- Audio CD (20 Mar. 1999)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Polydor Group
- ASIN: B000026E3V
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,316 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Robbie Robertson CD
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Lightning does strike twice. Robbie Robertson's breathtaking 1987 solo debut was every bit as remarkable as another debut he'd masterminded two decades before, The Band's Music from Big Pink. Even more impressive was the fact that Robertson's new sound owed so little, other than a shared vision, to the sonic Americana he'd created with The Band. Robertson cashed in The Band's rustic tones in for a lush, beat-box womb created by coproducer Daniel Lanois. His own weird, almost spectral voice, also turned out to be the right vehicle for the words he'd been handing to others for so long. Bono, The BoDeans and Peter Gabriel join in on keepers like "Fallen Angel" and "Broken Arrow". --Michael Ruby
Top Customer Reviews
The album starts slowly almost imperceptably, but soon a full and complex wall of sound develops that is so hard to categorise. Production levels are high here, but falls just short of being 'over-produced' so that we hear a rich and multi-levelled texture in all the songs.
There are appearences by Peter Gabriel and U2 on the album, and it is a sign of the respect in which Robbie Robertson is held, that they are content to contribute (highly effectively) in the background without detracting from the whole project. Indeed Gabriel's backing vocals on the opening track are so integral to the feel of it that it would be such a lesser thing without his unique and identifiable sound.
As for Roberston himself, he excels here. His voice is rich and dark with a great warmth and subtlty. The best known track on the album, 'Somewhere Down The Crazy River' defies categirisatin but is just plain great.
This, his first outing as a "solo" artist was one of the first Cd's I bought, back when it came out.
I'd filed it away in the back of my mind and had actually traded it in when my appreciation for his combination of voice and story and instrumentation was re-ignited by a preview of"How To Be Clairvoyant"
All the components that he wields are individually respectable, he plays a good guitar, but is not an "axe hero", can sing ,but is not an ego driven exhibitionist front man, but add these to his storytelling ability and his ear for a good tune, mix them with Daniel Lanois's wide screen mix and you get a CD that stands the test of time.
I'd probably not listened to this for 20 years, yet it remains as fresh as it did back in 1987.
That's testimony itself to the craft that Robertson displayed here. From the frantic pulse and "big music " of Fallen Angel, Showdown At Big Sky to the driving beat of Testimony, the journey here is one of sunsets, blazing skies and epic adventures, all written by a hand that has seen it first hand, lived through it and is able to mold it into songs of depth and resonance that is still ringing, all these years later..
Oh, and it has his "hit" on it, Some where down the Crazy river is a Mark Twain novel turned into a B Movie by Tarrentino, it should grate, with it's gravel voiced narrator leading you on, but not explaining, only recounting a tale of Gothic beauty and loss.
I first became aware of this when I heard Fallen Angel on BBC2's No Limits (remember that?). As a huge Peter Gabriel fan at the time I loved that track and bought the album. Before Somewhere Down The Crazy River gained radio 1 airplay. What I found was an album with lots of guest appearances (step forward U2, Neville Brothers, Peter Gabriel and others) and lots of guitar lead tunes that delivered from start to finish. Its only after this I became aware of The Band and everything else.
Standout Tracks?? For me they are all wonderful. this works from start to finish with its almost gospel like mid American music that makes the most of Robertson's raspy voice and uses the cameo's to great effect. The more high tempo numbers really work and get you going. American Roulette, Hell's Half Acre and the outstanding Testimony are perfect examples of this. But the more downbeat tracks work as well. Somewhere Down The Crazy River reached number 15 in the charts back when they mattered and getting that high was an achievement.
This wasn't a massive seller at the time. However, those who heard it loved it and I am among that lucky breed. Its not ground breaking. But it is rock music telling tales of Americana exceptionally well.
"Somewhere down the crazy river" is one of these, you will find that after one listening of this track Mr Robertson voice will will get your attention not so much singing as talking in "Pitch" on this track.
His voice just drips from the speakers like warm honey on a warm day. The rest of the album has guest appearances from "Peter Gabriel" and "U2" to mention a few of the star cast of this album, great stuff from a great artist do yourself a favour seek out a copy for yourself today!...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant - I already owned the vinyl so this CD was only for the car. He is a star!!!!!Published 3 months ago by Mr. Christopher Morton
This is a much loved album I have owned for many years in vinyl format. Bought this so I could listen to it in the car. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jeannette
This is an excellent album, with several stand out tracks. Totally different from any 'Band' work, but shows Robbie Robertson kept his song writing touch.Published 8 months ago by Ed
Somewhere Down The Crazy River stands out but a great Rock album.
Great Guitarist much under rated.