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Essential Kris Kristofferson Import


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Audio CD, Import, September 22, 2009
$6.18 $4.64

Dawes Dawes


Disc: 1
1. Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
2. To Beat the Devil
3. Just the Other Side of Nowhere
4. Me and Bobby McGee
5. The Best of All Possible Worlds
6. Casey's Last Ride
7. Help Me Make It Throught the Night
8. Darby's Castle
9. Jody and the Kid
10. Loving Her Was Easier (That Anything I'll Ever Do Again)
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Border Lord
2. The Sabre and the Rose
3. Broken Freedom Song
4. Jesus Was a Capricorn (Owed to John Prine)
5. Shandy (The Perfect Disguise)
6. Sugar Man
7. The Last Time
8. Nobody Wins
9. I'd Rather Be Sorry
10. Highwayman
See all 19 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B0001GAVQ6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,398 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on June 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
An artist as prolific as Kristofferson is necessarily difficult to capture in compilation, not least of which because his songs and singing are half his artistic story. Without the hits that others launched from Kristofferson's pen, you can't assemble a full view of his impact on Nashville and pop music in general. Still, Kristofferson's own recordings, especially those of songs made popular by others, are intimate and revealing in ways that no one else's could ever really be. Jopin sung the hell out of "Me and Bobby McGee," but she lost some of the down-and-out brokenness Kristofferson laid into it. Similarly, for "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and "For the Good Times" the hits became icons for Sammi Smith and Ray Price, respectively, but Kristofferson's own versions are perhaps even more unforgettable for his earthier, less-polished voice.
These two discs lean heavily on Kristofferson's earlier work, which, for most listeners will be the right mix. As a recording artist, Kristofferson hit the ground in full sprint on his debut album, "Kristofferson." The follow-up, "The Silver Tongued Devil and I" was just as strong. These two albums alone contribute 16 of disc 1's 18 tracks. Disc 2, on the other hand, samples a dozen different albums, stopping for more than once at any particular release only a few times. The result is a highly consistent disc 1, and a more erratic disc 2. To be fair, one can't help but draw heavily upon Kristofferson's early pair, but given that disc 2 already fails to keep a linear timeline, it might have helped to add a few of the earlier tracks to disc 2.
That said, what's here is magnificent, and shows off Kristofferson's lyrical poetry to great effect.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on April 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Essentialness is defined as the basics, the necessary listening to fully capture and appreciate a musician's career. Born the son of an air force general in Texas in 1936, Kris Kristofferson's first gig in Nashville was as a janitor cleaning ashtrays and "go-fer" at CBS Studios in the mid-60s. Encouraged by Johnny Cash who helped him "beat the devil," Kris had his first own real big on-the-road hit with "Me and Bobby McGee," especially after it was covered by Cash, Janis Joplin and Roger Miller. Songwriter Kristofferson fully established himself with "Help Me Make it Through the Night" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down" (which also got covered by Ray Stevens). His songs have now been covered by at least 500 artists from Elvis to Dylan.
A great many of these 37 tracks come from his early albums, "Kristofferson" (ten tracks) and "The Silver Tongued Devil and I" (six tracks). I could also argue that some of his followup records from 1972-74 were less than monumental. I certainly question this collection's inclusion of five cuts from the insipid album "Jesus was a Capricorn" and two from the lackluster "Spooky Lady's Sideshow." The #1 country hit, "Why Me," would have been enough from the former. Kristofferson once questioned that song's hit status in Music City News - "It's too slow. It's sincere and it's pretty, but it's about a personal, religious thing. It's not what I ever thought a hit was."
His 1978 album "Easter Island" was definitely better, and we see "The Bigger the Fool, the Harder the Fall" and "The Sabre and the Rose" included on this compilation. But why is there nothing from his 1986 "Repossessed" album, for example? That recording was highly-acclaimed and presented a body of new material after a five-year album hiatus.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By DanD VINE VOICE on March 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Kris Kristofferson is not just a songwriter--he's a friggin' poet. "The Essential" is a 2 CD collection of some of his best songs ever, sung in his ragged country voice, spanning pretty much his entire career (although 2003's "Broken Freedom Song" gets left out; but that's forgiveable).
I won't bore you by going song-by-song; there're too many, and they're all too good. Let me hit the highlights (my favorites):
"To Beat the Devil," about a man who refuses the Devil's advice, then "steals his song"; "The Best of All Possible Worlds," a sarcasm-laced story of a noncomforist in a small town; "Help Me Make It Through the Night," a song of desperation and lonliness that's probably the best Kristofferson tune ever (though I'm willing to argue that).
"Loving Her Was Easier" is a beautiful poem; "From the Bottle to the Bottom" is a witty toe-tapper; "Highwayman" features Cash, Waylon, and Willie (the four of them together being the all-star Highwaymen); "Don't Cuss the Fiddle," about the toils of songwriting; "If You Don't Like Hank Williams" (you can kiss his, and my, a**); "Here Comes that Rainbow Again," based on THE GRAPES OF WRATH, about the kindness of strangers; and "How Do You Feel About Foolin' Around," a rockin' little number with Willie.
There're more songs; all of them are good, though some are better than others. And yes, I've heard better versions of these tunes ("Sunday Morning Coming Down" will always belong to Johnny Cash, and other sungs--such as "Shandy", "Broken Freedom Song", and "The Pilgrim"--appear on other albums in different versions), but they are all good.
Could Kris Kristofferson write a bad tune? Probably. But he'd have to try pretty damn hard.
Buy "The Essential Kris Kristofferson." It is ESSENTIAL that your ears--and heart--hear it.
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