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4.7 out of 5 stars34
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 February 2002
Bop 'til You Drop, like any good record, never ages. It's one of those albums that sounds as fresh and new today as it did when first released some 20 years ago. Little Sister is the ultimate pop single; Down In Hollywood has a killer bass riff and a wicked sense of humour; Don't You Mess Up A Good Thing sees Chaka Khan at her best and if you want to chill out and get sentimental, there's nothing better than I Can't Win or the instrumental I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine. Every song is a winner, and it will be in another 20 years!
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on 31 January 2010
I can't believe that none of the other reviewers have highlighted what for me is the stand out track of the album - The very thing that makes you rich(makes me poor)- Wonderful atmospheric guitar playing and brilliant gospel style backing singers - I loved this album the first Time I heard it 30 Years ago and it still stands out as one of my all time favourites.
The production is fantastic and almost every song has lasted the test of time, Maybe the humour of 'Look at Granny run' has worn a little thin after all this time but not enough to make it a 'skip over' track like the weaker songs on so many other albums.
Oustanding guitar playing throughout makes this an essential inclusion in any budding guitarist's collection.
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on 12 March 2006
Ry Cooder is primarily a blues musician. This album is probably the nearest he gets to a commercial offering. The album was superbly produced on a digital format, unusual in it's day and the recording is exceptional. The music on the album ranges from light gospel to straight blues. I have not tired of it yet and I'm not strictly a blues fan.
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on 12 December 2000
With all due respect, Mr Wayne Pernu don't know what he's saying. "Hollywood" is (kinda funky, but) painfully embarassing. The rest is excellent, and I've never noticed 'languid'. "Work out fine", "Trouble" and "I can't win" are outstanding.
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I have a real soft spot for this, as it's a record I grew up with, as was his superb Jazz album, which just so happened to also be his previous release. Having collected numerous other Cooder recordings over the years, it has become ever more apparent to me that those two albums are amongst his best and most consistent. And they manage this despite being both very different from each other, and yet also having that distinct Cooder-esque vibe.

One thing they share is superb musicianship. And as a drummer, I take particular note of the percussion. Here on BTYD that task is masterfully handled by the absolutely phenomenally brilliant drummer Jim Keltner. He's definitely one of my heroes, as his playing combines subtly deployed chops - not of the grandstanding sort, but of the type that a fellow drummer or discerning listener will notice - with top notch musicality. The perfect combo! And actually, Keltner's strengths are totally suited to Cooder, as he is also a great musician, but likewise more concerned with getting the right vibe than dazzling with technique.

As ever, Cooder's eclectic choice of songs both educates and entertains - I believe I once read that his parents were musicologists - ranging from light-hearted tracks like Look At Granny Run, Run, to melancholy blues like Trouble. Amongst the brilliant band, with guys like bassist Tim Drummond, the aforementioned Keltner, and guitarist David Lindley, we are treated to a plethora of fine male vocalists, and a lone lady, the fantastic Chaka Khan. Cooder's voice isn't exactly the greatest, technically speaking, but it's full of character, and certainly up to the job.

Most of the album mines a rich vein of varied Americana, focussing here more on a bluesy, funky, R'n'B/soul vibe than is normal for Cooder, who often veers more towards rootsical folkiness. Most of Cooder's material over the years has been interpretations of music written by other people, but there's an original track on offer here, by Cooder and Drummond, called Down In Hollywood, and it's a real corker. This is simply a really terrific album: all killer, no filler, as the saying goes.
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on 1 May 2009
Listen to David Lindley's guitar, Jim Keltner's drums, and Tim Drummond's bass. For sheer musicality, this will always be a brilliant (and innovative) album.
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on 12 July 2006
This is a great album with great musicianship and a great vibe. If you like this genre of music you will not be disappointed.
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on 23 December 2010
I don't disagree with other reviewers' comments about the quality and musicality. However, this must be one of the most mis-titled albums in the history of popular music. "Bop Till You Drop"? I doubt if anyone has ever bopped to this one. The music is much more "Easy-listen till you drop off to sleep"!
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on 9 March 2016
This is where it all came together for Ry Cooder. After a string of good to very good solo albums and a stellar career as a session man – they are really two different Cooders – with this album, he got everything spot-on, and it’s arguable that he’s never quite reached this height since. You know what you’re going to get from the perfectly-photographed cover shot onwards, and there are no disappointments. As always, he has an unmatched gift for mining the American songbook, from the obscure Elvis b-side Little Sister that opens it, with its fanfare riff, to the soulful, tear-jerking closer, I Can’t Win, achingly sung by Bobby King. There’s even a self-penned contribution, Down in Hollywood (“better hope that you don’t run out of gas”), and it’s one of the highlights.

Ry is backed here by a stand-out crew of musicians, including the ubiquitous Jim Keltner – surely second only to Hal Blaine as a go-to session drummer, if indeed he’s second – and Jackson Browne’s longstanding shotgun, David Lindley. I think that’s him playing lead on the instrumental, I Think It’s Going to Work out Fine. Chaka Khan sings on two tracks, and his male backing singers are superb, especially King. And of course there’s Ry’s own playing: he’s a true virtuoso, and some of his work, not just here, is staggering. This isn’t a 4.5 or 4.9-star album: it’s 5, all the way.
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on 3 May 2013
A nicely produced album, and a good choice of songs.Ry's re-arrangement of Little Sister turns it into a far better song than the Elvis Presley "origional" . Down In Hollywood is a great track . Funky , really humerous, and well Sung. On "Don't You Mess Up A Good Thing", Ry holds his own on a duet with Chaka Khan , and rubbishes claims that he doesn't have a good singing voice. I think this is one of his most succesful albums, and due to the comercial aspect of the material it's easy to see why... My only gripe is that sometimes his guitar playing on it is a little restrained, and it's only on live versions of some of these tracks that you get to hear what he can really do on a guitar...
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