Top positive review
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One of the greatest debut albums of all time
on 17 August 2007
John Prine is one of those American singer-songwriter strapped with the "next Bob Dylan" tags. It's a shame he has to be compared to anyone when he is really the first John Prine.
I first saw John Prine on BBC TV's "In Concert" show in the very early 70's when he performed most of these tunes. I went hunting for the album and have been playing it - in one format or another - ever since.
The songs are funny, serious, funny-serious, witty and all memorable. There are lots of stories with brilliant lines, with that country-tinged folk singing of Mr Prine which I have come to know and love.
For me, music can lift my dark moods. This is the album for all moods; it makes me feel better, makes me shed a tear, makes me laugh, makes me think very deeply about those who have things much worse than me and allows me to realise that I'm being over-dramatic. It tells me to stop being a fool, wake up and smell the roses.
My favourite track are "Hello In There", "Sam Stone", "Illegal Smile", "Spanish Pipedream"", "Flashback Blues" - need I go on? No iffy tracks here, just sheer brilliance - and these songs sound as wonderful today as they did all those years ago.
I think John Prine is a genius - an overused description, but one which is thoroughly deserved. This is where it all started for John Prine and he just goes marching on.
This is folk music at the brilliant best and, as I say in the title, once of the greatest debuts ever released from one of the greatest American songwriters in the last 60 years.
Buy, enjoy and keep on enjoying - then buy some of his other albums. There is a lot of wonderful John Prine music out there - and, then, when you've finished with JP, try the lovely Iris Dement, who JP really likes. Not only does he write great music, he also has great taste,