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Into the Purple Valley

Ry CooderAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Price: $10.70 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 1988 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1990 $10.70  
Vinyl, 1972 --  
Audio Cassette, 1988 --  

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

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. How Can You Keep Moving [Unless You Migrate Too] 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Billy The Kid 3:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Money Honey 3:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. F.D.R. In Trinidad 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Teardrops Will Fall 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Denomination Blues 4:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. On A Monday 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Hey Porter 4:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Great Dream From Heaven 1:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Taxes On The Farmer Feeds Us All 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Vigilante Man 4:15$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Whether serving as a session musician, solo artist, or soundtrack composer, Ry Cooder's chameleon-like fretted instrument virtuosity, songwriting, and choices of material encompass an incredibly eclectic range of North American musical styles, including rock & roll, blues, reggae, Tex-Mex, Hawaiian, Dixieland jazz, country, folk, R&B, gospel, and vaudeville. The 16-year-old Cooder ... Read more in Amazon's Ry Cooder Store

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Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Into the Purple Valley + Paradise & Lunch + Ry Cooder
Price for all three: $30.80

Buy the selected items together
  • Paradise & Lunch $9.28
  • Ry Cooder $10.82

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002KBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,021 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ry Cooder may have been an in-demand session guitarist in the late '60s, but what set him apart in his early solo career was his extraordinary, if eccentric, taste in songs. Here he explores the repertoires of everyone from Johnny Cash to Bahaman folk master Joseph Spence to Leadbelly with enchanting results. While Cooder's vocal skills are no match for his slide guitar and mandolin talents (the latter showcased splendidly in "Hey Porter" and "Billy the Kid"), he's an amiable singer who resists the temptation to camp it up, even when essaying such antiquated oddities as "FDR in Trinidad" and "Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Us All." --Steve Stolder

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bringing History to Life October 1, 2000
By dev1
Format:Audio CD
Leave it to guitar virtuoso Ry Cooder to tackle the Dust Bowl Era, the Great Depression, and the plight of sharecroppers in America. Into The Purple Valley is Cooder's musical take on John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath: impoverished farmers traveling to the Land Of Opportunity (I'm assuming that `purple' means `grape,' or the Napa Valley of California). Sounds pretty depressing? Not exactly. Into The Purple Valley is honest: musically and historically. The majority of the eleven songs are pre-fifties standards, but instead of updating the songs, Cooder captures the music (or perhaps the desperation) of the time. Outdated by contemporary standards (whether seventy-two or today), Into The Purple Valley is an inspired reworking of thirties and forties American music.
Desperation and misery are at the center of `How Can You Keep Moving,' `Hey Porter,' and `Vigilante Man.' What picks these numbers out of the melancholy doldrums and lifts then into the blissful clouds is Cooder's mesmerizing guitar work: his technique is majestic. The bass-thumping R&B song, `Money Honey,' reminds me of the "High Maintenance" ladies whom I have met, but couldn't afford. `Teardrops Will Fall' shines with a heavenly angelic choir. Cooder makes the `Denomination Blues' sparkle with (I don't believe it myself) a xylophone! His finger-sliding technique on "Vigilante Man' is breathtaking. Studying this period of history in school is often dry and boring. Into The Purple Valley brings history to life.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Return to the Purple Valley. December 29, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Ry Cooder has shown us a wide variety and diversification of musical influences since this 1972 release, but to me, this is his best effort. I love the broad range of musical influences that he has taken over the years, including the commercially successful Buena Vista Social Club, however, Into the Purple Valley is where he is at home. From beginning to end, this album carries such a magical feel, particularly the struggles of the poor and oppressed from a long ago era, however, seems to give us an indication that maybe our own "blues" maybe waiting around the corner for us all. ( You must remember that Nixon was in office when this was released...need I say more?). My personal favorites are "FDR in Trinidad", " How Can a Man Stand Such Times and Live", and the ever amazing rendition of "Vigilante Man". I love Mr. Cooder's travels into the realms of other cultures and rhythems. Through these venture, he has broadened our knowledge and appreciation for the sounds and rhythems of our world through the eyes and ears of those who we would have otherwise never known or heard. However, I feel that there is more for him to explore and interpret from The Heart of America and to give his own special stamp of originality. To those of you who have never heard "Into the Purple Valley" have no hesitation in going out immediately and purchasing. It will become one of your very favorites. And To Mr. Cooder, when you grow weary of world travels, come on back to the Purple Valley. We will all be waiting for you.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part Of A Perfect American Trilogy March 24, 2008
By Mike B.
Format:Audio CD
1972 was a banner year for what is now called Americana music, and its best and brightest purveyors were attached to Warner Brothers Records and their subsidiary Reprise. Between the two labels, they had a very cool stable of artists. Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and James Taylor became mainstream successes fairly quickly. Others took longer to find fame and acclaim, but were no less noteworthy. Among these were 3 forward-thinking, backward-glancing master musicians who anticipated the best-selling "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" soundtrack by 28 years.

