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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant acoustic and electric
This is one excellent album.
There is some fantastic slide playing, especially on the Leadbelly song "On a Monday." Cooder's finger-picked version of Joseph Spence's "Great dream from heaven" is exquisite, and the mandolin/slide guitar accompanied "Billy the Kid" is equally brilliant. The album is a mix of electric and acoustic and...
Published on 30 Mar 2002

versus
5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch
I love this man, but this CD is a bit creaky, the sound quality is not great. Some
terrific tracks but I think he's represented better on other CDs. Enthusiasts only.
Published on 14 Mar 2006 by Daisy W


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant acoustic and electric, 30 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
This is one excellent album.
There is some fantastic slide playing, especially on the Leadbelly song "On a Monday." Cooder's finger-picked version of Joseph Spence's "Great dream from heaven" is exquisite, and the mandolin/slide guitar accompanied "Billy the Kid" is equally brilliant. The album is a mix of electric and acoustic and described in the sleeve notes as one of Cooder's most influential albums. Buy it and you'll see why.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 12 Dec 2000
By A Customer
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This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
You don't like this? You don't like nuthin'. . . Some of the most beautiful Cooder tracks ever. The 3-track sequence "FDR - Teardrops - Denomination" is The Best!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder? Start here!, 10 Dec 2011
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
If you're curious about old Ry, I suggest you visit Youtube and check out RC and co. performing Maria Elena - 6min 26secs of one of the best collections of musicians I've ever seen (I saw this tour - not this gig)
Where do you start with such an enormous back catalogue of such diverse music? My own current favorites are 'Into the Purple Valley', 'Showtime' and 'Buena Vista Social Club', but I change my mind every so often!!
This album (plus 'Ry Cooder' and 'Boomer's Story') show why he declined offers to join the Rolling Stones etc etc. Despite all the recording sessions he did for other artists before concentrating on a solo career (Little Feat, Everly Bros, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones, Captain Beefheart, Taj Mahal, Van Morrison.....the list goes on and on) Ry's best work has always been with him in charge.
I would place him alonside Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Louis Armstrong, Jimi Hendrix, The Beach Boys, Neil Young and Frank Sinatra as popular artists of genius (other artists may pop in and out of this list, but, for me, these are the best.)
I think of Ry Cooder as the musical equivalent of those magic eye pictures - once his music comes into focus, you'll wonder why Ry isn't mobbed wherever he goes (I remember hearing of Eric Clapton hooting and hollering and shouting out reqests at an Earl's Court gig of Ry's - we all do it, it's like one of your best friends his become famous!
Ry Cooder doesn't fall into any specific musical category, he searches the world for little-known talent and let's their ability do the talking.
If 'Into the Purple Valley' with its tales of an America's past doesn't hit home with you after 2 or 3 plays, I apologise. If it does hit home, I also apologise - his back catalogue will cost you a fortune!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 18 Nov 2010
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
I own a lot of music of all different types of genres and have recently started to listen to Americana blues such as this. I must say that it has taken it's place as one of the best albums that I own. The range and depth of styles and emotions from this album spread themselves over the record as well as emulate through each individual track on their own, one listen may be uplifting, the next melancholy but all keeps the flame of nostalgia. And each spin does get better, the sign of a true great.

A word of warning: If the idea of chickery dixie land "barndance esque" music puts your back up then approach with an open mind, this is the early 70s, though Cooder tried and succeeded in keeping a voice of old American blues alive with this example alone.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very much up to scratch!, 19 Mar 2007
By 
Peter Manning "Urban Fox" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
This is vintage Ry Cooder right up there with Chicken Skin Music. Some great tunes, lot's of his unique slide guitar and that priceless Okie feel throughout - stormclouds on the cover but sunshine in the grooves - enjoy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 Feb 2008
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This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
I came back to this album recently, not having heard in more than 30 years and was so pleased. It doesn't age, it's superb with such effortless singing, playing and downright funkiness etched right in.

Do yourself a favour and add it to your collection.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cooder's classic, 9 July 2008
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
This was Ry Cooder's third solo record and while the first two contain a number of great tracks, demonstrating his great skill on guitar and mandolin, with "Into the purple valley" he really got into his stride, turning out a well-balanced record with a great variety of styles and sounds but a unifying aesthetic.

There is a real Woody Guthrie feel to "How Can You Keep On Moving (Unless You Migrate Too)" and "Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All", as well as Guthrie's own "Vigilante Man", which Ry would often revisit in the future. He also applies the same kind of dustbowl sound to Leadbelly's "On a monday" and Johnny Cash's "Hey porter". The Drifter's "Money Honey" has a similar feel but more electric and this electric R&B feel carries on into "Teardrops Will Fall", which I think is one of the best tracks Ry has ever recorded. The charming calypso "FDR In Trinidad" is done purely acoustic, with Ry completely nailing both the tricky wordplay and the beautiful, rhythmic but melodic guitar. I'm not so keen on Ry's version of Washington Phillip's "Denomination Blues", with its added brass I feel it doesn't catch the subdued beauty of the original.

This is definitely one of Ry's best records, much more consistent than his first two albums and with a great selection of songs and wonderful, fluent playing. Among the backing musicians are long-time associates Van Dyke Parks and Jim Dickinson, who also assist Larry Waronker with the production.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not My Favourite - But You Can't dispute The Quality, 26 April 2013
By 
This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
The playing as ever is consumate. His second album continues from "Dark Was The Night" to "Vigilante Man" - another essential Cooder staple.

My gripe with this album would be the choice of some of the other songs. "FDR in Trinidad" strikes me as a really odd choice to add to an album.I also think there are much better straight blues/gospel songs than "denomination".

This is purely a personal opinion, and you may notice I've still given the album 4 stars.

Similarly to my review on the first album, I would recommend some of his eighties and "noughties" albums first, as his ability to pick more coherent material to my ears improved.
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5 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to scratch, 14 Mar 2006
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This review is from: Into The Purple Valley (Audio CD)
I love this man, but this CD is a bit creaky, the sound quality is not great. Some
terrific tracks but I think he's represented better on other CDs. Enthusiasts only.
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Into The Purple Valley
Into The Purple Valley by Ry Cooder (Audio CD - 1988)
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