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It Ain't Easy [Import, Original recording remastered]

Long John Baldry Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2012 $12.88  
Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2005 --  
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Frequently Bought Together

It Ain't Easy + Everything Stop for Tea + Right to Sing the Blues
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 5, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Rhino/Wea UK
  • ASIN: B000A3OWS8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,355 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Conditional Discharge
2. Don't Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie
3. Black Girl
4. It Ain't Easy
5. Morning Morning
6. I'm Ready
7. Lets Burn Down The Cornfield
8. Mr Rubin
9. Rock Me When He's Gone
10. Flying
11. Going Down Slow
12. Blues
13. Black Girl (Alt Version) (Bonus Track)
14. It Ain't Easy (Alt) (Bonus Track)
15. I'm Ready (Alt) (Bonus Track)
16. Love In Vain (Unreleased) (Bonus Track)
17. Midnight Hour Blues (Unreleased) (Bonus Track)

Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered and expanded edition of this 1971 album from the late, great British bluesman including bonus tracks. It Ain't Easy returns Baldry to a decidedly edgier and hipper audience, with a cast of all-stars on some of the more adventurous material he had covered to date. This is no doubt due, at least in part, to the involvement of superstars Rod Stewart and Elton John. Among their contributions to the project, Stewart and Elton divided the production tasks -- each taking a side of the original album. Immediately, Baldry sheds the MOR blue-eyed Pop Soul image. The backing band on Stewart's side include fellow Face and future Rolling Stone, Ron Wood, on electric guitar and acoustic guitarist and Sam Mitchell, who appeared on many of Stewart's early '70s solo albums. Features Baldry's biggest hit 'Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock 'n' Roll'. Highlights from Elton John's side include Randy Newman's 'Let's Burn Down the Cornfield', which would have fit perfectly on John's Tumbleweed Connection album. Warner. 2005.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a reissue of this fabulous album November 13, 2005
Format:Audio CD
It's a little sad that the long overdue reissue of this album coincided almost exactly with Long John's death, but as one who grew up on the vinyl copy, I am delighted to have it. This may even be the first time that it has been released on CD in North America. I'm not sure about that, but it certainly hasn't been available for a long time.

In my view, this is one of the best blues-rock albums to come out of the 1970's. The involvement of Elton John and Rod Stewart was a thank you to Long John for his earlier support, and a recognition of his importance in London blues scene in the 1960's. The result is a killer selection of songs perfectly suited to Long John's bluesy rasp, and played with incredible energy. Many of these tunes are familiar, but these are the definitive renditions.

Adding bonus tracks to classic albums is sometimes a dreadful idea if the additional tracks are not up to snuff and diminish the original work. In this case, however, Stony Plain records have added some great tracks, all of which are well worth a listen. I just wished they hadn't waited so long.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contravening a breach of the Peace March 20, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Sadly coinciding with the death of LJB, this is as good as it gets.
I've had the vinyl for some 25 years and played it until it screamed "no more!"
Eclectic Baldry...sort of a Dave Van Ronk of the English scene jumps from Blues to Folk without a hitch.
The infamous "Don't Lay No Boogie Woogie" has a splendid Piano
track but for my money there is simply nothing like Willie Dixon's "I'm Ready." Ron Wood on Guitar and Sam Mitchell on slide
make this a signature piece copied by everyone from Aerosmith to George Thoroughgood and neither delivers the swagger and punch that Baldry does here.
Simply put. Worth every shilling.Rest gently, John.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long John's best August 28, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I first saw LJB in a local club in West London in 1964. In those days he was the main man and a moody young guy with a big nose sang when Long John wanted to take a break. His name was Rod Stewart- I wonder what happened to him?. Another of John's sidekicks, Reg Dwight, changed his name to Elton John (the John was in honor of Baldry) and I believe had some success in later years.

This album dates from the early 70s, after LJB had been to the big time singing MOR and come back down to earth with a bump. It was produced by Rod and Elton (one side each in the days when discs had two sides) and contains some of John's best singing. 'The King of Rock & Roll' is an obvious highlight, but 'Black Girl' is great and 'I'm Ready' and 'It Ain't Easy' are my favorites on a CD which is all good. After this, he made some albums in England which weren't big sellers. He had a breakdown and moved to Canada, where he made good albums regularly but without much commercial success.

The CD isn't quite as the album was originally issued (the duet with Rod on a song called 'Mother Ain't Dead' is omitted for some reason), but the bonus tracks make up for it. If you like John Baldry, or good blues and rock singing, then this is an album to savor.

