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James McMurtryAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2011 $9.90  
Audio CD, 2008 $7.22  
Audio CD, 1992 --  
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Image of album by James McMurtry


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James McMurtry - "Freeway View" (LIVE IN EUROPE)


On Just Us Kids, James McMurtry follows up his critically acclaimed Childish Things with a dozen new, sharply drawn illuminations as he continues to hone and expand his considerable gifts. And the self-produced opus (James’ fourth venture pulling strings on both sides of the glass) unquestionably represents his most ambitious, accomplished and ass-kicking presentation to date.

Just ... Read more in Amazon's James McMurtry Store

Visit Amazon's James McMurtry Store
for 12 albums, photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

Frequently Bought Together

Candyland + Where'd You Hide the Body + Too Long in the Wasteland
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 9, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: June 9, 1992
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027FC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,080 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Where's Johnny
2. Vague Directions
3. Hands Like Rain
4. Safe Side
5. Candyland
6. Don't Waste Away
7. Good Life
8. Save Yourself
9. Storekeeper
10. Dusty Pages

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Americana must-have June 24, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is one of my favorite albums. Most of the band is Mellencamp's late-80's formation; four years later, two of these guys (drummer Kenny Aronoff and guitarist David Grissom) were two of the most request session musicians on the planet. Sonically this is a terrific album, and McMurtry is a wizard at writing good songs. How could you miss?
To the earlier reviewer who wanted to know who the guitar player was on Storekeeper: that's David Grissom. Try "Live at Liberty Lunch" by Joe Ely if you like Grissom's guitaring.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable. August 17, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the best CD I have ever heard, bar none. It is a true tragedy that James McMurtry is not more popular. Nothing I can say will express how much I love this CD. I know it's no good getting such a one-sided review, so I will say that I was very dissapointed with some of McMurtry's later work, so this is not a fanatic situation. This is just a truly wonderful CD. Please purchase it, you will not be sorry. The imagery, arrangements, and especially the lyrics, are the best I have ever heard. My favorite songs are Johnny and Hands Like Rain (truly sublime) but every song on here deserves credit. If, once you have heard this CD, you are as desperate for more McMurtry as I was, I would say that Too Long In The Wasteland is very nearly as good as Candland. I envy you the experience of listening to James McMurtry's Candyland for the first time.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars McMurtry's Sophomore Effort is His Weakest August 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Simply put, James McMurtry is (arguably) the best American folk rocker currently working. He writes great story songs almost effortlessly, with memorable images and clever wordplay. But what really makes him special is that he never lets his lyrical concerns get in the way of his catchy hook-laden songwriting. That said, "Candyland" is perhaps the weakest of his five studio albums (a sixth is on the way in September 2002). It was his sophomore effort and was recorded (like his superior debut album, "Too Long in the Wasteland") under the watchful eye of his musical mentor, John Cougar Mellencamp, using members of Mellencamp's band. That's part of the problem, for McMurtry often sound too much like Mellencamp through much of this album.
Still, there are some first class McMurtry recordings here. The best is "Where's Johnny," that opens the record on a melancholy note with lyrics about a young man whose emotional troubles ruin a promsing future. Also fine are "Don't Waste Away," the rocking "Good Life," and an actual love song of sorts, "Dusty Pages" that closes the album. The rest of the material, however, is not as strong as what you'll find on McMurtry's more recent classic albums "It Had to Happen" and "Where'd You Hide the Body."
Overall, a not bad album from an artist who has produced much better during his career.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Candyland November 13, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Okay all you out there reviewing this CD, not his best, but it has some songs that resonate. I am shocked that no one mentioned Safe Side. Maybe no one reviewing the CD has lived in San Antonio. He nailed it in a big way. This CD is a little softer than his others, (with the exception of Safe Side), there are ballads, kind of sweet ones. It would not be the first of his CDs in my collection, but to round out all the others it is not at all bad.

