My feet are wet from thinkin’ this over: the best of John Prine

Yesterday I praised Neil Finn for writing good slick love songs with commercial aspirations assumed. Today’s spotlight is on a singer-songwriter who writes great funny songs, sometimes about love, with peer affection assumed.

For almost fifty years John Prine has been quietly issuing albums as unmatched for their shaggy dog humor, expert country licks, and wonderful melodies; to hear “Often is a Word I Seldom Use” is to be humming it three minutes later. Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, Miranda Lambert, Bob Dylan himself — they all know and they’ve all covered him. I had to stop listing songs from 1971’s eponymous debut (home of “Angel From Montgomery”) and personal favorite Sweet Revenge. If I owned Great Days: The John Prine Anthology, I’d keep in the car so I could throw it on when I please.

His greatest ballad is “Donald and Lydia,” about the spaces between us and whatever we said, about a loneliness so cold that only the imagination can relieve it.

When he dies those obits are gonna sting.

1.Often is a Word I Seldom Use
2. Donald and Lydia
3. Blue Umbrella
4. Sam Stone
5. Lake Marie
6. Sweet Revenge
7. Pretty Good
8. Humidity Built the Snowman
9. Onomatopoeia
10. In Spite of Ourselves
11. Hello in There
12. The Great Compromise
13. People Puttin’ People Down
14. Grandpa Was a Carpenter
15. This Love Is Real
16. Illegal Smile
17. The Frying Pan
18. Maureen, Maureen
19. Fish and Whistle
20. All the Best
21. Quit Hollerin’ at Me
22. Clocks and Spoons
23. Bad Boy
24. Take A Look At My Heart
25. Souvenirs

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2 Responses to My feet are wet from thinkin’ this over: the best of John Prine

  1. jerfairall says:

    Ever heard “Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone?”

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