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In Spite Of Ourselves

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Audio CD, September 14, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

You've got to hand it to John Prine. On the first song on this collection of duets, he plunges valiantly into "(We're Not) The Jet Set," singing the part made famous by George Jones, the Caruso of country music. And Prine, never blessed with the most pliant pipes, promptly pancakes a note flatter than Kansas. Aw, heck! The songwriter's songwriter takes a curious turn with his first studio album since 1995's Lost Dogs & Mixed Blessings. Here he's penned only the hysterically coarse title track, opting instead to coo a slew of classic lovin'-and-losin' country tunes with Iris DeMent, Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Connie Smith, Trisha Yearwood, Melba Montgomery, Patty Loveless, Fiona Prine, and Dolores Keane. Given Prine's ragged-but-right voice, the effect is something akin to casting a grizzled character actor opposite Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story. And you know what? It'd probably still be a charming (albeit very different) movie, because romantic comedies, like country duets, are all about chemistry, which is something In Spite of Ourselves has in excess. --Steven Stolder

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. (We're Not) The Jet SetJohn Prine/Iris Dement 2:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)John Prine/Connie Smith 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Wedding Bells/Let's Turn Back the YearsJohn Prine/Lucinda Williams 3:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. When Two Worlds CollideJohn Prine/Trisha Yearwood 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Milwaukee Here I ComeJohn Prine/Melba Montgomery 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. I Know OneJohn Prine/Emmylou Harris 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. It's a Cheating SituationJohn Prine/Dolores Keane 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Back Street AffairJohn Prine/Patty Loveless 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Loose TalkJohn Prine/Connie Smith 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Let's Invite Them OverJohn Prine/Iris Dement 2:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. 'Til a Tear Becomes a RoseJohn Prine/Fiona Prine 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. In a Town This SizeJohn Prine/Dolores Keane 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. We CouldJohn Prine/Iris Dement 2:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. We Must Have Been Out of Our MindsJohn Prine/Melba Montgomery 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. In Spite of OurselvesJohn Prine/Iris Dement 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Dear John ( I Sent Your Saddle Home)John Prine 2:25$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Oh Boy Records
  • ASIN: B00000K3LI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,194 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Vincent E. Vizachero on November 20, 1999
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I've been a John Prine fan for years, and never considered not buying this CD.
After my first couple play-throughs, I still wasn't sure what to think: this wasn't exactly the John Prine I'd been listening to for years. His voice is certainly a little rough around the edges. And this IS a cover album (but is worth the price for the title track alone), which isn't the normal John Prine speed.
Then I realized that I never really like Prine for his voice, rather for his heart and his wit. And both are here in spades on this album. This is a GREAT collection of songs, sung by a fabulous man and some truly awesome women. There is more quality lurking in this album than many other artists can muster in a lifetime. I can't think of another performer with the real American soul of John Prine, and here he shows us a side of it that many have never seen before. It is a revelation and a blessing.
Buy this CD. After hearing it, you'll never regret it.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By "kasper3" on March 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Listening to Dolores Keane, the great voice of Ireland, doing her solos and harmonies on "Its A Cheatin' Situation" and "In A Town This Size" is like discovering that there is finally someone who can sing in the slow-motion haunting style that once was soley the property of Pasty Cline. Then along comes Iris Dement's toe-to-toe duets with John, culminating in "In Spite Of Ourselves", in which she does the impossible - she steals the show! Fiona Prine's solo in "Till a Tear Becomes A Rose" makes me daydream of having a woman sing in such a way to me. You can tell she is singing to her husband!...And then there's Lucinda Williams' solo on "Lets Turn Back The Years"! She is worth the price of admission alone! Add to this the solos and harmonies of Trisha Yearwood, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Connie Smith and Melba Montongomery and you find yourself dazed and amazed at John Prine. This CD fits like a glove and each duet, so sublte and simple, is a homage to the lonliness we have all known, the love we have all longed for, the grand "honky-tonk days" when a few chords and a couple of great voices and uncomplicated lyrics accompanied a cold beer and a few tears. Then, just when we forget its our John Prine that is taking us on this journey, "In Spite Of Ourselves" comes along....and we realize the John we thought we knew is still amongst us!...Touche, ol' buddy....thanks for opening my ears to Iris Dement, Lucinda Williams, Dolores Keane and Fiona Price. Prine singing "country" with "country's best" and an Irish lady reminiscent of Patsy Cline - I'm gonna buy another copy of this CD in case anything happens to the one I have now!...5 stars?...No, how about 9 stars and and five ! for John Prine?....
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Don Thomason on September 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I was all set to not like this record -- John Prine is hardly the type of singer you'd think anyone could harmonize with (much less for an album of duets), and when I heard "Til A Tear Becomes A Rose" (with wife Fiona Prine) on local public radio, I first thought "clunker." Surprise -- this collection of country standards about relationships is a charmer, and most of Prine's partners -- including Emmylou Harris, Connie Smith, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood, Melba Montgomery, and Lucinda Williams -- find ways to fit their voices with Prine's. Some liasons don't work, most notably with Irish singer Dolores Keane who phrases too straight to fit. Far and away, the best performances are with Iris DeMent; they click on George Jones & Melba Montgomery's "Let's Invite Them Over," the George & Tammy classic "(We're Not) The Jet Set," and the offhandly bawdy title track (the only Prine original). The recording and arrangements are stripped down to show the core of these country gems, and the results are as magnetic as a couple in love that's been together 20 years or more.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "smugly" on December 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I discovered John Prine 25 years ago, while living in Hartsville, Tennessee. I heard Prine "wailin' away" from an open window and I knocked on the door of that house to ask who that singer/song writer might be.
Since then, I have spoken of Prine as my favorite singer/song writer ever and as one we should all consider a National Treasure.
Of course "In Spite of Ourselves" is great. It's John, is't it? Once again, he epitomizes the "Americana" we are so rapidly losing. There's only one Prine-written song on the album, and you'll know it when you get to it because you'll find yourself laughing out loud, but each song is selected to define who John is.
Buy this album. It'll cost you almost nothing and last forever and if you're a fan of the style of music Prine invented, there's no doubt that you should own it.
Keep 'em comin' John and thanks for the music buddy.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By L. Dann on July 16, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is yet more proof of john Prine's gift for staggering, intoxicating impact of the sweet/rough, not quite serious country sound. He alone can enter into a Soho/w.Va low/high range that simmers as honky tonk high art. This voice that post-cancer surgery came out just right in its gruff contrast to those mighty fine females. You just know, just about any smart lady'll sing with John if he asks- dumb ones too. There's just that quality of modesty and those detours where sorrow and music don't otherwise cavort by the moonlight -and not get called names for being so sentimental- just John's magic for a story and a kick and the greatest wise cracks that he's just not held for suspicion. He's a true to your heart guy. This album is so much fun and in its complete lack of message-political intent and /or attempting to mark a newer and improved John, suits me just fine. Iris Dement is a meteor shower just phenomenal in a voice of light particles and Lucinda Williams sounded like a full-forced virtuoso. The music is hilarious, especially, We're not the Jet Set- and the one about Milwaukee. As they say, it's all good. When I listen it's as if he he never left places those southern places I've never been to, only that's where we are and it's home. -
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