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4.6 out of 5 stars
Inside Job
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2000
I will own up to being a great Don Henley/Eagles fan but even so this is one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. There is no loss of voice and - although the songs cover most of Henleys favourite subjects they are still fresh and different. From the title track to the song about the suicide of a friend Damn it Rose and on to the humour of They're not here They're not coming and to my personal pick Taking You Home it is clear that Henley has not lost his touch in song writing. The only song where he does not have a writing credit For My Wedding is queitly evocative and all his other songs especially the refrain for a past love Miss Ghost, the song I think is for his daughter Annabel and the haunting and excellent Goodbye to a River are of the highest quality. While I think that the strongest appeal of this album will be to Henley/Eagles fan I would urge anyone else who likes quality music to give it a go. Lets hope he wil tour here soon so we can hear this material live!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 29 December 2001
As a younger listener of Don Henley (19), I have to say that initially I was slightly disappointed with the amount of slower tracks on this album, especially compared to 'End of the Innocence', but after only a few plays through I was amazed at the intelligence of the lyrics, the quality of the recording and the overall class of the album. It is by far his most mature work, and there is not one filler or lesser song on the album. Suicide, corporate USA, aliens, family, self-obsession, lost love....everything is covered with a style and class that seems to be increasingly rare in todays music. The songs are masterpieces. The album opens with an energetic and satirical comment on the self indulgent featuring Glen Frey and Stevie Wonder, and is followed by a superb ballad about his family. Inside Job and Workin' It are brilliantly mastered attacks on "these corporation nation states' and this only touches the surface. Everything you could possibly want from Henley. A truly wonderful album, this will spend more tome in your cd player than in the case.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2010
The Eagles get a bad press. Somehow they have never achieved the critical credibility of other big rock acts like the Beatles, the Stones, Led Zep and the rest. Perhaps they deserved it to some extent. There was filler on some of the albums, some nasty formulaic rock, the image was ill-judged. But there came a point when they transcended that (Hotel California). Don Henley, the principal creative force within the group, then emerged as a significant solo artist.

None of this quite prepared the world for Inside Job, with which Henley joined the handful of true giants of rock music, and that even rarer group of artists who continue to grow into and beyond their fifties and produce their master-works at an age when most people are contemplating retirement. Inside Job builds upon his previous solo album, The End of the Innocence, but exceeds it in every respect (except that no one song quite equals The Heart of the Matter, Henley's greatest single masterpiece and one of the best songs of all time).

It's long, 13 long songs and it takes a lot of listening before you realise that there isn't a single piece of filler amongst them. The musical range and lyrical ambition are both astonishing. Henley tackles huge subjects without ever over-reaching. He gets angry but he doesn't lose perspective. He gets romantic but never slushy. He collaborates closely with other song-writers and the best set of musicians he has ever assembled, but his voice dominates throughout, a voice which has never been a thing of pure beauty but which has developed into an instrument of controlled power, expression and soul.

There are too many highlights to list. But the suite of songs about spiritual renewal through love (Taking You Home - For My Wedding - Everything is Different Now) is inspirational. The socio-political critiques (Workin' It - Inside Job) frightening but also salutary, stuff that needed saying. Then there is the painful beauty of Goodbye to a River ("They're killing everything divine, what will I tell this child of mine?"); the glorious satire of They're Not Here, They're Not Coming; and finally the lovely, redemptive My Thanksgiving.

Epic stuff. Nobody else - except perhaps Leonard Cohen - is writing material this important, never mind realising it in such glorious musical technicolour. This is the best album of the last 10 years. And yet many people won't allow themselves to hear it, any more than Long Road out of Eden (a patchy double but containing within it enough material for a single CD of Henley classics) was received as it should have been - as a Led Zep reunion or Stones return-to-form would have been. Ditch the preconceptions and tune in to the leading exponent of 21st Century rock.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2002
"I hate to tell you this, but I'm very, very happy; and I know that's not what you'd expect from me at all" ... There you have it! The opening lines of "Everything Is Different Now," Henley's love song to wife Sharon (née Summerall) sum up everything that is, indeed, "different" about this album, and unexpected from the guy we all came to love (or hate?) as Reaganomics's fiercest critic, and as one of the driving forces behind one of the supergroups of the 1970s.
