Here’s another case of an old album just kicking the crap out of today’s so-called popular music. This CD – from over 30 years ago (1971)- is just a joy. This is Prine’s first, and – for my money – his best, although he’s had a lot of great music since then. The album also has a great liner note – an intro of sorts – by Kris Kristofferson, which is not to be missed.
Prine’s music – often topical – oddly never ages. Weird. This album’s (yes, when it came out there weren’t any such things as CDs or MPs) cuts include such treats as “Illegal Smile” (drug use), “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore” (about Vietnam – as is “Sam Stone” – but could just as well be the Iraq
This album also contains what I find to be my favorite Prine song: “Hello in There” – and he was only 24 when he wrote this. Wow. Poignant beyond belief.
We lost Davy in the Korean War
I still don’t know what for
Don’t matter anymore…
And his song “Angel From Montgomery” is strong in the same emotional way as “Hello in There” (How the hell can a person / Go to work in the morning / And come home in the evening / With nothing to say) – and it’s written from the viewpoint of an old woman! How many other twenty-something males would even think of attempting this? Much less carrying if off so masterfully.
Bonnie Raitt owns what is probably the most popular version of this song; I find Prine’s version far superior, and I like Raitt. But just wrap your head around lyrics such as:
My old man is another
Child that’s grown old
If dreams were lightening
And thunder desire
This old house would have burnt down
A long time ago
Somehow Brittany Spears’ work just doesn’t measure up to the mailman from Maywood, IL. Could she pull off this?:
Tragic magic tears of passion
Stays the same through changing fashions
They freeze my mind
Like water on a winter’s night
There is no valid reason to not own and enjoy this ablum.