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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Havens is Electric - long overdue re-release
The recent news that Richie Havens is no longer well enough to tour is sad indeed. On the plus side someone has finally seen fit to release on CD what is arguably his best ever material.

This disc is essentially the long awaited (and never before available in any digital format) 'Electric Havens' plus tracks from 'Richie Havens' Record' - both released in...
Published on 25 April 2012 by Barmee

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed reactions
I bought this in a fit of nostalgia. The story is that I borrowed this in vinyl LP form from a friend back in the 70s and became 'singalong familiar' with it. Eventually I gave it back and forgot all about it for 30+ years. Recently I was reminded of it by seeing that the film '3.10 to Yuma' was on the TV. That and 'Boots and Spanish Leather' were the only tracks I...
Published on 26 Sept. 2012 by Mr. J. Colley


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Havens is Electric - long overdue re-release, 25 April 2012
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This review is from: My Own Way (Audio CD)
The recent news that Richie Havens is no longer well enough to tour is sad indeed. On the plus side someone has finally seen fit to release on CD what is arguably his best ever material.

This disc is essentially the long awaited (and never before available in any digital format) 'Electric Havens' plus tracks from 'Richie Havens' Record' - both released in 1967.

For anyone who has seen Havens' stunning performance at Woodstock you'll know just what to expect. If not then you are in for a treat of highly charged 60's Folk/Blues from a unique rich and resonant voice.

Two tracks from the original 'Electric Havens' ('I'm a stranger here'; 'In the land of Oden') are missing, but the other - and in my view best - tracks are all present, ie:

Oxford Town
900 Miles from home
C.C. Rider
Boots & Spanish Leather
My Own Way
Shadow Town
3:10 to Yuma

All 7 are exceptional, fast and emotional largely accoustic (despite the name of the original record) songs. It would be tricky to pick out the best but the five and a half minute cover of Dylan's '...Spanish Leather' is probably worth the price of the disc alone. This track has never before been available digitally so will be a real treat for MP3 listeners everywhere. 'Oxford Town' too is stunning and something of a tear jearker.
In addition there are 7 other tracks from the 'Richie Havens' Record' too:

Norah's Dove
The Bag I'm In
Drown in my own tears
Down in the valley
Chain Gang
Babe, I'm leaving
Daddy Roll 'em

If you already have a worn out vinyl copy of Electric Havens then this purchase is a much needed upgrade. If you have not heard it - or are new to Richie Havens - well this is a great place to start.

Incidentally if you are indeed new to Richie Havens and enjoy this CD then there is a big back catalogue to trawl through - however you could do worse than to investigate his most recent release (2008's 'Nobody Left The Crown') and his guest appearance with Groove Armada ('Hands of Time' from the Lovebox album). He's not lost it even after so many years!

Get well soon Richie ... and enjoy a well deserved rest.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A much-wanted release from this great artist., 26 April 2012
By 
B. Mathieson (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Own Way (Audio CD)
While I agree fully with the sentiments in the review by Barmee, there are a couple of corrections that need to be made to it and to the Amazon review by the CD's producer, Alan Douglas.

First of all, I have to say that this is a wonderful find and one that I never ever expected to hold in my hands. Richie recorded these two albums back in 1963/4 as a demo in New York. The tracks had solo guitar, with no other accompaniment. Douglas Records bought the tapes after Richie's appearance at Woodstock and they added additional musicians to beef up the sound, including Daniel Ben Zebulon ("Natoga") on congas and Paul ("Deano") Williams on lead guitar. Production credits were attributed to Johanan Vigoda.

"A Richie Havens Record" was released in 1968 and it was followed in 1969 by "Electric Havens". The release on Douglas was somewhat shambolic, with album cover misprints and tracks listed in the wrong order from the way they appeared on the actual vinyl. For example, "The Land of Oden" is listed on the album cover, but doesn't appear as a track. Transatlantic Records issued the two albums in the UK.

