ARTIST: John Prine
TITLE: John Prine
YEAR RELEASED: 1971
CHART ACTION: #154
SINGLES: Sam Stone and Illegal Smile were promo singles
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Paradise and Angel from Montgomery were covered by many artists.
LINEUP: John Prine with a crack session band at American Recording Studios in Memphis
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A record full of classic country/folk songs, some poignant, others humorous, that have become standards, covered by many artists.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Prine’s first record is a classic that everyone should have in their collection. The collection of 13 songs range from humorous and poignant (Spanish Pipedream, Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore), to poignant without being cliché ridden (Hello in There, Paradise, Donald and Lydia, Angel from Montgomery).
The highlight is Sam Stone, a chilling tale of a Vietnam vet who came back with a junk problem. On first listen, it’s harrowing, and the listener is both revulsed and empathetic at the same time.
Prine’s career after this would have ups and downs, but this is the record to have if you can only have one Prine record. And everyone should have one John Prine record.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Kris Kristofferson had Prine open for him in the early 70’s and at one gig Atlantic Records execs saw him and signed him.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: A+ : There are 13 songs on this album, and 13 songs that are just terrific.