Note: Commenters have pointed out that my memory was at fault and 'Mother Ain't Dead' is on the 'Everything Stops For Tea' album, now also released on CD. I thank them and am glad to say that I now have that CD, too.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Notes from Wardour Street July 19, 2006
Format:Audio CD
This album was my first exposure to Long John; my oldest friend Mike had (and still has) a penchant for scouring used record stores and came home with a slightly used, well cared-for copy. He played it for me and I was hooked. That was 33 years ago and "It Ain't Easy" still stands as my favorite blues rock album. The humor he throws into "Conditional Discharge" (and later in the title track of his next project, "Everything Stops for Tea" ) speaks on a personal level, while the power of his vocals, keyboarding and the guitars of Ron Wood and Sam Mitchell gives raw pure emotion to every track.

It is interesting to note that LJB appeared on the venerable BBC series "Top of the Pops" no less than 11 times (10 times between 1967 and 1969, the 11th in 1988) and not one of the performances showcased his "bluesy" side, but of his pop style (his top-of-the-charts hit "Let the Heartaches Begin" and "(Underneath the Sun in) Mexico" figured in 9 out of the 11 appearances). I'm glad the blues won out.

Long John, you're sorely missed. Hats off to those at Warner who made the decision to release your landmark album to CD.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When Nashville songwriter Ron Davies wrote "It Ain't Easy" for his 1970 LP "Silent Song Through The Land" on A&M SP-4264, he probably had no idea that TWO artists would then take his unknown song and name TWO entire albums after it - Three Dog Night in 1970 - and John Baldry in 1971. Many will also be aware of it through David Bowie's cover on Side 1 of 1972's "Ziggy Stardust". Even Dave Edmunds had a go for his debut album "Rockpile" on Regal Zonophone - also in 1972 (see separate review). "It Ain't Easy" was just one of those cool rock tracks that lent itself to other artists who then somehow made it 'their' song. Baldry (who loved bluesy based acoustic tunes) was also clearly partial to its charms (lyrics above)...

The LP "It Ain't Easy" was released on Warner Brothers WS 1921 in June 1971 in the USA and Canada and on Warner Brothers K 46088 in the UK. This 2005 CD reissue (Warner Brothers 8122784642) bolsters up the original 9-track album with 6 bonus outtakes and 1 Radio Spot. The cover uses the US artwork (the UK front and rear sleeve was different, but is unfortunately not featured anywhere on this reissue) while the booklet provides session details for each song (excepting the bonus tracks). The recording of the album also involved a large cast of British rock notables (all listed below), but first here's a detailed track-by-track breakdown (69:11 minutes):

1. Intro: Conditional Discharge
2. Don't Try To Lay No Boogie-Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll [Jeff Thomas song]
3. Black Girl [Huddie Ledbetter aka Leadbelly cover]
4. It Ain't Easy [Ron Davies song]
5. Morning, Morning [Fugs cover]
6. I'm Ready [Willie Dixon song/Muddy Waters cover]
7. Let's Burn Down The Cornfield [Randy Newman cover]
8. Mr.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this music when it first came out and it's still great.
Published 6 days ago by D. Netzly
5.0 out of 5 stars great memories.
The music of my youth, great memories.
Published 8 days ago by Old Hippie
3.0 out of 5 stars Caution - Blues, not Rock and Roll
Somewhat disappointed in that this is mainly a delta blues album, with only one of Baldry's rock and roll tunes. Shoulda read the contents a bit more closely.
Published 17 days ago by Charles Schenfeld
5.0 out of 5 stars Long John Baldry It Ain's Easy
I bought this for a friend who wanted it and I know he is enjoying it now. He probably owned it prior in another format.
Published 1 month ago by Lynn Baker
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice clean recording
It took me a while to find a copy of this album. Nice clean recording, the songs have held up well over time.
Published 1 month ago by stoods
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great piece of music by the late long John.
Published 2 months ago by Fay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great album!
I remember his music from the 70's. What a joy to find it again. At 65 I turn up my stereo and do the boogie woogie!
Published 4 months ago by amy dunnill
5.0 out of 5 stars John Baldry at his peak.
If you're a lover of music from the late sixties and early seventies, this is an album you need for your collection. It is probably the the man's best work. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Larry E. Blankenship
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Saaved Elton John
This is such a great album. From the man who Elton John credits for "saving his life". LJB's life was cut way too short. He was the British Blues. Read more
Published 6 months ago by danny
5.0 out of 5 stars It Ain't Easy C.D.
I was so happy to find this ! Listened to this in the 70's and it's as great as i remembered it to be !
Published 6 months ago by BARBIE HANSBARGER
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