Photography: David Gahr
Art Direction: Abie Sussman/Bob Defrin
CD mastering by Stephen Innnocenzi, Atlantic Studios, N.Y.C.
The hardest thing to believe about John Prine is that it's
only five years and four albums since he wandered almost surreptitiously
into our collective consciousness. If you know Prine, it's as if he's
always been there. As Kristofferson said in the notes for the first record
- "twenty-four years old and he writes like two hundred and
twenty." And now the two hundred and twenty year old man is pushing
thirty, like so many of the rest of us, and the music is still as fresh
as the first time around.
His voice certainly has a unique quality, and the
arrangements are good, but what sticks in your mind long after the record
stops playing are the songs, The sad songs almost haunting - the
funny ones like a sardonic private joke between author and listener. And
all of them making you think; think about just what Prine wanted you to in
the first place, The peculiar thing about John Prine's song is that
they're always accessible and always personal.
There was never any though of calling this collection
"John Prine's Greatest Hits." Prine is a cult figure in the
purest sense; and that's really too bad. Because he writes songs about
things everybody feels, In truth John Prine is probably the most
universally literate ex-mailman you will ever run into.
Believe it or not, it is five years, and there have been four
albums. But, I'm not going to write about the passing of time; my
descriptive words would only 0ale next to his. Moreover, because sitting
in the smoky back of an airplane in the middle of the North Atlantic night
I see John Prine's characters all around me, And that's why you should
listen to these songs, Ultimately, they speak about you and me.
"Just give one thing that I can hold on to
To believe in this living is such a hard way to go"
Thanks, John - for things to hold on to.
Pat Dawson, WNEW-FM, New York
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