In the meantime, "Mixed Bag", Richie's first "official" record was released on Verve in 1967 in the US (1968 in the UK). "Something Else Again" came out in 1968. The Douglas releases were simply an attempt to cash in on the success of Woodstock. However - and here comes the shock - they were great albums, particularly the second one that Richie has disowned for all these years.

As Barmee says, "I'm a Stranger Here" is omitted from the new CD, as are "I'm On My Way", "It Hurts Me" and "I'm Gonna Make You Glad". That first track is a loss and, considering the total running time of both albums is around 67 minutes, there was room for the missing tracks (and for some other material that Richie also recorded around the same time, such as "Canaan Land" and "Nobody Knows").

However, the CD here is definitely worth owning, both as a historical record of a great artist at an early stage and as a wonderful example of a brilliantly resonant voice, chock-full of emotion. If you plan to download just one track, try "Shadow Town". I guarantee you'll be back for the rest!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars LP transfer, 1 May 2012
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Christopher Straub (Croton on Hudson, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Own Way (Audio CD)
Just received my CD today and on first listen it sounds excellent. I just think that it is only fair to inform people that the liner notes state that this CD is "remastered from LP transfers." I would have thought that since Alan Douglas is reissuing this on his own label these recordings would have come from the original master tapes. Perhaps they have been lost? Since these tracks are transferred from LP, I can't imagine what excuse there could be for leaving 4 tracks off of this disc. Both the "Richie Havens Record" and "Electric Havens" could have easily fit on one CD in their entirety. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing it right!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great man, 1 Sept. 2013
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An enjoyable collection of early material from one of the genuine greats. Others will have reviewed and detailed with more knowledge than me - I enjoy just about everything Havens has ever done [the 80s affected many badly....!] but this is classic stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At his best, 25 May 2013
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This review is from: My Own Way (Audio CD)
this is Richie Havens at his best. I highly recommend this album to lovers of Richie Haven's works or to those who are just discovering him. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I recommend this record for being some of his best earlier ..., 7 Oct. 2014
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Having been a Richie Havens fan since the sixties, I recommend this record for being some of his best earlier work.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed reactions, 26 Sept. 2012
By 
Mr. J. Colley (Lincs, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Own Way (Audio CD)
I bought this in a fit of nostalgia. The story is that I borrowed this in vinyl LP form from a friend back in the 70s and became 'singalong familiar' with it. Eventually I gave it back and forgot all about it for 30+ years. Recently I was reminded of it by seeing that the film '3.10 to Yuma' was on the TV. That and 'Boots and Spanish Leather' were the only tracks I could remember, although I instantly remembered 'CC Rider' when I saw the playlist. I could remember loving Richie's style when playing up-tempo tracks. He seemed to sing at one pace whilst playing the guitar much faster. The same applies to the backing musicians, and there's lots going on all at once. All of which gives it a very 'high-energy' feel. (That is just in the up-tempos, not the folksy ones). So what does it sound like today? Well 'CC Rider' is pretty much a standard, loads of people have covered it over the years, and I still like Richie's version as much as I did 30 years ago. There are two or three other quick tempo tracks I like very much, and I now appreciate the occasional bits of gospel-style organ backing which I didn't like much in the old days. So it's good news in that repect. The medium paced ones like '3.10 to Yuma' and 'Boots etc.,' are still ok but only ok, it was nice to hear them again and refresh the memory but I won't be going barmy playing them a lot, just ocasionally. Now for the bad news. The folksy ones. I'm not mad keen on this type of thing (single voice accompanied by single acoustic guitar) at the best of times, however much I like the artist. The old protest songs were valid and meaningful back then but a lot of the time the lyrics are outdated and pointless today. I say that because the issues they protested about have been addressed and resolved so there's nothing to protest about any more. So there you have it. In my humble opinion this is a mixed bag, some tracks I love, some are average, and some I actively dislike, but that's often the case isn't it? The acid test is whether I would still buy it tomorrow having heard it again today and the answer is a definite 'Yes'.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Jan. 2015
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Great
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