues (set in the 1930's) and Texas eagle (about a train that runs no more). As a contrast to all the songs inspired by history, the title track describes how a mountain is stripped of trees then mined for coal, leaving a trail of environmental devastation - truly a song for the times in which we live. Harlan man is another coalmining song.

There are love songs here too, including I'm still in love with you, a brilliant duet with the under-rated and under-recorded Iris DeMent. Another fine song is Carrie Brown, is about a jealous man who kills her lover and is sentenced to death for his crime. The album closes with the road song, Long lonesome highway blues, followed by the metaphorical road song, Pilgrim, which features a long guest list of harmony singers including Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Marty Stuart among others.

This is one of the most important albums in bluegrass history. Together with Dolly Parton's Grass is blue (also released in 1999), it helped bring bluegrass to a wider audience before the further boost provided by the O brother soundtrack. If you listen to this album, you'll understand why.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mine, Forever Blue
Personally, I have a deep connection to this album. I gave the cd to my dad to listen to on his way back to San Diego from LA. He called me about an hour after he left and told me that when he dies he wanted "Pilgrim" to be played at his funeral. He died suddenly in May and it was "Pilgrim" that was played at his funeral and reception afterward. The album has several other gems, as well, but this one will always live on in me. I will forever associate it with my dad's spirit. Other than that tune, the rest of the album is also excellent. The dueling banjos, the deft fiddle playing, the hearty mandolin picking all complement Earle's songwriting genius. Here's to Steve... ... Read more


98. American Fool [Bonus Tracks]
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Asin: B0007XBMXY
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Album Description

Originally released in 1982.

Features newly remastered sound and upgraded packaging which includes lyrics and complete artwork.

Bonus track is the previously unreleased "American Fool". ... Read more


99. The Other Side Of Time
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Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (63)

4-0 out of 5 stars "Fahling" for Mary Again
Having become a devotee` of October Project, it is pleasing to again hear Ms. Fahl's wonderful voice. This is a ecclectic collection displaying not only the mature, haunting voice we've come to expect and appreciate but newly displayed diversity. The former is represented by energetic pieces (Redempton, Raging Child) and a reminisence (Dream of You). The latter by two foreign language tracks (Ben Aindi Habibi and Una Furtiva Lagrima) and a particularly touching Irish-aire ballad, The Dawning of the Day, which drew a tear. Those familiar with the movie "Gods and Generals" will recognize the thoughtful introspection of Going Home. The lyric "I'm bound for the hills / where cool waters flow / on this road that will take me home" brought memories of many hikes in the mountains as well as the ultimate destiny of my personal faith. Overall I found this CD more mellow than OP's October Project and Falling Farther In. The collective lyrics lack some of October Project's creativity and the orchestration seem less consistent; nevertheless, both are worthy of Ms. Fahl's considerable vocal talent. I have found nothing of Mary Fahl's work that I would not recommend, and The Other Side of Time is a nice complement to OP-lovers looking for something comparable yet slightly different. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Pop vocal bliss
To be honest, I approached this album with apprehension. Unquestionably, Fahl has an incredible rich NATURAL voice (confirmed in live appearances). However, with her previous band, the October Project, Kohl was only the honeyed vocalist on top of their lush folk-cum-celtic-cum-pop-rock songs. In that band, the songs and arrangements were written by other members of the band. In fact, the band's disinclination to allow Fahl to contribute to the writing is one of the reasons Fahl cites for leaving the October Project. Nonetheless, the range, presence and tonal quality of Fahl's vocals with October Project were so great to give creedence to the old adage "she could sing the phone book and make it sound good."

Flash forward a half decade and Fahl has finally re-emerged (somewhat ironically on a subsidiary of the same label--Sony/Columbia--that dropped the October Project). Happily...no, SURPRISINGLY, the songs on this album, all but three co-written by Fahl, are very good. The tone is considerably less traditional pop-rock than the October Project; here you'll find elements of Broadway pop, folk, world music (Ben Aindi Habibi), opera (Una furtiva lagrima) and even a slight touch of jazz (Dream of You), along with the celtic tone sometimes used in her previous band (The Dawing of the Day). And when Fahl meets a diva-worthy showstopper like Redemption, she's so good you sit mouth agape, hold your breath and hope this is just the beginning of a long career. Fahl could teach all the pop tarts that seemingly qualify for Diva today what a REAL Diva sounds like.

