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4.8 out of 5 stars21
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 14 June 2015
What can I say about Steve Forbert? Well, if you're an old fart like me and want some help in recalling how great it was to be young, including the not so good bits, he's your man on Alive On Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim. If you also recall the trials and tribulations of settling down and the additional responsibilities that entailed, he's your man again on Streets Of This Town and The American In Me, also to be found as a double album named Rock While I Can Rock - The Geffen Years. If you are getting on a bit in life and want to listen to something that suits your current circumstances, Steve is again your man on Over With You.

Having first bought Alive on Arrival in 1979 and seen Steve in concert in 1980, like a lot of people I then forgot about him and his music. In the early 1990's, I heard Danny Baker play a track from The American In Me whilst also making positive comments about the album. Now, Danny Baker is what I would call a cool guy so I took my chance and bought the album on cassette. It was a good decision as both musically, but particularly lyrically, it is first class. More recently, after catching Steve in concert a couple of times, I purchased Rock While I Can Rock - The Geffen Years, on MP3 in order to get the aforementioned The American In Me in a modern format along with Streets Of This Town, which I had never heard. The latter is at least the equal of the former and testament once again to the power of Steve's song writing, both melodically and lyrically. The two albums benefit from investment in both the production and in the musicians selected to play on the records. My most recent purchase was Over With You which, although low key in comparison, nevertheless maintains a high standard of song writing throughout and is one to play if you have recently broken up with a loved one. There are, of course, many other Steve Forbert albums I have yet to investigate and I would welcome suggestions from anyone who happens to read this review.

Anyway, to Alive On Arrival and Jackrabbit Slim. To me, they are the sound of a young, talented and ambitious artist wearing his heart on his sleeve and telling it like it is. His enthusiasm for life is infectious and his lyrics speak from the heart. You can also understand them and that, to me, is one of Steve Forbert's real strengths which he appears to have maintained throughout his career. Whether he's singing about the reckless abandonment of youth (Going Down To Laurel), the darker side of life (Tonight I feel So far Away From Home), the crap life throws at you (Complications) or the inevitability of disappointment (It Isn't Gonna Be That Way), he does it with passion, empathy, humour and good grace. Anyone who can come up with the lines "It's often said that life is strange. Oh yes, but compared to what?" (January 23-30, 1978) is a genius in my book. And if you feel in need of a bit of counselling but can't afford it, just listen to Thinkin' and you'll feel better in no time at all if you take his advice.

I was born in 1954, the same year as Steve Forbert. Maybe that's why I feel I can relate to his music so easily. Or maybe it's because he's a straightforward talking poet. Or maybe it's because he's a superb songwriter with a real knack for observing life in all it's manifestations and then relaying those observations to us in a funny, moving and entertaining way. Whatever the reasons, to me he's an absolute gem!
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on 26 March 2013
Steve Forbert has been plying his trade for well over 30 plus years - his early records were critically acclaimed before sliding off the radar. During the passed 30 years Steve has recorded some lovely records - even during his Geffen period he managed to record two brilliant records. This 2 for 1 release shows Steve's songwriting skills and talent for melody, his ability for astute lyrics never really left him. At under £10 this is a bargain intro or for the 'older' fan and completists it's a treasure trove. I've seen Steve play live many times and whilst the audience numbers have dwindled over the years this welcome reissue might generate a second coming of the Jack Rabbit.
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on 6 January 2016
The two stars are _not_ a reflection of the music. I've rated this double-CD low because there is no track listing for either CD. No liner notes either. Nothing. That's awful. I've had to come here to the product webpage to find out what the additional seven tracks on the "Jackrabbit Slim" CD were. Given that this CD tends to sell for a premium, even second-hand (I paid significantly more for this CD than for most others I've purchased over the past few years), I'm very disappointed by this.
Shame, because otherwise I'm glad to own a copy at long last.
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on 19 June 2013
Having played these two Steve Forbert cassettes to death decades ago I was delighted to find his debut album and brilliant follow-up (Jackrabbit Slim) re-issued as a double album with extra tracks at a very good price.

Even after 30 years these tracks stand up extremely well. Forbert will appeal to those who appreciate singer songwriters such as Jake Bugg or Ed Sheeran. The double album showcases a variety of musical styles from love songs to rock to protest and goes well beyond Forbert's most known song - Romeo's Song. Recommended.
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on 22 July 2013
These are Steve's finest albums in my humble opinion and to get them in one package is amazing! Love them and saw him live in Nottingham recently for the second time in a couple of years and he was brilliant.
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on 13 September 2013
Loved Arrived on Arrival first time round but have been unable to find it on CD until now. Still sounds fantastic and glad to see Steve Forbert is still maing music.
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on 12 July 2013
having had both albums on vinyl for ever, was great to get them on cd and at a brilliant price can now play in car and drive the wife mad !!!
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on 4 April 2016
Brilliant Album(s) musically...but in all my (many) years of buying music, this is the first album that does NOT have any "Sleeve Notes or Track Listings. This somewhat spoilt my overall satisfaction of the purchase. No mention of this 'Serious Omission' on the product information blurb. C'mon Amazon, if you want to keep our custom, you have to give us the full picture. Yours in Disappointment.
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on 22 April 2013
I can't rave about this cd enough. It is absolutely superb and i don't say that often about anything. Take a chance and buy it now, you will not regret it
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on 24 October 2013
The first two Steve Forbert albums hold a special place in my heart, as they formed the soundtrack to a special part of my life. Hearing them again on a reasonably priced double CD, with loads of extra tracks hasn't been an anti-climax - which I had been afraid it would be - but has reminded me of how great these recordings are! Lovely, light arrangements and crystal clear sound let the songs shine through. OK, for me it's nostagia, but for anybody into light, country-tinged rock, free of any sickly sentiment, it's a real find! I am really looking forward to next summer, so I can wind down the car windows and wind up the volume!
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