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Chicken Skin Music [CASSETTE]

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (9 Feb. 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wea Corp
  • ASIN: B00000EY89
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 979,696 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A. Macfarlane VINE VOICE on 22 April 2004
Format: Audio CD
Ry Cooder is probably best know to contemporary music buyers as the manbehind the Buena Vista Social Club, which was an unexpected runaway hit afew years back. Well, I say unexpected, but not so if you've been payingattention to his output over the last 30 years. This CD is a simmilar ideato Buena Vista - get a bunch of less-well know but very talented musicians- and play through some old, and somtimes long forgotten tunes. To thisend he has included the fantastic Flaco Jimenez, plus two greats ofHawaiian music: Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs.
The tunes on this album may be familiar to many: Leadbelly's "BourgeoisBlues" and "Goodnight Irene", plus the King/Leiber/Stoller classic "StandBy Me". There are some that will be less familiar, with "Always Lift HimUp" first recorded by the wonderful Blind Alfred Reed standing out. Thisis an accomplised, ecclectic and hugely enjoyable CD.
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By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 5 Jun. 2004
Format: Audio CD
The rediscovery of a rich indigenous American musical history didn't begin with O Brother Where Art Thou, though it gave a timely boost to an undervalued genre. Somehow the blues and folk archives of Alan Lomax and Harry Smith, and music handed down through families over generations and kept alive, needed to be woven into a whole that was both true to a tradition and yet contemporary. Among the honourable few who attempted such a synthesis were the Band, Neil Young and Ry Cooder.
Ry Cooder toured his Chicken Skin Music band after making this album and if you saw it you probably will remember a Whistle Test concert for UK television in 1977. Ry Cooder had assembled an extraordinary orchestra, uniquely combining the Tex-Mex accordion mastery of Flaco Jiminez with the Hawaiian slack key guitar maestros Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs to perform traditional minstrel and gospel songs, soul ballads, Leadbelly and Ray Charles covers and standards such as the wonderful He'll Have To Go, and Chloe.
The result is a skilful blend that is not dry or academic but designed for dance and entertainment
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Format: Audio CD
This is the most essential of a list of essential Ry Cooder albums. If you only ever buy one of his CDs, make it this one.

I wore the vinyl out and had to buy it again and then I had to buy the CD. Someone borrowed the CD, they moved and I never got it back so I had to buy it again.

The playing is immaculate, it is simply wonderful music. The Mexican influences are great and really bring an extra dimension. This is the culmination of everything RC did before and overshadows everything he has done since.

Buy this album.
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Format: Audio CD
I first heard this on tape in 1988 when it was already 14 or so years old. I loved it immediately and still love it today. Cooder is a master of anything with strings and frets, and he has assembled a great bunch of musicians around him for this album of familiar and occasionally less familiar American folk and blues standards. 'Goodnight Irene,' 'He'll have to go,'and 'Stand by me' are probably definitive versions, though 'yellow roses' does not really work for me. Still, you can forgive one slightly poorer track on an album on which most are outstanding. 'Always pick him up' may be a bit maudlin and even sexist by today's standards, but it's still a brilliant song.
I'v heard most of Ry's other albums from this period, and while they are all good, this one remains, for me, the best of the bunch.
Scottish Amazon users might remember that track 2 'I've got mine' was used in Tennents Lager TV promotion in the late eighties. But don't let it put you off - the music is much better than the lager!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ry Cooder is a remarkable figure in post-war American music. In truth, only Taj Mahal really gets close to him in terms of exploring the borderlands of different musical styles. In recent years, Cooder has expanded his muse beyond the environs of the USA, taking in collaborative works with V M Bhatt and Ali Farke Toure, as well as the Buena Vista Social Club, to name but three of his musical sojourns. Since his first, self-titled solo album of 1970, Cooder had stealthily built a solo career around an almost anthropological, archaeological excavation of forgotten sounds and idioms of North American music. 'Chicken Skin Music' is one of his most accomplished collections, taking in Tex Mex music at a time when it was very much a minority style. He took songs such as 'He'll Have To Go', something of a cornball piece in the hands of Jim Reeves, but here transformed into an emotive (but witty) song for the love lorn. 'The Bourgeois Blues' is one of Cooder's finest excursions into the Blues, and his version of 'Smack Dab In The Middle' acknowledges the influence of Ray Charles. It's recorded brilliantly, the musicianship is classy, and yet understated, and all the components conspire to make one of the finest albums of its era, that has not dated, because it didn't sound of its' time at the time. Nor is it a museum piece; 'Chicken Skin Music' resonates with bluesy, soulful power, and it swings like mad. Cooder made more commercially successful albums, but this is an artistic highwater mark that you owe it to yourself to own.
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