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More a Legend Than a Band

Flatlanders Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £12.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock have been friends for almost 40 years, and members of that not-really-a-band, life-of-its-own musical entity known as The Flatlanders for nearly as long.

But when the trio decided to collaborate on songwriting for Hills And Valleys, the fourth in a rather elongated string of Flatlanders albums, they realized it wouldn’t be easy. ... Read more in Amazon's Flatlanders Store

Visit Amazon's Flatlanders Store
for 8 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Mar 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Continental Record Services
  • ASIN: B0000002C1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,631 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Dallas
2. Tonight I'm Gonna Go Downtown
3. You've Never Seen Me Cry
4. She Had Everything
5. Rose From The Mountain
6. One Day At A Time
7. Jole Blon
8. Down In My Hometown
9. Bhagavan Decreed
10. The Heart You Left Behind
11. Keeper Of The Mountain
12. Stars In My Life
13. One Road More

Product Description

A legendary release from a legendary band, The Flatlanders were alt. Country before the term was even thought up. Featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock. Recorded in 1971, the high and lonesome sound that the Flatlanders made was amillion miles from anything else that was coming out of Nashville at that time. Originally hailing from Lubbock Texas, The Flatlanders recorded 13 tracks, some of which have become country classics including "Dallas", "Tonight I'm Gonna Go Downtown" and Willie Nelson's "One Day At A Time".

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By The Country Grumpkin VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
I first came across the names of Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, along with that of Joe Ely, on Joe's eponymous first album for MCA and its follow-up Honky Tonk Masquerade in the late '70s. Five years earlier in February 1972 as principal members of the Flatlanders they had recorded 17 songs in Nashville for Plantation Records. A proposed album did not materialise at the time due, presumably, to the poor sales of a single featuring Jimmie D's song Dallas which had been released to test the market. The interest generated by Joe's first 3 albums for MCA eventually led to the 1972 recordings being put out on the vinyl album One More Road in 1980. This CD contains 13 of those early tracks. The title is taken from an ironic quip from Jimmie D as apparently when out on the road he, Butch and Joe would often be asked about the Flatlanders: 'We always say it was more a legend than a band.'

This is an all-acoustic album with Jimmie D taking lead vocals, a high, nasal tenor, at times reminiscent of Willie Nelson, whilst Butch and Joe provide the backing harmonies. All play guitars, with Joe also featured on harmonica, and contributing some neat touches on Dobro, for example on Down In My Home Town and Stars In My Life. The other Flatlanders are Tommy Hancock (no relation to Butch) on fiddle, notably of course on the Cajun number Jole Blon, Sylvester Rice on string bass, and Steve Wesson who plays the musical-saw on 6 of the tracks. The saw is unusual to say the least, and personally I did not find it off-putting. It is not obtrusive and is an interesting alternative to the steel guitar, which one might otherwise expect here, and perhaps represents that strong West Texas wind, such a feature of life in the Panhandle.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great album 29 Dec 2013
By robsure
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Considering how long ago this was released it is far from dated. Then good music of whatever ilk and from whatever era does not date and thus is good music. If you must give it a label then it is country but whatever your tastes you should sample the great vocals, wonderful song writing and inspired musicianship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 17 Oct 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice songs, shame about the saw.... 15 Mar 2007
Format:Audio CD
Like, I suspect many others, I came to this album having heard many of the solo recordings by its chief members - Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Butch Hancock and Joe Ely. The conclusion I had already drawn was that all three were magnificent songwriters, but that as singers I greatly preferred Ely and Hancock - Gilmore's strange warble (older readers may remember "Zoonie the Lazoon" from "Fireball XL5"!) rather set my teeth on edge. But still, I thought, he'll presumably only have a third of the lead vocals on this album. Wrong. It turns out that the band was originally titled "Jimmy Dale and the Flatlanders" - and he handles 95% of the lead singing, even on the other guys' songs. The other problem for me is the bizarre choice of including a musical saw (I kid you not) as a major instrument in the sound palette. It's all over many of the songs here (eerily like a mechanical version of Gilmore's voice), and in my opinion it ruins the otherwise pleasant acoustic arrangements. But if you can handle those two things, then there is much to enjoy here. Approach with caution.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Alt-Country Classic 15 July 2004
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
13 soulful twangy perfect gems. Yes, there's a saw being played amongst the other instruments, but it just adds to the feeling of other-worldliness on this legendary recording. I was delighted and moved by this CD; so much so that it is high up on my list of essential recordings, and I listen to A LOT of music. Perhaps not for everyone, but for anyone who likes great songs and great performances, and anyone who wants to be swept away to the lonesome plains of West Texas.
Those who liked it when country went pop need not apply. This is for folks who like *real* country.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Country music for those who hate country music 24 Sep 1998
By Dave Ihlenfeld (c663582@showme.missouri.edu) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The Flatlanders may be "more a legend than a band," but this album is a legacy that will always live on. The group uses a wide array of instruments and vocal techniques to create a sound that is both layered and elegently simple. "Dallas" may be one of the best country/folk songs ever recorded. Even if you don't like country music, you owe it to yourself to pick up this album. You will be won over.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes you hear something that makes your mind reel 6 Aug 2002
By David Hirsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I bought this a few years ago based on reading a review. I was not really into country all that much or altcountry. I have since become a fan of alt country. But there are songs on here that make your mind reel. "Dallas" and "I think I'm gonna go downtown" are two really great songs sung in that Jimmie Dale Gilmore seemingly 1920's vocal style. He sounds like the guy that Willie Nelson is trying to grow up to be. It's hard to explain really the effect that Gilmore's voice has. I understand that Gilmore has sung and played with Nelson, but it really should be the other way around. In any case, this is a must own.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite country album 17 Dec 2000
By Dennis Wylie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I grew up listening to Jimmie Dale Gilmore (and a few Joe Ely)albums, all of which I loved...but not as much as this album, which I did not hear until just about a year ago. This album has the best versions of "Dallas" and "Tonight I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown," (which I would personally rate even higher than Dallas as a song); I especially like the musical saw -- it adds an eerie but very interesting dimension to the music. This album is definitely a classic.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars saw, too much 25 July 2002
By Jeffrey S. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There's a lot of nice music on this album, and the two cuts everyone alludes to, Dallas & Tonite I Think I'm Gonna Go Downtown, are really terrific. The musical saw is a huge detraction tho. It reminded me of Brian Wilson's use of the bicycle horn on Pet Sounds' You Still Believe In Me; it's a great touch, comes out of left field and adds dimension to the song, a great idea. That's how I felt about the saw when I heard it on "Dallas;" then, the band proceeded to use it again and again, and it got to be a drag. Brian knew how to be inventive and creative with this stuff without overdoing it (and I don't mean to belabor the Wilson connection here, cuz that connection is pretty tenuous here, obviously), but the Flatlanders wayyyy overdid the novelty instrumentation here.
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