The man is a Southwestern Bruce Springsteen. His lyrics are evocative of a part of this country that few artists have written about. Okay, his voice is not what one would call great, but like Springsteen, Dylan, Neil Young and to take it back farther, Woody Guthrie, his unique sound echoes the songs he is singing/writing. Face it, if Celine Dion were singing these songs we would all be hanging our heads over the toilet.

I would strongly recommend his live CD. It gives a bit of insight to the man as well as his music.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Voice of Sanity April 14, 2000
By dev1
Format:Audio CD
James McMurtry's Candyland is just a short distance from my home. Acres and acres of pastel colored tract houses with pristine lawns and an SUV in every driveway. The houses are stamped from the same cookie cutter, and so are the folks inside. McMurtry takes a sardonic look at the pressures of conformity (Dusty Pages). Johnny (Where's Johnny) was one of many bright and spirited kids who burned-out and moved to Candyland. And the once simple set of rules defining masculinity (Vague Directions) have been rewritten in Candyland. Kids who used to ride imaginary horses through green fields now sit lazily playing mind-numbing video games for hours on end. Despite the failure of wisdom and pride to bring McMurtry satisfaction (Don't Waste Away), and living in a country that has sold out to the Japanese (Good Life), he's determined to enjoy life's simple pleasures (Save Yourself). McMurtry is an insightful observer and tongue-in-cheek storyteller. His plaintive low-key narrating style is the voice of sanity in a crazed world.
The music of Candyland ranges from tender ballads (Don't Waste Time) to straight-ahead rockers (Vague Directions, Candyland). `Vague Directions' reminds me of the Rolling Stone's `Gimmie Shelter.' The music was produced by John Mellancamp and, despite the sober lyrical content, has an up-lifting quality. Candyland may be a place where "there ain't much magic anymore" (Hands Like Rain), but there's plenty of magic in the songs of James McMurtry.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
He's James McMurtry...what else is there to say?!!!
Published 21 days ago by Alan D. Skipper
5.0 out of 5 stars This Candyland ain't no game
Like most of the other reviewers, I am a bit baffled why James McMurtry is not revered and seen as a national treasure. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Axis, Bold As Love
5.0 out of 5 stars Long lost classic
I had a cassette of this given to me by a friend shortly after its release. Like most cassettes, it wasn't played a lot over the past several years and was forgotten. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Steve Blom
5.0 out of 5 stars James McMurtry - Candyland
Another great album. Many radio stations used "Candyland" as a solid playlist entry. So yeah, while this is a good tune -- "... Read more
Published on May 27, 2012 by Scratch
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Album
This album is my first McMurtry purchase, just got it today from Waterloo records here in Austin, TX. Fantastic songwriter, each song is like a short story. Read more
Published on April 7, 2012 by GibbonsGibbons
4.0 out of 5 stars James McMurty
James McMurty is a strongly independent thinker, writer and singer.
It's music you can actually listen and understand the words and the meaning. Read more
Published on October 21, 2010 by rainydaysandmondays
4.0 out of 5 stars Candyland
Not his best work, but still enjoyable. I have all his albums and the man is one of the best writers I have ever heard. Read more
Published on February 16, 2010 by steven Taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars Candy that's not so sweet
James McMurtry is one of those rare artists who have been getting progressively better with each album. Read more
Published on September 8, 2008 by Tim Brough
3.0 out of 5 stars Can't go wrong with McMurtry
You can't go wrong if you like James McMurty. His albums never disappoint. I have gone back and made sure I have all of his stuff, he is an excellent song writer with a haunting... Read more
Published on August 29, 2007 by T. Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Right up there with "Wasteland"--you gotta have it
Together with "Too Long in the Wasteland" this album "Candyland" is just too good to miss.

Fine low key descriptive story telling done by an interesting voice backed by... Read more
Published on July 13, 2005 by Nick Sinclair
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