RS #452: John Prine, John Prine

John Prine
“Hay hay hay! It’s JOOOOHN PRIINE”


John Prine, John Prine

Release Date: 1971
Previously Owned: No
First Time Listen: Yes

Impressions: I’ve mentioned this before, but I mix John Prine, Warren Zevon, and Boz Scaggs together for some reason, even though they aren’t really musically quite alike. Maybe it’s their demographic? WXRT seems to like him a lot, (reads his Wikipedia bio) and that’s probably because he’s from Chicago. Let’s put this album on. Opens with a funny country drug number called “Illegal Smile.” His voice is kind of plain to my ears. The album defininely got a lot of that ’70s Singer-Songwriter vibe, but he doesn’t quite take himself too seriously, almost like a mellower Randy Newman without the piano. He specializes in funny, wry lyrics in the sprightly ode to a settling down “Spanish Pipedream.” Some songs, like “Sam Stone,” drag. Ehhh, not sure why, but this album isn’t really speaking to me. Sometimes his lyrics seems really dated or forced, other times simply sublime…but his voice doesn’t make up the difference for me. His fluid guitar work is a high point though. There’s a ton of skill here and much to like, but I think this is, like, not my bag, man.

Starred Songs: “Angel from Montgomery,”
Sneaky Track: “Flashback Blues,” “Pretty Good”
Should this album be on the list? I wouldn’t have put it on, but it’s well made, and probably deserves to be on here.
Replace with: Hmm… A 180 degree turn but as far as the same era, I might throw on Jimi Hendrix funky live album Band Of Gypsys on here instead.

Will you listen to this again? Probably Not
Verdict: Sly ’70s singer/songwriter tunes laced with expert country/folk guitar lines.
Rating:  ★★3/4