Consider: In 1972 Warner/Reprise released Ry Cooder's "Into The Purple Valley", John Fahey's "Of Rivers And Religion", and Van Dyke Parks' "Discover America". Fellow label-mate Randy Newman issued his "Sail Away" album that year, but he wouldn't fully explore American themes until 1974's "Good Old Boys". The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band gained the most notice of all of these records with the 1972 release of their landmark double album "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" on the Liberty label.

It's not like no one had recorded this stuff before - there was of course the originals (Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, to name just two) - and such vaunted keepers-of-the-flame as Johnny Cash. Dylan was certainly an early practitioner at times, as were the Byrds with much of 1968's "Sweetheart of the Rodeo". Many folk artists recorded chestnuts like "Statesboro Blues" on albums otherwise filled with their own material. Singing and playing old songs on acoustic guitar is one thing. Total immersion and dedication to the proper historical instrumentation - and presentation of these songs as a conceptual whole - is something entirely different.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better that the first... August 10, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Running a little longer than the first album and ditching some of the bugs that slightly marred it (the strings being one), "Into the Purple Valley" shows Ry Cooder coming into his own. While tackling most of the same issues and types of songs from his debut, "Into the Purple Valley" takes a more direct and stripped down approach to the music. He also takes on a few more musical styles with the gospel influenced Teardrops Will Fall and the calypso flavored FDR in Trinidad. While people claim that "Paradise and Lunch" was his greatest album, this one, his first true masterpiece, should not be ignored and was certainly a springboard for his more delicious mix of musical variations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking (for its time) mixing of electirc instruments and folks...
Few folks have merged electric instruments with traditional tunes better than Ry Cooder, and no one was doing much of this when the album was released in 1972. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Joe Brodnicki
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Ry Ry.
Just buy this.
You will never regret it.
The greatest player in his best era.
Published 3 months ago by Trevor Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth revisiting
Jerry Douglas's album Traveler kicks off with a version of "On A Monday" that seems to be inspired by the version on this album. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome recording
I love it and sent another copy to a friend who had just bought a new pickup truck and she loved it!
Published 20 months ago by J. brotherton
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful
I don't like this one as much as the first album or Boomer's Story, but it's still a very fine piece of work. Hey Porter and Vigilante Man live with me forever.
Published 23 months ago by Andrew Picouleau
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder Rocks
I have the album version of this CD and was very excited to be able to buy it online and in CD format. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by trackerdan
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawless
This album is a masterpiece--one of the few that I still play after 40 years. I would put side 1 up against any other album and at least argue to a draw. Read more
Published on August 21, 2011 by tortuga
5.0 out of 5 stars Great musician,killer slide guitarists
What a great album i love every song on this album ry cooders guitar work shines on this album also he plays the mandolin beautifully i love it great musicianship i love the slide... Read more
Published on December 22, 2010 by jeff
5.0 out of 5 stars Pops loves Ry Cooder!
I bought this album on vinyl when it was first released. It actually got played to death. It's that great. A tremendous talent who still amazes, as time marches on. Read more
Published on December 18, 2010 by G. Thomson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ry Cooder
keeping that slide and band to kill with. eclectic songs that make it very interesting.
Published on October 21, 2009 by Denver B. Cornett
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