This is a wonderful singer's album. A showcase album. The kind of album they don't make anymore. Well, mostly, anyway. On a pure musical level, this album betters the October Project's oevre. Heck, go ahead and place this album on the shelf beside the first few early Streisand albums. Yeah, it's that good. Yeah, SHE'S that good.

David

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, touching and timeless
There are special moments in time when a voice comes to earth to add a new quality, new colors and uniqueness to the many ways of musical expression. Mary Fahl's "The other side of Time" is the evidence for this. Intelligent, emotional and eclectic, she demonstrates intensity, versatility and class as a singer and songwriter, seemlessly combining different genres on her album with honesty, grace and integrity. Fahl's songs and interpretations will be heard for a long time- on this side and the other side. This is a CD of highest value.

2-0 out of 5 stars lovely voice, wretched production
I'm a sucker for female altos-contraltos: Cleo Laine, Diana Krall, Carly Simon in the lower part of her range, Annie Lenox. So when I heard cuts from Mary Fahl's new CD on an interview on NPR, I felt that familiar, delicious tingle up and down my spine.

When I played "The Other Side of Time," I was thrilled by her voice: low, a dark, rich timbre, with a soft, pleasing burr, and some huskiness at the end of her range. The two foreign language songs on the CD, Ben Aindi Habibi and Una furtiva lagrima, showcase her voice to its maximum effect, pouring out passionate longing in Arabic and Italian.

The rest of the CD, unfortunately, is a production mess. There's too much instrumentation, and it's mixed to drown out her voice. Similarly, the excessive reverb garbled the lyrics. Fahl's voice is her strength, and it requires subdued, simple instrumentation, mixed to make her voice the dominant instrument. Her range, too, is limited, and the songs make her stretch uncomfortably at the top end of her register. I wanted to, but could not make it to the end of the CD.

I look forward to simpler productions of Mary Fahl, where the songs are tailored to her range, and the arrangements focus on her full-throated contralto. The best I can say about "The Other Side of Time," though, is "maybe next time."

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best Solo Album of 2003, this is a Must-Own.
I had never heard of Mary Fahl before until I saw her debut solo disc sitting on a chain store's shelf at an introductory price. I often take risks and buy albums on a whim, and this was one gamble that more than paid off. Mary Fahl has an amazing voice, rich and powerful; a booming contralto full of passion, discipline, and integrity.

Even better is the fact that the material suits her to a T. She wrote/cowrote every song on here with the exception of two foreign language tracks. The Other Side of Time has plenty of variety without ever once resorting to heavy-handedness.

1. "The Great Unknown:" Very Carly Simon-like in her vocal delivery, a mystical song about discovering that you have shed your mortal coil and are now part of the vast cosmos. It's very trippy and has a wonderful melody.

2. "Going Home:" The theme song from the film Gods and Generals. Lovely celtic song about accepting your end. The enhance portion of the CD contains the video for this track, and it is one of the best I've ever seen. It's beautifully shot and Mary looks beautiful in it.

3. "Want To:" This is a very romantic and passionate song with lyrics descrbing a tryst and its surroundings ("Afternoon--the day is golden"..."Listen now, a loon is calling.") and all the strong emotions that come with it: "All my walls are crumbling down to pieces of me all around you."

4. "Ben Aindi Habibi:" Trance-like and Moorish, this song reminds me of the world music Grace Slick used to dabble with. It has a strong, hypnotizing Spanish-Mideastern influence.

5. "Redemption:" Very similar to Annie Lennox's cover of "Whiter Shade of Pale." Some more spiritual concerns, not unlike her days in October Project, I have always liked and appreciated their lyrical approach. No one addressed those matters quite the way they did, and I'm happy to see that Mary is carrying on the tradition.

6. "Paolo:" One of my favorites. The image of being codependent on someone self-destructive who has passed on is always very powerful and haunting.

7. "Una Furtiva Lagrima:" An Italian opera song that surprises me everytime I hear her sing it, considering I expect this more from Josh Groban. It's a bit over-the-top, and too ariatic, but the her delivery is commendable.

8. "The Other Side of Time:" Easily my favorite song on the album. It's as if time stands completely still despite the constantly ticking clock throughout this track. Serene, other-worldly, and breath-takingly gorgeous, her vocals never become excited, yet the power of her voice is never diminished in anyway. You can almost see that ghost in the winter fields...

