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Borderline


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Amazon's Ry Cooder Store

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Biography

Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder ... Read more in Amazon's Ry Cooder Store

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Borderline + Bop Till You Drop + Chicken Skin Music
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002KLX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,198 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. 634-5789
2. Speedo
3. Why Don't You Try Me
4. Down In The Boondocks
5. Johnny Porter
6. The Way We Make A Broken Heart
7. Crazy 'Bout An Automobile (Every Woman I Know)
8. The Girls From Texas
9. Borderline
10. Nerver Make Your Move Too Soon

Editorial Reviews

Medium 1
  1. 634 - 5789
  2. Speedo
  3. Why Don't You Try Me
  4. Down On The Boondocks
  5. Johnny Porter
  6. The Way We Make A Broken Heart
  7. Crazy 'bout An Automobile (Every Woman I...)
  8. The Girls From Texas
  9. Borderline
  10. Never Make Your Move Too Soon

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David A. Gordon on November 7, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Possibly the closest World Music will ever come to Texas. From the reggae-inflected "Down in the Boondocks" to the rollicking polka "Girls From Texas" to the masterful reading of John Hiatt's "The Way We Make A Broken Heart," this one deserves to be sent along on the next Voyager launch.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By jim mercik on March 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I am fascinated by the mix of opinions posted for this recording. For me, it's always been one of my favorites. Perhaps it's a matter of what you are looking for.
If you prefer to hear Ry Cooder the slide guitar virtuoso, then this album may not do it for you because it doesn't really come forth with that kind of performance.
On the other hand, another one of Mr. Cooder's talents is to come up with unique interpretations of other writer's pop tunes, both famous and obscure ones. If you enjoy that type of thing, Borderline is just that kind of record. The first seven songs all deliver, at least to my ears. Not only is it a great band, but the arrangements all have great energy and more than your usual share of humor laced in there too. I agree with one other reviewer: it's pretty fun at loud volumes on a car stereo!
I would say that the last three tunes rarely get played in my home...they just don't grab me. But I wore out a couple of copies of Borderline on vinyl.
And the cover painting is difficult to misinterpret. (It was so much better when it was in a 12" x 12" format!)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By upfisk on July 6, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I've owned and worn out this album listening and laughing to it for 30 years. "That's the way the girls are from Texas" is a hoot, the entire album is entertaining, "Crazy about an automobile", "Try me" what a bunch of classics. Ry Cooder seems to change his skin often, this particular one is fun.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Barry Marshall on July 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I guess some people son't realize that many excellent performers like to change their musical direction. This is an excellent album that is not like his jazz/slide stuff...BUT SO WHAT??? It is great at what he is doing. 50's-60's DooWap not interest you? Buy a different album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robsta on August 5, 2010
Format: Audio CD
You're not going to want to buy this if you're not a Ry Cooder lover, but if you are, presumably you'll have enough respect for the man as artiste, to draw up alongside of where he's at on this outing.

Of course it's all personal taste in the end, but for me Cooder works in all areas: his grooves, the emotional content, the humour, the playing.

What's not to like? This is great driving-top-down-on-a-sunny-day music. 634-5789 kicks! Speedo and NMYM Too Soon are light-hearted grooves; Boondocks, Automobile, Try Me Tonight are soulful singalongs, Johnny Porter has a dark insistence, Girls from Texas is a larf and Broken Heart is so poignant, don't listen after a couple of drinks if you embarrass easily. Borderline is a bit light and sounds in a rush, as well as being a pinch from Gonna Work Out Fine on Bop Til You Drop, but hey, when does every album score 10/10 on all tracks? (A pity it wasn't Across The Borderline, which is sublime).

Bobby King/Willie Green are in usual excellent form (similar to, but better than Elvis' Jordanaires?)and it features mature, sophisticated playing throughout of course. Only reservation is that Cooder's slide sounds a bit scratchy on this album and I thought he was a tone-hound.

Wouldn't be without this album, end of.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By mark Warburton on September 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I have been a ry Cooder fan for as long as I can remember and have owned every cooder LP a few times over until they were worn out, lost,or loaned. There is no such thing as a bad Ry cooder song, just a little different and anyone who has ever criticised his music for not being what they expected shouldn't be listening or considering themselves a fan.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By T. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD
More than most other popular musicians, Ry Cooder's music has frequently been defined by the people he has worked with. Of course there is the famous example of the Buena Vista Social Club. But mention names like Flaco Jimenez, Gabby Pahinui, VM Bhatt or David Lindley to a Ry Cooder fan, and you'll get reactions to a specific time and sound that can be pretty much separated off from and discussed independently of the rest of his career.

Well, "Borderline" was the start of Cooder's John Hiatt period. It turned into a cooperation that would last over a decade, and also included Cooder backing Hiatt on Hiatt's albums, and their formation of the band Little Village.

This was my first Ry Cooder album, and although it is not his best (I'd give that to "Chicken Skin Music", personally), it is a great record with a very cohesive sound. It is mostly an exploration of 1950s and 60s-style numbers, and is in that respect a continuation of the trend started in 1979's "Bop Till You Drop", which was in the David Lindley period. But the feel on this one is different, with somehow more of an earthy, "Texas-y" feel to it. The guitars all have a Fenderesque bluesy twang, and at least one number ("The Girls from Texas") delves into country polka.

Cooder's version of "Down in the Boondocks" is my favorite of any artist who has done the song. This and indeed most of the other tracks invoke a doo-wop feel thanks to the terrific backing vocals of Cooder regular sidemen Bobby King and Willie Green Jr.

The album is definitely a keeper! Ry Cooder came closest to mainstream pop in around 1979-1980, but this music still has a pretty masterful edge to it -- a lot of respect for tradition while still not afraid to innovate and make the songs his own. Recommended!
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