My Music Listening Journal: Day 99/ 366: Wednesday April 8, 2020.
- JOHN PRINE: JOHN PRINE: 1971: 5+ STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: Saddened today by the passing of John Prine. This was John Prine’s debut album and not to downgrade any of his other album- all of which are worth owning and listening to- but his debut is his best. Kris Kristofferson given credit for ‘discovering’ Prine but Prine always credited film critic Roger Ebert. Ebert was at a movie one evening, the popcorn was too salty so he left and walked into a bar where he found himself listening to a singing mailman. He enjoyed what he heard so much he wrote a review of the performance- launching John Prine’s career. Every time I listen to this album I marvel that the man writing these songs was not yet 25 years old. I compare it to some of Paul McCartney’s writing with The Beatles- like “Eleanor Rigby”- or Van Morrison writing the Astral Weeks album at 23. How did Prine at that age write songs that showed such insight and empathy as “Hello In There”, “Paradise”, “Sam Stone”? Kris Kristofferson said “Twenty-four years old and writes like he is two hundred and twenty.” “Paradise” is my all -time favorite John Prine song- and would be on my list of 25 favorite songs ever by anyone.
- JOHN PRINE: DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH: 1972: 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE MUSIC: Underrated second album. Prine said they spent just over $7,000 to make the album- including the beer. It sounds like it- in a good way. Favorites- “Souvenirs”, “The Late John Garfield Blues”, “The Great Compromise”, and “Yes I Guess They Outta Name A Drink After You.”
- JOHN PRINE: SWEET REVENGE: 1973: 5 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: Right away with his his third album- you can feel the self-confidence has grown. He not only sounds confident in the recording studio on this album but seems like he’s having a blast. The songwriting still as great as ever. Favorites- “Sweet Revenge”, “Grandpa Was A Carpenter”, “Often Is A Word I Seldom Use” and “Please Don’t Bury Me.”
- JOHN PRINE: COMMON SENSE: 1975: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE MUSIC: A change of pace- with Steve Cropper of Booker T & The MG’s coming in to produce. An often overlooked Prine album- but it has some good songs- “Common Sense”, “Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard”, ‘He Was In Heaven Before He Died”- closes with a cover of Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.”
- JOHN PRINE: BRUISED ORANGE: 1978: 5+ STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: My gateway drug to John Prine. One spring morning I dropped in to visit my friend Dan- and as soon as I walked in the door he was telling me about this new artist he had just heard- John Prine. He led me over to his record player and dropped the needle onto the record and the first thing I hear is “I been thinking lately about the people I meet, the carwash on the corner and the hole in the street, the way my ankles hurt with shoes on my feet and I’m wondering if I’m gonna see tomorrow.” I was immediately a John Prine fanatic for life. I had to have all his albums and have since then bought each new Prine album as they came out. I haven’t met anyone who actually heard John Prine who wasn’t a big fanatical about him. While the debut is I think his best- this one is my favorite. Favorite songs on Bruised Orange- Fish and Whistle,There She Goes, That’s The Way That The World Goes Round, Bruised Orange, Sabu Visits The Twin Cities Alone and Aw Heck. Produced by John’s friend Steve Goodman.
- JOHN PRINE: PINK CADILLAC: 1979: 3 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: APPLE MUSIC: John brought in Sam Phillips and his sons to produce this album and it was recorded in Phillips studio in Memphis. A different sounding John Prine album. An album reflecting Prine’s love for early rock and roll. Prine wrote only 5 of the 10 songs. Not a disaster, worth listening to but one of his lesser albums.
- JOHN PRINE: STORM WINDOWS: 1980: 4 1/2 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS: VINYL ALBUM: After the rock and roll album Pink Cadillac- back to a country sounding record. It’s not quite Bruised Orange but a comeback to John Prine making a John Prine album. Favorites- “Living In The Future”, “It’s Happening To You”, “Sleepy Eyed Boy”, “Storm Windows” and “I Had A Dream.”… .. “outside my window a bird once flew, now I don’t even care what kind of gum i chew.”