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It Had to Happen

James McMurtryAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $16.35 & 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, 10 Songs, 2006 $9.49  
Audio CD, 1997 $16.35  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1997 --  

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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. Paris 4:38$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Peter Pan 6:31$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. For All I Know 3:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. No More Buffalo 7:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. 12 O'Clock Whistle 6:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Sixty Acres 3:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Be With Me 6:55$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Wild Man From Borneo 5:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Stancliff's Lament 5:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. Jaws Of Life 5:34$1.29  Buy MP3 

Amazon's James McMurtry Store


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James McMurtry - "Freeway View" (LIVE IN EUROPE)


On Just Us Kids, James McMurtry follows up his critically acclaimed Childish Things with a dozen new, sharply drawn illuminations as he continues to hone and expand his considerable gifts. And the self-produced opus (James’ fourth venture pulling strings on both sides of the glass) unquestionably represents his most ambitious, accomplished and ass-kicking presentation to date.

Just ... Read more in Amazon's James McMurtry Store

Visit Amazon's James McMurtry Store
for 12 albums, photos, videos, and 1 full streaming song.

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Frequently Bought Together

It Had to Happen + Too Long in the Wasteland + Candyland
Price for all three: $26.33

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000000EXT
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #93,956 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Obscure Gem December 28, 2002
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Some years ago, I chanced to hear James McMurtry perform at a small club near where I live. He was promoting his first album which had received accolades in the alternative press, and though the crowd was very thin, he played as if he were playing for thousands.
I bought that album on cassette and still have it, but I hadn't thought much about him until recently when a friend to whom I had introduced McMurtry's music brought out a stack of his newer CDs for me to hear.
Among those was It Had To Happen. When I first put it on, I was pleased but not overwhelmed. McMurtry's unmistakeable voice and style were there to be sure, but no song initially stood out. Then, as I listened more closely, it began to grow on me.
McMurtry is nothing if not sardonic and that is a quality I admire in a songwriter. Dylan has it, Nick Cave has it, and its clear that McMurtry has it too. You gotta love story songs like 12 O'clock Whistle, the sneering Sixty Acres, and the wistful No More Buffalo. But to my ears, the best song on the album is the lyrically and musically powerful Be With Me. McMurtry's bitter, sardonic delivery is just stunning and makes it a song I could play over and over again.
There are a few weak spots that detract from a higher rating, notably the too frequent repetition of the title of the otherwise well-written Jaws of Life and the inclusion of Kinky Friedman's Wild Man From Borneo. Despite that, I highly recommend buying this obscure gem by a singer/songwriter who deserves more fame than he has.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album from a great songwriter April 22, 2000
Format:Audio CD
If radio had any imagination, James McMurtry would be a superstar. Folk rock simply does not get any better than this. "It had to happen," his fourth album, is also his best. Not a bad song, but the tracks that really stand out are "No More Buffalo," "Twelve O'Clock Whistle," and "Jaws of Life," which are all lengthy tributes to Americana. Also of note is the fine cover of Kinky Friedman's "Wild Man from Borneo," showing once again that James has a sense of humor. If you buy one McMurtry album, this should be the one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Great Record December 11, 1999
Format:Audio CD
From the dusty roads and rocky mesas of Texas to the intimate and biting conversations around a grandparent's dinner table, McMurtry combines powerful melody and skillful musicainship with brilliant lyricism to bring us one of the best records of the year, maybe of the decade. The hooks in these sonngs stick to the bone, earned through smart song craftsmanship and pure, raw emotion.
The song "12 O'Clock Whistle" plays like a great fiction set to a driving ryhthm, as a soulful acoustic melody walks us through a grandchild's day with his parents. There are multiple characters and the dialogue is strikingly authentic: "And granny was hanging up wash / talking acorss the fence / neighbor lady nodded like it all made sense / 'She's just gonna stay with him till the kids are grown / fetch me that clothespin off up the ground would you hon'"
McMurtry's sense of himself and where he's from are overshadowed only by his sense of who we are, good and bad, right or wrong. I don't know the right label for his music, so I'll use one that makes sense: humbling.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tour West Texas if Only in Your Mind August 13, 2001
Format:Audio CD
The best CD I own. Great for any mood you are in ... down, alone, happy, on top of the world. If you have ever driven in West Texas, you know this CD captures the feel of the, raw, western. GREAT MUSIC FOR DRIVIN' and THINKIN'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
One of our vastly unappreciated national treasures, James McMurtry is always worth listening and paying attention to (although, live, he likes to chide the audience: "Where I come from, they dance to this kind of music"). Here, he does the unthinkable: offering a portrait of the young rebel suffering the tragedy of maturity. And so it's a portrait of the artist/outcast moving on. Few American artists can undergo this process and survive with energy and vision intact; McMurtry is magic. He gets stronger, angrier, deeper, more convincing, more passionate and ready to fight--and, hell, he's all grown up too. "Be With Me" is better than Eminem's "Stan," better than any song in any genre about the insipid, vampiric demands fans place on an artist's energy, vision and life. Listen to McMurtry; go see him; he is a home-grown genius.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Texas Troubador Tells It As It Is.... January 16, 2000
By Lane
Format:Audio CD
James Mcmurtry can paint a better picture with words than that of every artist in the Louvre put together. He sees the world through the eyes of a man that has been around much longer than he has. To not mention every song on this CD is a travesty but any McMurtry fan will know evry song is right on lyrically and musically. "12 O'Clock Whistle" is a wonderful song about small town Texas and the everyday "goings-on" that are uneventful and so intensly poetic. "Peter Pan" will take you back through childhood and put a grin on your face through the whole song. James is as solid on stage as he is on his CD's. He writes as well as Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. He could possibly be the greatest songwriter of this new millenium. He's hit his stride. Ladies and Gentlemen, the horse is out of the gates and he's not looking back. Put your bets down. He's no longshot as is no CD you are considering buying by this truly talented artist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE JAMES!
Great music delivered quickly. Amazon works for me. I like paying a bit more for the CD sometimes. Ripping and putting in the truck for the CD player both.
Published 4 months ago by W. Hicks
5.0 out of 5 stars Add it to the collection
No More Buffalo and Peter Pan are probably my favorites on this CD. I really enjoy all of McMurtry's music - it's hard to find just "one" favorite.
Published 4 months ago by Can't get it right.
2.0 out of 5 stars Used but Unplayable
Wouldn't know how this sounds as it came with a big scratch that rendered it unplayable. So much for the vendors description of "very good"
Published 19 months ago by Gary E. Land
5.0 out of 5 stars His best studio record
NO MORE BUFFALO!.......possibly is finest song ever and the rest of this album is great too.Whenever you get a chance see him live as well.
Published 23 months ago by Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars He is so very good
How to bring more attention to James McMurtry? He has so many good records, so many good songs, so many good stories to tell. Read more
Published on September 22, 2012 by Mark Town
5.0 out of 5 stars Good effort
Have been a JM fan for about 3 years now,bought "live in Aught-three)first and loved it.I like this studio effort just as well, "sixty acres" is a real toe tapper. Read more
Published on January 11, 2007 by S. McKenzie
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost there, but no steam.
McMurtry's follow-up to the 1995 "Where'd You Hide The Body" doesn't quite live up to it's predecessor. Read more
Published on July 3, 2002 by Brian Kious
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