There is still plenty of the Don Henley we know here, from the opening funky diatribe on egocentricism, "Nobody Else in the World But You" (featuring Stevie Wonder and flat-out addictive when performed live), to the first single release "Workin' It" (revisiting the mainstay of Henley's socio-economic criticism, corporate and personal greed), to "Goodbye to a River" (the singer/environmentalist's swan song on the preservation of nature) and "Damn It, Rose" (inspired by a friend's suicide). The album's title track is directed against Henley's own industry, whose representatives he accuses in no uncertain terms - not only here but also in congressional testimony and initiatives taken by his own Coalition for Artists' Rights - of sneaking in, through the back door, legislation which would have virtually denied a recording artist control over their own work. In fact, reportedly the album was originally supposed to be called "Otherwise" ... until Henley learned of that legislation, which caused the spontaneous change of title.
But it's been eleven years since Henley released "End of the Innocence," and even if he did not publish another album (except for "Actual Miles," his last hurray on Geffen Records; a "greatest hits plus three new tracks" compilation), he was certainly not idle. He founded the Walden Woods Project, to save as much as possible of Henry David Thoreau's treasured lands from commercial development. He agreed with his former fellow band members to bring their "14-year vacation" to an end, release an Eagles reunion album and go on what turned out to be a two-year world tour. And perhaps most significantly, he married and had kids - the song "Annabel" is dedicated to his daughter. Did all this make him more mellow? Maybe. Did it make him more mature? Definitely. The man who had realized that the "Heart of the Matter" in overcoming a failed relationship is forgiveness now found himself confronting the fact that after all those "nights of running" with "the old crowd," "you wake up one morning and half your life is gone" ... and since you always only "get the love that you allow," you first have to allow love back into your life if you want a fulfilling relationship ("Everything Is Different Now.") And he learned to say his "Thanksgiving" for a life that he "still loves," because of the expectations it holds, because of family and friends, and because of the satisfaction found in work. (And who would ever have expected Don Henley, of all people, to come up with the insight that "an angry man can only get so far until he reconciles the way he thinks things ought to be with the way things are?")
So yes, this album is different from Henley's prior releases; but then, no two of them have ever been entirely alike; and ballads have always been his forte, too, from 1982's sad and beautiful "Lilah" to the award-winning title track of "End of the Innocence." Musically, "Inside Job" is perhaps more diverse than any of its predecessors, featuring everything from funk ("Nobody in the World But You") to straightforward rock ("Workin' It," "Inside Job," "The Genie") to blues ("Miss Ghost" ... with Jimmie Vaughan on lead guitar!) to gospel ("Everything Is Different Now" - you just *have* to have seen him and his background choir perform this one live, particularly the ending) and of course, ballads ("Goodbye to a River," "Damn It, Rose," "Annabel"); the made-for-Hollywood "Taking You Home" even garnered him a Grammy nomination in the pop category. (Hmm. Don Henley - pop??? That DID give me pause I'll admit.) Maybe what shines more here than ever before, though, is a side of Henley's not always apparent from his prior releases, nor from his often razor-sharp language in interviews and when speaking publicly - namely, his sense of humor. A stand-out in this category is "They're Not Here, They're Not Coming," skillfully using irony and a longing for the days of Rocky the Flying Squirrel to simultaneously blast the shortcomings of the "cold, cold, cold (...) postmodern world" and the belief of, according to recent statistics, 47% of the U.S. population in the existence of visitors from outer space. And maybe the album's biggest hidden gem is "Miss Ghost," a Cajun blues tale about confronting the ghosts of your past, told from the perspective of a man returning from a night of drinking to find, to his surprise, a long-forgotten "ghost" (woman? sin? mistake?) waiting for him, but overcoming the temptation she represents and instead shooing her out of the door with a toast: "Here's to seeing through you - Miss Ghost." (Henley even nails the tone and accent to a tee here; I'd have loved to hear him perform it live ... unfortunately, he never did.)
