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Copperhead Road CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 120 customer reviews

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Multimedia CD, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Release Date: 17-OCT-1988

It happens to every hard partier--your lifestyle eventually catches up to you. For Steve Earle, this third so-so effort from the then-roué-ish troubadour was a pretty glaring rehab-ahead warning light. The sloppiness was beginning to show: half the disc bogs down in throwaways, cheap echoes of Guitar Town and Exit 0's country-rock acumen. The rest, fortunately, is prime, focused Earle: the Vietnam-vet title track, the Wild West-themed "Snake Oil," and the oft-covered classic "The Devil's Right Hand," in which the composer achieves that perfect balance of city-slick pop and hillbilly twang. Earle would hit that one-two combo again, but not until he shook that party monkey a few albums later. --Tom Lanham
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 1988)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: MCA
  • ASIN: B000001BZT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,314 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Erm - this is not an "anthology." This was a straight release at the time. And if you know anything about Steve Earle at all, you'd know that while he might do an acoustic number occasionally, he has only recorded one all acoustic album. Other than that he's the loveable country/rock hybrid the rest of us has come to love.
This was also not the album that finally brought out all of Earle's demons, you can hear that on "The Other Kind" which is the CD where he finally went off the rock and roll cliff and pounded out some great tunes before spining wildly out of control (and into jail.)
As for this record, I'll admit it does sound like a greatest hits package. But that's because of the strength of the songs. Copperhead Road is a classic. Devil's Right Hand too. Both good slices of the country/rock style Earle has perfected. But these were early days.
For those who savor his duets - Nothing But a Child is a classic in the genre. However, Once You Love probably remains as my favorite from this CD.
If you want to know what Earles "Country/Rock" is - then let me say that I'm no fan of Country music (other than Chris Knight.) I come from a rock and roll background. I like this. It's country with all it's melody and singalong choruses with a driving band and rock sensibility. The lyrics are great (none of that, "My girl left me, I'm so sad..." stuff, and this guy can sing.
Copperhead Road is a great place to start your Earle collection if you are coming from the same background as myself. Then check out The Other Kind, Feel Alright and El Corazon. All driving albums, with hooks to spare, and soul.
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Format: Audio CD
I must admit that I hated Copperhead Road when it came out. I was 17 and if it wasn't punk- it wasn't for me. Oh, how things have changed! I now see this as a nearly flawless effort. This record was a tale of two Earles. Side one(tracks 1-5) are dirty rock songs with a healthy dose of Earle's country/folk(even Irish) roots. Steve was headed for a crash, but he wasn't quite at the wall when this was released in 1988. Three of the first five are still regulars in his set-list today(The Devil's Right Hand/Copperhead Road & Johnny Come Lately). The Pogues play with Earle on Johnny Come Lately(yes, Shane MacGowan is playing a banjo here!). The last five songs are basically ballads with a bit of a charge in them. On the final track, Nothing But A Child, Earle is joined by Telluride. The Jekyll & Hyde nature of this release works for won't work for eveyone(but then, what does?). The dirt that you collect on the first half of this album is cleansed by the longing ache of the second half. Steve Earle never puts the same record out twice. They are all very different...This was his third major release. It was unlike the two before it and nothing like it has come from him since. Earle's diversity and intelligence, along with his wonderful gift for storytelling are what keep his fans coming back, no matter what banner a particular release is flying. This is a great rock album with some radio-friendly songs that get inside your head and aren't easily dislodged. Enjoy. Do yourself a huge favor...check him out when he tours. One of the best live shows I see every year.
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Format: Audio CD
When it comes to reviewing a Steve Earle album, it's hard for me an objective reviewer. I like virtually everything this hardcore troubour has done. This album in particular though, seperated him from Nashville for good, and established him as a country rebel with a rock and roll attitude. On his first two albums "Guitar Town" and "Exit O", Earle had his feet planted in country, but with a little hard twang here and there. On Copperhead Road though, he brings out a full arsenal of guitars, big drums, and slick production. The hardest rockin' song here is the title tune "Copperhead Road", which starts out innocently enough with it's bagpipes and mandolin intro, but then turns into a full-tilt rocker that sets the tone for the rest of the album. "The Devil's Right Hand", with it's barrage of steel and six string guitars, is a classic that has long been a staple of his live shows. A couple other standout tracks are "You Belong To Me", with it's irresistable "not fade away" beat, and "Waiting On You", with the deep bass drum sound and big time production, is a beautifully arranged song that sounds fresh everytime I hear it. The album ends with the beautiful "Nothing But A Child", which has Earle singing a duet with the lovely Maria Mckee. For me, "Copperhead Road" is the cadillac of all rockin' country records. It helped pave the way for many of the alternative country rock acts we have today. I fondly remember this album as being the last record I bought on vinyl, and one of the first I bought when I converted over to CD's. It's a true classic that is a must have if you're a Steve Earle fan.
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Format: Audio CD
Copperhead Road (1988) was Steve Earle's declaration of independence from the Nashville establishment, and it also became an important milestone in the early years of the alt-country music movement. Instrumentally diverse, the songs feature a mandolin, dobro, banjo, pedal steel, lap steel and harmonica rocking with the electric guitars, piano and drums. Celtic/outlaw-country/rock n' roll/bluegrass. There's plenty of attitude here, too.

Think backwoods whiskey stills and pot farms, trouble with the law, guns, Vietnam Vets and desperado love songs here. Steve Earle knows his way around just fine, and he's quite capable of weaving interesting yarns that effectively bring the tough people, places and situations he sings about to life. On Copperhead Road, Earle looks and sounds like a southern biker version of Springsteen/Mellencamp. One who can't seem to stay out of trouble. He does surprise us with the tender alt-bluegrass of Nothing But A Child, a touching meditation on the birth of Jesus that's very enjoyable.

The Devil's Right Hand tells the tale of a 19th Century teenager and his fascination with guns, which eventually gets him into trouble after he shoots a miner who cheated him in a card game.

Not guilty I said, You've got the wrong man
Nothing touched the trigger but the devil's right hand

The title song tells the story of an Army veteran who returns home to the family moonshine business in Tennessee after two tours of duty in Vietnam. He has PTSD and a new plan to grow Columbian and Mexican marijuana for profit.

Well the D.E.A.
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