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With "Rock N' Roll Is Free," the album's first single, Harper pays tribute to an audacious art form that continually challenges the status quo, demanding that we look at the world in "a brand new way." The song was inspired by rock legend Neil Young, whom Harper opened for in London last summer. Young's mesmerizing performance of "Rockin' in the Free World" planted the seeds of a new song in Harper's mind, compelling him to go straight back to his room after the show and write "Rock N' Roll Is Free." The incident is emblematic of the kind of urgency with which the new album was forged.
Harper recorded most of Give Till It's Gone - his first solo record since 2006's Both Sides of the Gun - at the Los Angeles studio of Jackson Browne, who harmonizes with him on the wistful "Pray That Our Love Sees The Dawn." The album also features two tracks co-written with Ringo Starr - the exuberant, psychedelic-tinged "Spilling Faith" and "Get There From Here," an improvisational instrumental. Starr, who also plays drums on the songs, tapped Harper for his 2010 album, Y Not.
"I've never made a record that was such a timeline," says Harper. "It's a real extension of the last year and half in my life, and all these sounds are inspired by my experiences. It's as honest a musical statement as I could make."
With Give Till It's Gone, Harper examines the disparity between the man he is today and the man he endeavors to become. Reaching deep within, he discovers there are no easy answers, but implores us to go the distance with him on this journey in the moving album opener, "Don't Give Up On Me Now." While its songs are highly personal, Give Till It's Gone illuminates the universal struggle to find meaning and fully engage with life and one another. We may pass through a dark night of the soul, but giving up is not a viable option, as Harper reminds us with certainty in the transcendent "I Will Not Be Broken."
Harper made his debut in 1994 with Welcome to the Cruel World, which was subsequently certified Gold. In 2005, he received GRAMMY awards for "Best Pop Instrumental Performance" for his single "11th Commandment" and for "Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album" for There Will Be A Light, featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama. His three most recent studio albums - Both Sides of the Gun (2006), Lifeline (2007) and White Lies for Dark Times (2009) - debuted in the Top 10 of The Billboard 200. Harper formed Fistful of Mercy with Dhani Harrison and Joseph Arthur and the trio released the album As I Call You Down in 2010.
What can I say, I am a huge Ben Harper fan and although this isn't my favorite album I love it and well all of his music! Read morePublished 21 months ago by Cortney M. Clark
CD was a great gift was liked very much got one for myself as well. good graphics on the sheathPublished 23 months ago by Audrey Schuster
I really enjoy this album. The music is both beautiful and makes one want to dance. What's not to love about Ben Harper?Published on December 14, 2012 by Amanda C. Andrews
I got it in a looooong time just because i'm not living in the USA :). But it's worth listening! good rock and ben harpes it's definetly an amazing rocker!Published on November 2, 2011 by Andrea
Heard him playing live on the radio and liked it, came across the Vinyl version so I bought it. Got it home put it on and thought whats wrong with my speakers! Read morePublished on August 18, 2011 by GARY PROUDFOOT
I like this cd. This is a somewhat different direction for ben, but this cd really rocks! Some people are put off by it, calling it noisy, but this is just good, bare bones rock. Read morePublished on June 28, 2011 by Petey Wheat