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Bring the Family


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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$5.98
$1.93 $0.19
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Memphis In The Meantime 3:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Alone In The Dark 4:45$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Thing Called Love 4:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Lipstick Sunset 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Have A Little Faith In Me 4:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Thank You Girl 4:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Tip Of My Tongue 5:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Your Dad Did 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Stood Up 5:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Learning How To Love You 4:08$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Biography

Forty years into his recording career, John Hiatt has chosen to title his 22nd studio album, Terms of My Surrender. Surrender? Is that as in Cheap Trick? Or Appomattox? Hiatt laughs, tentatively, at the choice.

“It’s my Appomattox,” he says, wryly. “Really I don’t know where it came from, that idea of trying to arrange the terms of my surrender. I ... Read more in Amazon's John Hiatt Store

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Bring the Family + Slow Turning + Terms Of My Surrender
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GHH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,570 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Even John Hiatt's most ardent fans weren't ready for this masterpiece to be dropped in their laps in 1987. Hiatt had spent most of the 70's and 80's playing pick-a-style, bouncing from southern country rock to Elvis Costello redux and back again. With Family, though, he pared away every bit of excess and delivered his best set of songs with the understated, impossibly tasteful backing of Nick Lowe on bass, Ry Cooder on guitar and Jim Keltner on drums. Hiatt's sober, uncompromising examination of his previously drunken life was breathtaking; producing instant classics in "Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Thing Called Love." Family remains a landmark of adult album rock. --Michael Ruby

Customer Reviews

Another great draw here is the musicianship.
Christopher Ingalls
Jim Keltner lays down great grooves with the soulful Mr. Lowe on bass, and Ry Cooder gives the guitar both lean muscle and soaring slide.
Christian Fulghum
The heart that pulses with every beat from this album is astonishing.
Rob Hosking

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Rob Hosking on February 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There's a game called 'Desert Island Discs' where you get to nominate the 10 albums you would take if you were ever marooned on such an isle. This is one of mine. In ascending order of importance: the playing is absolutely tops - Nick Lowe and Jim Keltner is pretty much unbeatable as a rhythm section, and what band wouldn't want Ry Cooder on lead guitar? Even in this company, Hiatt proves he no slouch on the fret. Hiatt's voice took me a while to get used to, but it has a gritty soul about it that won me over. which brings me to what this album is about - soul. The heart that pulses with every beat from this album is astonishing. The story behind it is fairly well known - Hiatt had cleaned up after sinking into alcoholism, wrote some songs and went into a studio with these three other musos and knocked out 'Bring the Family' in a matter of days. And each song has a guts and soul to it borne of Hiatt's encounter with darkness and his return. Other reviewers have compared Hiatt to Elvis Costello, and Hiatt has a similar biting wit. But (much as I like Costello's work) Hiatt beats it hands down for warmth and humanity. The album swings in mood - 'Memphis in the Meantime' opens in jokey fashion; then we're straight in to 'Alone in the Dark' which is real "It's 2am and my only companions are a bottle and my fear" stuff. This swing goes through the album before being reconciled in the last two songs - 'Stood Up', a tale of self acceptance, and, finally, in 'Learning How to Love You' a simple, humble, yet glorious declaration of love. A masterpiece - and an album that proves that rock music can grow up.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Iwerks on January 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
One of the great musical tragedies of the last two decades is that if you mention the name "John Hiatt" to most people, all you'll get in response is a blank stare. Most people seem to have missed Hiatt, which is far beyond a shame, as he's one of the most talented songwriters of his generation.
Bring the Family is an unadulterated masterpiece, no ifs, ands, buts, or other varied conjunctions about it. "Memphis in the Meantime" manages to have both humor and a great groove, "Thing Called Love" is a great song whether or not Bonnie Raitt is doing it, and if there's a person who doesn't choke up hearing "Have a Little Faith In Me" I wouldn't let children within a hundred feet of them. It's one of the most touching songs I can even imagine.
Anyone not owning this one has a large hole in their musical collection. A hole that should be very quickly repaired.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ingalls on September 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album about 11-12 years ago and it still sounds as fresh today as it did back then.
There are many reasons for the staying power of this album. First of all, the songwriting...Hiatt is quite simply one of the best there is. His lyrics are brilliant -- sort of a midwestern Elvis Costello -- and he fuses it with great melodies and hooks.
Another great draw here is the musicianship. Forgoing past arrangments of synths and overblown instrumentation, Hiatt sticks to a four-piece band...and what a band it is. In addition to John himself on vocals and acoustic guitar, there's Ry Cooder on guitar, Nick Lowe on bass and session ace Jim Keltner on drums -- you can't go wrong there. The playing is steady, assured, and rocks like crazy.
Highlights for me include "Memphis in the Meantime" (one of my favorite Hiatt songs, lyrically speaking), the rocking "Thank You Girl" and the touching "Lipstick Sunset," which contains the best singing I've ever heard from Hiatt. If you don't own any John Hiatt discs, this is a great place to start. Not a weak track in the whole bunch. Other great discs include "Slow Turning," "Stolen Moments" and the new one, "The Tiki Bar is Open."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By B. Lockhart on March 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect. I just entered the 5.1 world of surround sound with mixed results. When a classic album like this is remixed, the results can be iffy at best. In this case, I'm a satisfied customer, listener, and fan. The SACD surround mix is tasteful and at times, exhilirating. Awash in Ry's slide, John's fine acoustic rhythms, Nick's rock solid bass lines, and Keltner's propulsive drumming, well, life can't get much better...sonically at least. Go out and buy it. You won't be sorry.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Chasin on October 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Bring the Family is one of the most easily likable records of the 80s, and probably the most instantly accessible of Hiatt's career. He still featurs a couple of songs off here in his live shows. The band (Hiatt, Nick Lowe on bass, Ry Cooder on guitar, and Jim Keltner on drums) would reconvene in 1992 for another overlooked gem, Little Village. Here Cooder's gentle sweeping guitar is the perfect compliment for Hiatt's "Lipstick Sunset" and "Tip of My Tongue," two of the most exquisite songs you're likely to hear. Of course the big hit is "Thing Called Love," although not until Bonnie Raitt put it out the following year.

A quintessentially American record, probably the best from one of our true masters. At the place where rock, folk, country, and blues converge to form real, authentic American music. I'm calling it a classic.
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