9. "Raging Child:" My least favorite song. I just can't connect with it or the way the chorus comes off.

10. "Annie, Roll Down Your Window:" A song Mary says is true about her travels with sister Annie overseas, it's such a charming and lighthearted Irish folk song that it almost sounds authentic.

11. "The Station:" Oh, how I love torrid, poetic music. This one's really up my alley. A torn couple saying goodbye at a station with few words passing between them, yet so many in the air, it's straight out of a classic romance film.

12. "Kindness Can Be Cruel:" Very jazzy buildup song with a rather complex structure. The lyrics wind around so much, I come close to an anneurism if I pay too much attention to them!

13. Another favorite. Inspired by the fabulous Hitchcock movie Vertigo, I love the ghostly eeriness of the arrangement and the wintry lyrics: "Moon and snow, winter glow/ Luminescent scene." This is by far the most poetic and atmospheric song on the album, with the exception of the title track.

14. "The Dawning of the Day:" This song closes off the CD with another Celtic song from the movie The Guys. Mary simply took a traditional folk song and did her rendition of it. It's quite dignified and beautiful. She promises: "We shall meet again." Let's hope so Mary, and make it soon!

I couldn't recommend this disc more highly. That said and done, do yourself a favor and purchase it. It's one of the few albums I own that still seems new and magical everytime I listen to it. ... Read more


100. Give It Up
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00005YW4S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5342
Average Customer Review: 4.86 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

Her classic sophomore album from 1972 that influencedgenerations of women in rock. Features 'Love Me Like A Man', 'Under The Sky Falling' & 'Love Has No Pride'.Rhino/Warner Bros. digitally remastered. ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Give It Up"? Hardly ... she was just getting going here!
I didn't get to see Bonnie Raitt live until she was a big enough star to fill large concert halls, but whenever I'm trying to imagine what it must have been like to attend one of her appearances in the Cambridge, MA blues clubs where she started out way back when in the early 1970s, this is one of the albums I listen to. "Give It Up," released 1972, was Bonnie Raitt's second album, and it brims with the liveliness of the 22 year-old singer who only recently had nicked a college degree in African studies for a full-fledged career as a musician. Yet, all those live appearances before she landed her record deal had already given her an incredible amount of self-confidence: This was not an insecure, directionless young thing who had barely outgrown her teenage years; nor, for that matter, a high-powered starlet whose career was taking off with rocket speed only to fizzle soon thereafter, as quickly as it had begun. No: this was a young woman who knew exactly where she wanted to go, both musically and lyrically; and all the trademark characteristics of the artist her fans would grow to admire over the course of the following 30 years were already in place, most notably her breathtaking skills as a guitar player, her vocal skills, running the gamut from sassy to sad, and that feeling for the blues which, even at the very beginning of her career, had already gained her the respect of the entire Delta blues elite from John Lee Hooker to Sippie Wallace.

"Give It Up" is a low-key recording with an almost improvised "live in the studio" feeling, and the one impression that stands out more than any other while listening to it is the obvious fun which all participants must have had during its production. Bonnie Raitt was joined for the occasion by multi-talent Freebo, a fixture on all of her early albums as well as at her live appearances, keyboardist Mark Jordan and saxophone player John Payne, both renowned for their collaborations with Van Morrison (on his "Tupelo Honey" and "Astral Weeks" albums, respectively), guitarists T.J. Tindall and John Hall (the latter known for his work with Taj Mahal and Janis Joplin), songwriter Eric Kaz, whose "Love Has No Pride" provides a melancholy conclusion to the album, and a largely Woodstock-based group of equally talented musicians. The photos reproduced on thirteen of the twenty pages of the booklet which accompanies the album amply illustrate the sheer joy involved in the project, and the easygoing companionship shared by its participants.

