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The Open Road

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

Price: £11.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Details
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£11.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Sept. 2015)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: New West Records
  • ASIN: B0033XKVHI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,766 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Open Road
  2. Haulin'
  3. Go Down Swingin'
  4. Like a Freight Train
  5. My Baby
  6. Homeland
  7. Wonder of Love
  8. What Kind of Man
  9. Movin' On
  10. Fireball Roberts
  11. Carry You Back Home

Product Description

Excellent album with new material. His usual blend of (sometimes) bluesy rockers and country-soaked ballads. Lyrics are re-printed in the 12-page booklet. JOHN HIATT - gtr/voc, DOUG LANCIO -gtr, PATRICK O'HEARN - bass, KENNETH BLEVINS - drums.

Medium 1
The Open Road
Haulin'
Go Down Swingin'
Like a Freight Train
My Baby
Homeland
Wonder Of Love
What Kind A Man
Movin' On
Fireball Roberts
Carry You Back Home

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Androo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 19 Mar. 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a rockin' album that reminded me of Perfectly Good Guitar at times, but also of Bring the Family.
I've got used to only really liking about half the tracks of John's recent albums. Well, liking them enough to put them on my iPod anyway. The Open Road is no different in this respect, but none of the tracks are bad. Some are just a bit too heavy for me.
The title track is a fairly generic JH song that I found a little dull. The second track has a good bass line but is a bit long. For me the album doesn't really get going until Like a Freight Train, which is probably my favourite track. This is a very sparse bluesy track that's John Hiatt at his best. As always, the lyrics are just great (he never has let us down in this respect) and it amazes me he continues to come up with fresh phrases after all these years. Some of his lyrics still take you by surprise.
I like most of the other songs well enough. The ones going on my iPod are 'My Baby' (terrific lyrics on this especially), Homeland, Wonder of Love, and Movin' On. Movin' On deserves mention as a classic example of why JH is such a great songwriter.
Others have mentioned that the production on the album isn't great and it isn't. Having said that, if you put it on a good hi-fi and crank up the volume you can kind of see why it sounds the way it does. And it sounds fine, oddly enough, through phones on my iPod. Still, would it have done any harm to record this to at least the standard of his albums from the eighties? Perhaps it's down to money. What I can't excuse is the horrible crackling distortion on track three that renders it impossible to listen to. A bad pressing perhaps?
Well, one day John Hiatt will stop giving us this annual gift and we'll be sorry. So I can forgive many things and I'm happy that his voice is still mostly up to the task of howling out these songs. He must have vocal chords of steel.
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Format: Audio CD
Please read the other review by jayhikks for a full evocation of what this album is about. Suffice to say I love it. It won't bring in any new listeners no doubt, but this is a quality album in Hiatt's inimitable style and won't disappoint fans.
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Format: Audio CD
Having followed John Hiatt's career since the early days of 'Slug Line' & bought all bar a few of the many subsequent albums, this one surprised me more than I anticipated. Like others, I have found his recent efforts dominated by one or two standout tracks, but what takes me aback here is that this is not quite the case on this record. It's not that there are no highlights to speak of, on the contrary: The Open Road is full of highlights to my ears & ranks as among his very best- up there with the likes of Bring The Family, Slow Turning & Perfectly Good Guitar. The musicianship is top class & John is not only in fine voice but has assembled one of the most compelling collections of original songs of his career. The important word there is 'collection', for these compositions are linked by interweaving narrative themes. It seems he has deliberately presented them so that they tell a story of sorts. The starter 'Open Road', for instance, tells of a lady taking to the open road in her car 'locked doin' '75' & leaving her partner behind in a quest for new hopes. This song is followed by another called 'Haulin' about a male driver doing much the same, making his way from Fort Smith to Louisville with his mind set on bedding the lady he's headed towards. These two tracks pave the way for a sequence of quality songs exploring these motivations before we arrive at the album's centrepiece, 'Homeland'. This is a major song concerning an emotional awakening in which the narrator is startled to be recognising the meaning of 'home' through his sympathetic recognition of other peoples. From hereon until the end we have five tracks of redemption from narrators who have woken up to love having previously screwed it up.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Few, I suspect, would argue with the proposition that the real golden era of John Hiatt's career to date was his time on A&M in the mid-to-late 1980s which produced such genre-defining albums as `Bring the Family' `Slow Turning' and `Stolen Moments'. Much of his recent output has been patchy, and at times formulaic, with only the brilliant `Crossing Muddy Waters' some 10 years ago truly worthy of mention in the same exalted company.

Hiatt's 'warts 'n' all' devotion to lo-fi production means that in quality-control terms there's nowhere to hide. With no studio gimmickry to paper over any cracks, everything stands or falls on the strength of the songs and the performances themselves. Such is Hiatt's consummate skill as a songwriter that, more often than not, the quality does shine through. But one of the consequences of this kind of raw, stripped-down, approach is that the songs do often have to be really special to avoid the feeling that he's merely retreading old ground. His last album was something of a curate's egg, tellingly entitled `Same Old Man'.

Whilst for sure there's a warm familiarity about this latest offering, the good news is that `The Open Road' marks something of a return to the spirit, and even the themes, of `Slow Turning' in much the same way as `Drive South', `Ride Along', `Trudy and Dave' `Tennessee Plates' and the title track reflected the restlessness of the narrator and the lure of the road more than twenty years ago.
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