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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of it all
As there is only one other review of this masterpiece I just had to lend a hand into leading other people into the music of good old Ryland. A magnificent guitar player and an o.k. singer, the two disciplines seem to gel with each other to produce music which at first seems too easy and lazy but once you get hooked you'll move on to the two later masterpieces "Into...
Published on 27 Nov 2005 by Mr T Davidson

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Cooder dismay
It was always going to be difficult to choose the best of Ry Cooder without guidance, he is so prolific but I wouldn't get this one again.
Published 17 months ago by Holly Chester


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The start of it all, 27 Nov 2005
By 
Mr T Davidson (Belfast, N. Ireland United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
As there is only one other review of this masterpiece I just had to lend a hand into leading other people into the music of good old Ryland. A magnificent guitar player and an o.k. singer, the two disciplines seem to gel with each other to produce music which at first seems too easy and lazy but once you get hooked you'll move on to the two later masterpieces "Into the Purple Valley" and the seminal "Boomer's Story". "Ry Cooder" his first commercial album is filled with Woody Guthrie style mid west folk and blues and finishes with three blues tracks, my favourite being Sleepy John Estes "Goin' to Brownsville". The other stand out tracks on the album are "How can a poor man stand such times and live", "Alimony" and "Do Re Mi" but really you will just have to buy the C.D. and get into the groove and listen to Ry's fingerwork and slide playing which at times is awesome. I liked this period of his music the best, as I am not into Texmex or his later Cuban styles, so if want to hear the early Ry at work with his excellent band of musicians, including Van Dyke Parks on piano, get this C.D. as your starting point. You will not be disappointed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars for Cooder's first, 12 Sep 2009
By 
Henk Beentje "Henk Beentje" (Kew, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
You can trust me on this one - I have been listening to this record/CD since it first came out way back in 1970! It's a stayer - not something you have continuously on your player, but songs you come back to, time and again.
They're all covers, apart from his own excellent instrumental 'Available space' - but there's some real crackers here, with fantastic guitar playing and Cooder's trademark melancholy/wistfulness/whatever. Top numbers are really all of them, with the exception of 'One meat ball' - too much over the top dripping-with-pathos (or bathos). On Alimony you even get backing vocals by Gloria Jones & co, who also sang with Neil Young and Little Feat (and T Rex, of course). Chris Ethridge and Roy Estrada play bass on some numbers; Van Dyke Parks on piano.
I still like some of his later work, especially the one with Ali Farka Toure, but his first two albums - this one and 'Through the Purple Valley' - are still among my favourites, 40 years on!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent, 2 Jan 2010
By 
R. Morgan (South Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
Anything Ry does is alright by me - he never disappoints. He must be a very special guitar player to play with Beefheart at 19.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder: Ry Cooder - California blue, 6 Feb 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
This 1970 self titled recording is the debut from Californian guitarist/singer/songwriter Ry Cooder. Here he uses a rootsy folky blues style coupled with a laid back Californian drawl to produce 11 tracks of pretty fine music. Rooted in the classic story-telling style of blues and coupled with quite a satirical sense of humour, Cooder started his career off with a foot tapping set that raises a smile. Add his laconic delivery and some great guitar picking into the mix and this is an excellent and entertaining set. From the humour of Alimony through to the superbly moody closer, dark is the night, one of my favourite tracks of slide blues, I love the album.

This 1995 disc is a barebones release of the album, with minimum liner notes, and no extras on the disc. The sound has allegedly been remastered, but still sounds a bit murky and Cooder's voice lost a little in the mix. It's not bad, and still a good buy, it's just that I feel that with today's techniques a remastering opf this album would make into something really spectacular. 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, 22 Feb 2012
By 
S. Bailey - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
At just over half-an-hour in length Ry Cooder's self-titled debut of 1970 - which looks to fuse blues, folk, pop and rock - is on the short side. And tracks like the histrionic 'One Meatball' show that there is some validity in the criticism that Cooder's vocal range is limited. However, there are plenty of moments amongst these 11 songs which suggest why Cooder has enjoyed an enduring appeal across the last 4 or 5 decades. These include a mid-paced take on legendary folk artist Woody Guthrie's 'Do Re Mi', a languorous rendition of 'Alimony' by American blues singer Tommy Tucker, and a rare example of a self-penned composition with the spare-sounding Americana of 'Available Space'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder, 8 Nov 2011
This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
Why did I not buy this album 41 years ago?! Bought later releases, but I should have started here and just worked forward.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great album, 12 Sep 2013
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R. V. Harris (UK West Country) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
This album focuses on a small section of Ry Cooders range and style. It is mostly about poverty, the depression, the dustbowl and the general unfairness of life. Not an appealing subject matter, you would think but I love it. Ry Cooders talent brings it to life. I play it all the time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Unsanitized Folk Blues, 26 April 2013
By 
This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
If you have heard a lot of Ry Cooder, and like his stuff - you will like this. It's generally authentic folk/blues with some occasional of the wall arrangements added to give some tracks a decidedly leftfield sound.

I started with the "Get Rhythm" album.Both this and the likes of Bop Till You Drop are to my ears more accessible to the casual music fan.By the eighties Ry had developed a more mainstream R&B sensibility , especially with his voice.

Here,he adopts the kind of wailing that you might hear on the old folk and blues records that he is covering.Not his best, but an impressive 1st album for sure. The last track "Dark Was The Night", a bottleneck acoustic guitar solo is essential, and totally indicative of his sound and style.(later used on the soundtrack of Paris Texas etc)

If you don't already have any of Ry's stuff, start with "Get Rhythm", "Bop Till You Drop", "Borderline" ,or "I Flathead" - and then work your way back to the early stuff like this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Cooder dismay, 30 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
It was always going to be difficult to choose the best of Ry Cooder without guidance, he is so prolific but I wouldn't get this one again.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Cooder, 18 July 2012
By 
D. J. "DeeJay" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ry Cooder (Audio CD)
Ry Cooders first solo outing from 1970, after The Rising Sons and Captain Beefheart he was on his way with what has become a truly great cd (LP), with songs like Alimony, Do Re Mi, Goin to Brownsville and instrumentals, Available Space and the classic slide of "Dark Is The Night".Cooder had (still has) the touch, both on guitar and mandolin, a fine musician with a classic album.
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Ry Cooder
Ry Cooder by Ry Cooder (Audio CD - 1995)
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