The album opens with one of Bonnie Raitt's biggest hits to date, the feisty "Give It Up or Let Me Go," written by Raitt herself and featuring Freebo on tuba and John Payne on soprano sax - one of Raitt's many "attitude" songs and, as she wrote almost 20 years later in the liner notes of her "Bonnie Raitt Collection," "you can bet it was just as much fun to be there as it sounds." Two more of Raitt's own creations are contained on the album, in the second track, the contemplative "Nothing Seems to Matter," and the ninth song, the upbeat "You Told Me, Baby." Further standouts are Raitt's adaptation of Chris Smither's "Love Me Like a Man," with lyrics that make it clear that equality in a partnership is ultimately a matter of self-respect and "one of the best modern blues songs ever written," as Bonnie Raitt commented in the liner notes of her "Collection;" "Under the Falling Sky," featuring Paul Butterfield on harp, Raitt's first true rock song and also the first of several Jackson Browne-penned pieces she would record over the course of her career; "You Got to Know How," featuring John Payne on clarinet and one of Bonnie Raitt's many tributes to her mentor Sippie Wallace; and the closing tune, Eric Kaz's "Love Has No Pride," another one of Raitt's earliest signature songs and intensely personal, because at the time of that song's recording she herself had just been abandoned by a lover and, as she later recalled, more or less then "spent a year of gigs trying to sing him back."

"Give It Up" is one of those sophomore efforts which are actually superior to the respective singer's first release; and as is so often the case in those instances, it is a clear indication that this would turn out to be an artist to reckon with for a long time to come. Yet, even though this proved to be the first high water mark in Bonnie Raitt's career, not everybody would probably have dared to prophesize all those years ago that the perky redhead from Southern California who had recorded this album would rise to be one of rock and blues music's longest shining stars. But just in case you forget where it all began for the multiple Grammy Award winner of so many years later, go back and listen to this album and to Bonnie Raitt's self-titled debut, and let their youthful, upbeat charm work on you. And man, don't you ever dare mess around behind my back, 'cause ... "if you want me to love you, you've got to give it up or let me go"!

5-0 out of 5 stars Forget the awards, this is Bonnie's best album
This album and all of Bonnie Raitt's first three albums were her best work, period. Her first disappointing album was her fourth, Streetlights, and although I was happy to see her get the long overdue recognition at the grammies, I just can't connect with most of the music she's been doing during her "successful" years. In her first three albums, she struck the right balance between blues, bawdiness, sincerity, and fun. Best of all there was no trace of the maudlin quality that crept into some of her later songs, nor was there the plain raunchiness that she's selling today with "Gnawin' on it." If your reaction to Bonnie singing "I Can't Make you Love Me" is the same as mine "Oh, get over it," you might like her early work better, it's just great blues, great music, without the self-involvement and the self-pity.

5-0 out of 5 stars Even with little success, Bonnie never gave up
This sophomore effort from Bonnie Raitt contains three more originals from her ("Give It Up Or Let Me Go", "Nothing Seems To Matter", "You Told Me Baby"), with more of an emphasis on contemporary folk covers. She records the first of many songs by favorite songwriters and close friends Jackson Browne ("Under The Falling Sky") & Eric Kaz ("Love Has No Pride"), while still remaining close to R&B and blues, most notably Sippie Wallace ("You Got To Know How"), her biggest idol in blues. Bonnie herself has expressed discomfort at listening to her older stuff, but early albums like GIVE IT UP showed just how good she was early on and that she deserved far more than just a cult following.

5-0 out of 5 stars Benchmark for Bonnie (Sounds like a Ronald Reagan movie!)
This is the album that made me the musician that I am today; confused, directionless, and moody. Seriously, when this record came out, it introduced countless young folks to musical genres to which they'd never been exposed; from the dixieland-esque opener, Give it Up or Let Me Go, to the torchy, If you Gotta Make a Fool, to the rockin', Under the Falling Sky, she somehow wove style after style together with her bluesy thread. (and the 'over-arrangement' the Singapore reviewer heard is what most people call the best groove on the record) It is one of my top three favorite recordings ever. Nouveau Bonnie fans may find it primitive, but if you are a true aficionado, you know it is the reason she's been around for so long.

5-0 out of 5 stars She does it all!
This woman does it all. Rock, Country, Blues, Ballads, whatever. This shows some of that versatility. With a voice that can be gritty or mellow, powerful or gentle, Bonnie reaches in and touched your soul with her music. Whether it's something she wrote or a cover, she brings her style and class to it and makes it hers. From the bluesy "Give It Up or Let Me Go" to the woeful "Love Has No Price" this is one great album that holds up as well now as it did at release in 1972. I can't imagine anyone, especially a Raitt fan, being disappointed with this recording. ... Read more


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