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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs Of Haunting Beauty
Townes Van Zandt was just 24 when he recorded this, his first album, in 1968. He said "I was awe stricken when I first went to Nashville. I just sat on a chair and sang when they told me to."

This was not surprising because his producer on his debut album was the legendary Jack Clement of Sun Records, the producer of Johnny Cash and the man responsible for the...
Published on 28 Sep 2009 by Angel Delta

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Songs Marred By Poor Arrangements
Townes is one of the greatest American Singer/Songwriters ever, but this debut album does him no favours at all. A fantastic collection of songs, but he was young and naive and was persuaded into letting the producer adorn them in pretty session musician flourishes. It just dilutes the sparse beauty and directness of these songs. Thankfully he realised this and revisited...
Published on 11 April 2010 by Gordon Hill


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Songs Marred By Poor Arrangements, 11 April 2010
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Gordon Hill (Glasow) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Townes is one of the greatest American Singer/Songwriters ever, but this debut album does him no favours at all. A fantastic collection of songs, but he was young and naive and was persuaded into letting the producer adorn them in pretty session musician flourishes. It just dilutes the sparse beauty and directness of these songs. Thankfully he realised this and revisited the best songs on this record, giving them definitive readings on the next two albums, the brilliant 'Our Mother The Mountain' and the sadly beautiful self titled 'Townes Van Zandt'. Seek them out first then by all means get this one, but there are four or five Townes albums i would get before this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Songs Of Haunting Beauty, 28 Sep 2009
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Angel Delta (Southsea Hants) - See all my reviews
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Townes Van Zandt was just 24 when he recorded this, his first album, in 1968. He said "I was awe stricken when I first went to Nashville. I just sat on a chair and sang when they told me to."

This was not surprising because his producer on his debut album was the legendary Jack Clement of Sun Records, the producer of Johnny Cash and the man responsible for the Jerry Lee Lewis classic "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".

But Townes Van Zandt was not a rock 'n' roller or even a country singer. He was a sensitive young folk singer songwriter who had been diagnosed as a manic depressive with schizophrenic tendencies. But as a singer songwriter he possessed a singular talent and in 1968 he stood with Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in the order of folk artists. Jack Clement understood this and despite not having worked with anyone quite like Townes he managed to draw from him the essence that made him unique although accusations persist that some tracks were overproduced.

He never had a hit record but his songs have been recorded by Nanci Griffith, Mickey Newbury, Guy Clark, Willie Nelson, The Cowboy Junkies and Merle Haggard and are testament to the esteem in which he was held.

The songs on this album are minor masterpieces of aching beauty and his voice conveys the emotions of his songs in a way that is haunting, beguiling and sad, so sad. He used language to express his images of life in a way that was unique at the time:

The violinist will play "until the mountains ring, of lonely laughter blindly thrown, across an endless arc of string."

Townes Van Zandt died in 1997 but he left behind a body of work that deserves to be heard and remembered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First record of a legend., 13 Mar 2014
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Townes is a poet, a writer, a folk singer, a story teller. This is his first work, he re-cut many of these songs for his subsequent albums but if you love him you must have this.
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