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Wrecking Ball is a leftfield masterpiece, the most wide-ranging, innovative, and daring record in a career built on such notions. Rich in atmosphere and haunting in its dark complexity, much of the due credit belongs to producer Daniel Lanois; best known for his work with pop superstars like U2 and Peter Gabriel, on Wrecking Ball Lanois taps into the very essence of what makes Harris tick -- the gossamer vocals, the flawless phrasing -- while also opening up innumerable new avenues for her talents to explore. The songs shimmer and swirl, given life through Lanois' trademark ringing guitar textures and the almost primal drumming of U2's Larry Mullen, Jr. The fixed point remains Harris' voice, which leaps into each and every one of these diverse compositions -- culled from the pens of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, and others -- with utter fearlessness, as if this were the album she'd been waiting her entire life to make. Maybe it is
Top Customer Reviews
The packaging is to be honest a bit bland for a 'deluxe edition' with just a few new photos and nothing special overall.
The DVD is very interesting showing Daniel Lanois' recording studio, in effect his house in New Orleans, with many people popping in to record such as Neil Young, Rodney Crowell, Larry Mullin Jnr, The McGarrigle Sisters, Steve Earle and others.
Only about half the songs on the album are in the DVD which runs for just under an hour and cuts between the studio recordings, live performances and the actual recording process.
The bonus CD (13 tracks) is interesting with 3 tracks fully completed that could have been on the album especially Richard Thompson's 'How Will I Ever Be Simple Again' being one that really should have been on the album. Leonard Cohen's "The Stranger Song' is also excellent.
The other tracks are early run through's of most of the original album's tracks and are also interesting.
But the original album still stands the test of time, an unclassifiable album that could have been recorded yesterday and which defies any genre. Nothing else sounds like it, it's a totally unique album,
A 5 star classic.
This is of those albums you return to again and again. People of many musical tastes including rock, country, folk, pop and easy listening will all find something to enjoy. I love Daniel Lanois' production which lends a haunting, wistful quality to Emmylou's voice and infuses the sound with atmospherics.
The great songs are written by talents like Steve Earle, Neil Young, Anna McGarrigle, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Jimi Hendrix and producer Daniel Lanois. My favourites include Going Back To Harlan, Bob Dylan's devotional masterpiece Every Grain of Sand (Emmylou has fiddled with some lyrics here but it doesn't matter at all).
Goodbye is a most poetic & melancholy 1960s reminiscence, Lucinda Williams' Sweet Old World is stirringly interpreted and Orphan Girl is real wailing country. The last two tracks are truly outstanding: Blackhawk and the highly sensual Waltz Across Texas Tonight are both sweeping ballads with gripping imagery and magical melodies.
Emmylou followed up this album with two more masterpieces that resembled it in sound and style: Red Dirt Girl and Stumble Into Grace. I highly recommend both; they're just as exceptional and spellbinding as Wrecking Ball.
Goodbye is the stand out track. It will break your heart. But the rest of the album is equally stunning. For me, this album sits alongside The Velvet Underground, Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy, Roxy Music, Grand Prix, Sweetheart of the Rodeo. It is the sort of album that people who make their own music adore - because it oozes inspiration. Emmylou Harris had the bravery to do this, even if she is not the primary creative force.
Buy this album. It might be over ten years old, but it still sounds revolutionary.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent album, as important for Daniel Lanois fans as for those of Emmylou Harris. Larry Mullen Jnr drums beautifully on this too.Published 2 months ago by Mr. D. G. Medley
I love this lady could listen all day.
A real star in every sense.
Brilliant. Buy it now and be forever happy! You will play it over and over.Published 3 months ago by john laurence simpson