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The Hard Way CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 Aug. 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Universal / Island
  • ASIN: B0000242HW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,838 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Steve Earle & the Dukes - The Hard Way

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 1 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I really really love this album. It's a bit darker, more searching and has the both tough and soft songs that makes a Steve Earle album great. "The other kind" has to be one of the best songs ever made. He wanders from the backalleys in Hollywood to his biker friends in Canada, from pure pop through harder rock to so senstive it makes you cry. To be able to tell a story like "Billy Austin" without making it into something pathetic and fingerpointing takes a very good songwriter. To offer your soul on a plate like in "Have mercy" takes a lot of guts. Then we have the fun, normal workingclass hero playing his own kinda country in "Regular guy" and "Country girl" with what I guess is a fuzzed up accordion. To me this is the searching, trying to find some new way to give us his music, Steve Earle. Just buy his best ever album.
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Format: Audio CD
I make no bones about it. I think Steve Earle is the 20th Century's greatest song writer (and probably the 21st as well). When I sat down and decided to create a tape of my favourite tracks, I put on this album to assess it. I decided there were very few tracks (if any) that could be left off. Nobody over 30 can fail to adopt 'The Other Kind' as their theme tune. You might be from the 'hang 'em high' brigade - but you will shed a tear at 'Billy Austin'. Not his most accessable album but well worth gettting to know.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If my reckoning is correct, this is the last work SE engaged in before taking off for his 'holiday in the ghetto' ...and it shows. Some of the songs may not be his strongest and the production wavers, but for sheer depth of feeling and a commentary on what it feels like to be down - really down - this one really is the business. A voice, cracked and ravaged by abuse reaches out to you and grabs your attention by still hitting bull's eyes on social commentary, loss, pain and regret. He may have been going down, but even here there are glimmers of redemption from one of the great survivors. If you're ploughing his back catalogue you overlook this one at your peril. Standout songs: Billy Austin, Have Mercy, Close Your Eyes.
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By A Customer on 25 Sept. 2002
Format: Audio CD
I think this is Steve's best album ever! Starting out with the magnificent "The other kind". A darker and more searching Steve wanders through Hollywoods backalleys in "Esmeraldas Hollywod" and defends his bikerfriends in "Justice in Ontario". Feels like he's trying out new ways of delivering his music, both really soft and at times really hard.Just go buy it!
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
Just as good as I remembered.
Stand out tracks are Billy Austin and Justice in Ontario........ For me..... Yours will probably be others.
One of the greatest below the radar artists of the last 25 years.
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Format: Audio CD
To start with 'the Hard Way' is a completely shambolic, incoherent car crash of an album. But thats what makes it so special in my opinion. Steve Earle's vast array of problems during the early 90's are well documented and the fact that this album exists as a permanent reminder of a real make or break time in Earle's life is probably the main reason why he himself never or very rarely plays tracks from this monumental effort.
"I'll defend the 'The Hard Way' to the death because I nearly died making it" are words used by Steve when used to describe how he feels now about the album and from the opening, fist pumping, never-say-die anthem 'The Other Kind' to the closing FM rock tear jerker'Close Your Eyes' you will be left with no doubt that this album is the sound of a man falling apart and with nothing left to lose. He may have gone on to record more acclomplished albums, more critically acclaimed albums and perhaps even better albums overall but 'The Hard Way' stands alone in terms of aggression, honesty, guts and pure passion. Steve reflects alot on the pain in his life and he does it beautifully on other more reflective efforts like 'Train A Coming' and 'Transcendental Blues' but here the wounds are open and the pain is raw. This is pure no holds barred stuff on Steve Earle's most hard rocking album and though there is restbite in the shape of the foot stomping 'Country girl', 'Regular guy' and the affectionate 'Hopeless Romantics' at the heart of this album is one of the most angry, passionate, gut wrenching songs of Steve Earle's career. The anti-death penalty 'Billy Austin' floors you with brutal honesty and then appeals to you with it's humanity and is one of the most moving songs you will ever hear.
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