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Aint Life Grand [Import]

Black Oak Arkansas Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (12 Jun 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sequel
  • ASIN: B000006ZDB
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,727 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Blast from the Past. 10 April 2009
Format:Audio CD
One of BOAs masterpeices from way back when (1975). Ain't Life Grand has 2 of my favourite tracks, "Taxman" & "Fancy Nancy". Good starting point for those just discovering the band, or ideal for those like me whose vinyl is now worn out after repeated plays.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Mature Band, an Evolved Sound 30 Jun 2004
By Robert H. Nunnally Jr. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
What does a band do when in its first half dozen albums it has established itself as a populist band of rural boys who alternate between a musical love for metal and roots music, and a lyrical bent which features songs about sex, metaphysics, and
Arkansas ways? Change, grow, and flourish, of course!
"Ain't Life Grand" shows a Black Oak Arkansas with a more polished sound than any of their previous albums, and yet a sound which can satisfy both the band's "rocker" fans and the fans of the band's quirky, populist absurdities.
Although Black Oak Arkansas was a band from the south who sang about regional themes, rock historians tend to place Black Oak Arkansas in a different basket from the other "southern" bands such as the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker Band or Charlie Daniels Band. Black Oak Arkansas went their own way, as self-taught music populists who combined a love for regional settings and metaphysics with a love for both heavy metal and bluegrass conventions. Although Black Oak Arkansas' early studio albums might be comparable to the softer sound of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, the band live (and on their live album) rocked with a three guitar attack as if metal were going out of style. During their early days, musicianship (excepting Tommmy Aldridge) was not considered their strong point--instead, in the pre-punk era, this was a band of kids who picked up guitars to escape rural poverty.
"Ain't Life Grand", however, shows that the band was not entirely immune to the influence of "southern rock", nor to the earlier influences of the sixties artists. Moreover, "Ain't Life Grand" shows that even the most resolutely populist band can acquire a bit of polish after spending a decade on the road 300 nights a year. The result is an entirely pleasing album.
The album opens with a surprising cover of George Harrison's "Taxman". BOA had a love for backing harmonies, which work very well here. In "Fancy Nancy", the band tackles one of their usual lyrical exercises in somehow retro-sensibility erotic longing, over a solid, very appealing bass-driven melody. In "Keep On", the band deftly handles an upbeat country-pop song, and in particular Jim Dandy's vocals have a sweetness to them which belies the usual "mouth full of crackers" image attributed to his work. The songs "Good Stuff" and "Rebel" fit more or less in the traditional "southern rock" mode, while "Back Door Man" features good production values over the band's trademark "nasty" lyrical themes. "Love Can Be Found" is a jaunty, poppy number celebrating the variety of human expression, while "Diggin' for Gold" is a workable but unmemorable tune. The album closes, though, with two of the most fun Black Oak Arkansas tunes. In "Crying' Shame", a redeeming, ringing guitar-glissandi rocker is accompanied by a winning lyric about the disadvantages of urban living, while "Let Life Be Good to You" is a peppy anthem-like upbeat celebration, the kind of unrestrained common-man bit of fun that Black Oak Arkansas could do so well.
This album is a recognizably Black Oak album, but it shows an Allman Brothers influence not often in evidence for BOA. The productive values are extremely good here, giving the band a richer sound without making them sound over-produced. In past albums, the studio albums seemed to present a somewhat more rockin' Ozark Mountain Daredevils, while the live album had shown a metal party band. This album shows both sides of the band, to good effect.
They say that the road exhausts and drains a band, but this album, the culmination of years on the road, shows that it can mature, define and polish a band, too.
"Ain't Life Grand" is a fascinating album, of a curiously interesting band.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome 29 Jan 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Definately one of BOA's "BEST" an album that has long been underated. Starting with a cover of George Harrison's "TAXMAN" to the Slow,sweet acoustics of "Diggin' for Gold". My favorite track "Rebel" features a totally awesome guitar solo, displaying the true genius of the three guitarist Stanley "Goober" Knight Rick "Richochet" Reynolds, and Jimmy Henderson, put together with the Nasty bass lines of Pat "Dirty" Daughtery, the drums of Tommy "Dork" Aldridge, and the Loud Raspy Growl of Jim "Dandy" Mangrum. This album is a "MUST" for any Black Oak Arkansas collection!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite boa album so far! 24 Jan 2007
By Knut Jrgen Nsje - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is in my opinion the best Black Oak Arkansas album. Great songs, and an album you can listen through over and over again. The songs simply do not wear out. "Diggin' for Gold" is brilliant bluegrass-rock-stuff with a unique atmosphere. "Fancy Nancy", "Keep On", "Good Stuff" and "Back Door Man" are also brilliant rock songs. You can't dig them enough! "Let Life Be Good To You" is the final track and a more slow, but happy and really catchy song. I would say all songs are high lights! I wonder why this band ain't more famous? Get this album!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best ! 19 Nov 2010
By Big Bopper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Revisiting album after 25 years and it KILLS. One of the finest produced projects, EVER! Songs as smooth as can be, Flawless! Solos rip! "Just ain't enough good stuff.." Should have been a double album release. They had all the right players and rolling at their peak. Govt Mule needs to cover this jewel..
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Country Rock Record,It's there best work,with no filler 5 Jun 2010
By Dogs of War - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Not a bad song on the disc.It's there best produced Disc as well.The band is tight and Jim Dandy is on the mark.I love these guys.They never get old to me.Just pure country rock fun,Out in the sun and on a bun!
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