In all its diversity, the album nevertheless comes as one piece, thanks in no small part to the continuity of production provided by Henley's trusted friend Stan Lynch. It features the "all star" cast of supporting artists we have long come to expect - (ex-)Eagles Frey and Felder, Henley friends Danny Kortchmar and Frank Simes, Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, and many others. More than anything, however, it proves that Don Henley is still on top of his game when it comes to music - a welcome affirmation after an eleven year wait.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2001
As an avid Eagles/Henley fan I just had to have this cd. At first I thought it was weird. I played it again & again. Now I love it. The lyrics are brilliant, sounds superb. My kids aged 10/6 love it especially They're not here & they're not coming. My personal favourites are My Thanksgiving & Taking you Home.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2000
This is a very fine record indeed. And at over 70 mins, great value too. And as fine a collection of intelligently-written songs about important subjects (life, relationships, politics, regret, belief) as you're likely to hear on anything but a compilation.
Some of these songs really do take time, but it grows and grows until you can't leave it alone.
Some songs are angry (Nobody Else In The World But You, Inside Job, Workin' It, Damn It Rose); others are concerned (Goodbye To A River, Annabel); others plaintive love songs (Taking You Home, Everything Is Different Now, For My Wedding). 'The Genie' deals with the dangers of drugs in the most intelligent way I've come across ("...the past comes back to smack you around/For all the things you thought you got for free/For the arrogance to think that you could somehow/Defy the laws of gravity/These are lessons in humility...")
The music is the usual polished West-Coast sound you'd expect from the post-Eagles LA crowd. Henley's voice is as great as ever. But these are great songs, thoughtful songs, catchy songs.
Favourite tracks? Goodbye To A River, Everything Is Different Now, My Thanksgiving.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2001
Having listened to 'Inside Job' since it's release, I've come to realise that Don doesn't care about how it compares to previous albums, he just does what he does best. Writing songs about life, love, politics, etc.
NO MORE COMPARISONS WITH END OF THE INNOCENCE PLEASE !!!
This album 'as an entity on it's own', is worth it's weight in gold !
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2003
Just occasionally I hear a track that I simply never get bored with, but a whole album that I can say that about is a once in a decade experience. This is quite simply the best album I have heard in many years - a genuine masterpiece which should be rated one of the greatest albums of all time. It will not be because Don Henley has been around too long to be credited by the music media mafia. He has never been a proliferative song writer like Springsteen, but for me this album raises him to that class and that makes him one of the two greatest American songwriters of all time. It is quite simply superb - buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2000
I like inside job, but I am a die hard fan. There are a few stand out tracks: "Taking you home" is a well crafted ballard (a bit too sentimetal on first listen) that grows on you with each listen. "Everything is different now" has a great hook which is sooo catchy! The closing "my thanksgiving" is a feel good song straigt out of American AOR radio, with guitars and more guitars.
Henley and his co-writers are craftmen, that come from the same ilk as Stephen Bishop, Jackson Browne and Neil Finn, people who aren't concerned with being labelled sad and old fashioned, they just write great tunes!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2000
This album took a long time to get out, 10 years and at first it was a little disappointing, but after a week of listening, it is full of fantastic songs. Every one has something to say, he has been influenced by so many. Damn It rose, sounds like Dylan influence, They're not here they're not comin. Listen to the guitar track it's George Harrison. Everything is different, could be John Lennon. But they are all Dons songs and they are fabulous. I was lucky enough to see his show in June in Washington DC. Out of this world. If he does get here I urge everyone to see it, he was fantastic. Yep, Don HEnley has not lost a thing.
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