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John HartfordAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2011 $11.49  
Audio CD, 1997 --  
Vinyl --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 9, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rounder Select
  • ASIN: B0000002O7
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,106 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Turn Your Radio On
2. Steamboat Whistle Blues
3. Back in the Goodle Days
4. Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie
5. Boogie
6. First Girl I Loved
7. Presbyterian Guitar
8. With a Vamp in the Middle
9. Symphony Hall Rag
10. Because Of You
11. Steam Powered Aereo Plane
12. Holding
13. Tear Down the Grand Ole Opry
14. Leather Britches
15. Station Break
16. Turn Your Radio On

Editorial Reviews

John Hartford didn't just bite the hand that fed him; he made it a full-course meal. After Glen Campbell rode Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" to the top of the charts, Hartford was secure enough to stick his tongue out at the Nashville establishment. His songs offer an almost unparalleled blend of sardonicism and sincerity, a silliness tempered by a respect for musical tradition and beautiful melody. And despite his irreverence, he attracted the best pickers in the business. Norman Blake, Tut Taylor, Vassar Clements, and Randy Scruggs accompany him on this 1971 "newgrass" gem, a spontaneous album that was recorded live in the studio without any arrangements whatsoever. Delicious instrumentals stand by novelties about sex ("Boogie") and drugs ("Holding"), and semiserious diatribes ("Tear Down the Grand Ole Opry") live next to old-time gospel harmonies ("Turn Your Radio On"). Somehow, Aereo-Plain manages to be deeply cynical and emotionally uplifting at the same time. --Marc Greilsamer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harford Reinvents Bluegrass On "Aero-Plain" February 28, 2002
Format:Audio CD
"Aero-Plain" has been called the "Revolver" of bluegrass. This 1971 release by John Harford, preceded the Dirtband's "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" (presumably the "Sargeant Peppers"), by well over a year. "Aero-Plain" is a song cycle which celebrates the rise and fall the old time music subculture. Ironically, Hartford's coda to bluegrass was premature, as "Aero-Plain" found a hip young audience. As a result, bluegrass began to morph into "new-grass" and "progressive" variations for 30 years. Producer David Bromberg had as much to do with the success of "Aero-Plain" as Hartford. Bromberg, a fellow traveller in folk circles, resisted efforts to do second takes, or embellish the tracks with overdubbing. Bromberg captured a pristine sound quality with the freewheeling ambience of a back-porch picking session. Hartford's quirky personna was served well by the lean production values.
The Aeroplane Band assembled by Hartford was astounding line-up of noteable country instrumentalists. Vassar Clements, ex-Bill Monroe fiddler; Norman Blake master of mandolin, dobro and flat-top guitar; and Tut Tyler, legendary innovator of the flat-picked dobro style. Randy Scruggs, normally a lead guitarist, played bass on the "Aero-Plain" session. Hartford moved with suprisingly equal facility between banjo and guitar. The song cycle begins with A.J. Brumley's anthem to old time gospel radio, "Turn Your Radio On".
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Album that changed Bluegrass Forever August 4, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Well, many here have said it more eloquently than I, but I was a friend of Hartford's, and spoke off and on to many musicians over the past 30 years and every one, including myself, point to this recording as Life Changing. After we all heard this, we stopped being afraid. It's that simple. Sam Bush, Tim O'Brian, Pete Wernick, Tony Trischka, everybody that ever played progressive Bluegrass or New Grass points to this Album as the shining beacon that inspired them to take the risks that lead them to where they are today. I'm still trying to imitate what Vasser was doing on this album 30 years later... It's one of the few Perfect recordings of all time that I can genuinely recommend and say if you don't like it, I'd be absolutely amazed.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back in the Goodle Days June 14, 2001
Format:Audio CD
It's hard to believe that this album is now thirty years old--and even harder to believe that John Hartford isn't around any more to make his own brand of good time/old timey/bluegrass/country music.
When this album first came out on Warner Brothers in 1971 (now re-released by Rounder), the listener was confronted with this image of a shaggy hair, bearded hippie with aviator goggles. Don't let the look fool you. Hartford's lifestyle may not have been traditional, but the music contained on this disc is as traditional as his influences, notably fiddler Ed Haley and banjo players Earl Scruggs and Stringbean. And Hartford surrounded himself with like-minded musicians for the album: Norman Blake (guitar, mandolin), Tut Taylor (Dobro), Vassar Clements (fiddle) and Randy Scruggs (bass).
This album has it all--tight harmonies (listen to the gorgeous reading of the gospel number "Turn Your Radio On"), terrific songwriting (Hartford wrote all but the traditional "Leather Britches," "Turn Your Radio On" and "Tear Down the Grand Ole Opry," the latter he co-wrote with Robert Taylor), and wonderful picking throughout. While Hartford plays banjo on most songs, "Presbyterian Guitar" showcases his talents as an accomplished guitar player as well. Sure, "Boogie" is a bit goofy, but that's just John being John. In "Steamboat Whistle Blues" he sings "Bluegrass music is a thing of the past." Hartford helped introduce it to a brand new generation and was a major influence on bands like Newgrass Revival. He also spent the next three decades showing his audience that while bluegrass music was "of the past" it was a viable music force for the future as well. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes you to another world April 24, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
John Hartford has a way of taking us beyond the plastic confines of postmodern America and back to a world of muddy rivers, rolling green hills, and the syncopated rhythm of old fiddlers twisting tunes out of the air and into our consciousness. This album is one of the most original in the bluegrass/old time pantheon. It's one of those rare opportunities to experience first-hand the reflections of a true old soul looking out at an ever "progressing" America, and the silliness with which John tells the story is both delightful and comforting. "Well the city's grown up so it looks all strange like a crossword puzzle on the landscape. Looks like an electric shaver where the court house used to be." Also, First Girl I Loved is one of the prettiest (unrequited) love songs around. These songs are absolute gems to be listened to and admired for years and years. If you don't yet have Aereoplane, do yourself a wonderful favor and get it now. The cover photo alone is worth the price of the CD!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Take Off
This album is a classic. It transcends time. If you've never heard John Hartford, or forgotten his banjo playing on Laugh-in, you're in for a treat!
Published 6 months ago by Monrodeo
5.0 out of 5 stars New Grass Pioneer
Often sited as the album that changed Bluegrass Forever, This is an essential album for any fan, revealing both John Hartford’s genius and the glory days of early '70s progressive... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Rick Varner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As advertised
Published 11 months ago by dg owner
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Album
I've been hunting for Hartford's Aereo-Plain album for years. After getting rid of all of my records about ten years ago, and figuring I could easily replace all of them, I... Read more
Published 17 months ago by The Kodachrome Kid
5.0 out of 5 stars Cant get it on CD for less than $80
This is quintessential Hartford from his "Hippy Bluegrass" days. Lots of fiddle and banjo (which I like) and some really heartfelt music.
Published 17 months ago by Mike Buckley
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Sgt. Pepper of Blue Grass..." Enough said.
I read the "Sgt. Pepper of Blue Grass" description on a previous Amazon review of Aereo Plain. That simply says it all... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Otter
5.0 out of 5 stars CD about to be re-released!
Hold on, foks, and don't pay the over priced pipers here--glad you held on, because this 5 star album is finally being re-released on December 4th! Read more
Published 23 months ago by S. Swanson
5.0 out of 5 stars Back In the Goodle Days
I was a young man when John Hartford released this artistic tour de force. This album allowed entrance to me, a rock and roll Beatles-loving hippy type, into the great hall that is... Read more
Published on September 28, 2011 by James Pilcher
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of THE BEST - He Put the Grass in Bluegrass
This is one of THE best albums - and it was unavailable for years. Had to buy my copy on Ebay, but I'll be downloading some of the newly available MP3s onto my computer too. Read more
Published on September 14, 2011 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Sgt. Pepper of Blue Grass is .....
..... absolutely correct ..... Please Amazon/CDNow, make this album a Download. It is so good!, but no one should have to pay $79. Read more
Published on March 28, 2010 by Peter Burbank
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