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Audio CD, September 24, 2002
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Jerusalem + Transcendental Blues + Guitar Town (Remastered)(Bonus Track)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On 1997's El Corazón, Steve Earle wished for the return of Woody Guthrie to a world sorely lacking voices of righteous dissent. Here, Earle stops pining for ghosts and gruffly makes his own claim to the agit-folk crown. The controversial "John Walker's Blues" drew attention to the album and the ire of many who misunderstood it, but it's only one of many topical tunes on a disc that issues a kind of call to arms: over the distorted guitars and garbage-pail drums of "Amerika v. 6.0" and in the spare and creepy satire "Conspiracy Theory," Earle rallies listeners to resist such corrosive cultural forces as consumerism, xenophobia, and apathy. And as Earle's songs often do, several cuts offer sympathetic portrayals of folks on the margins: a busted Mexican migrant writes a letter home as organ chirps and guitars blaze through "What's a Simple Man to Do?" and in "The Truth," Earle's fuzzed-out drawl depicts life behind bars. Though nearly every moment of this ambitious album is laden with meaning, there's room enough for simple beauty--like the velvet voice of Emmylou Harris on "I Remember You"--and, more importantly, hope. "I believe there'll come a day," Earle affirms in the closing track, "when the lion and the lamb will lie down in peace together in Jerusalem." --Anders Smith Lindall

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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. Ashes to Ashes 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Amerika V. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do) 4:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Conspiracy Theory 4:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. John Walker's Blues 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. The Kind 2:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. What's a Simple Man to Do? 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. The Truth 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Go Amanda 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Remember You 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Shadowland 2:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Jerusalem 3:56$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Artemis
  • ASIN: B00006GEX6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,354 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 83 people found the following review helpful By "fanniemac" on November 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There has been massive criticism coupled with "musical hysteria," concerning the song "John Walker's Blues." Way before the CD titled "Jerusalem" was released, DJs and music critics alike were sitting in judgment of Steve Earle's patriotism. Because the song is written from the perspective of John Walker Lindh, an American youth who recently pleaded guilty to assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan, many spoke Earle's name in the same breath with traitor. "It celebrates and glorifies a traitor to this country," screamed Steve Gill, morning host on WTN-FM. He and others DJ's around the country called for a boycott of the album. With no airplay and lack of availability at stores, their mission would be successful.
What has been pushed to the wayside is the following burning question: Is the song any good or is it just another lame attempt at marketing a dull CD? The answer is simple. This particular tune, though controversial, is good, the CD damn good, and there is a great big difference between explaining a person's actions and just glorifying them. Steve Earle has many better songs on his current release "Jerusalem," especially the hauntingly beautiful duet with none other than EmmyLou Harris during "I Remember You." Nevertheless, it is the track of "John Walker's Blues" that will continue to draw the most attention to this CD. Earle presents Walker's views without passing any kind of judgment. He becomes the troubled young man, searching for answers to questions that he is unable to find in American ideology. Earle stands in Lindh's shoes and views the world from his eyes only. Steve has done this many times before in his long career. He has become a convicted murderer, ready to take that long walk, "the green mile," to the electric chair in "Billy Austin.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Harris J. Schneider on September 27, 2002
Format: Audio CD
When I heard that Steve Earle's next record was going to be "very political", I got worried. Not because I disagreed with Earle's politics, or because I don't like political songs, or even because I don't like Earle's political songs. The reason I was worried was that I expected it to be forced; which I expected might limit the focus Earle would put on the music and lessen the quality of his lyrics. I WAS WRONG!!
What I got when I played the CD was a record fairly similar to my other Steve Earle records. No, its not a retread of old ideas musically or lyrically, but its a hodgepodge of styles with some topical lyrics and some thoughtful, but not necessarily political lyrics.
The CD starts with Ashes to Ashes, which is only political in that it espouses the world view that nothing is permanent, especially political empires, including this one (USA). It opens withe the whispered phrase, "Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust" and repeats this refrain throughout in a fine rock song.
Next up is another rock song, Amerika v.6.0 which uses the Stones riff from Jumpin Jack Flash to fine effect in another song which is among the more political on the cd. Its basically a lament that this country is failing to live up to its high ideals...the best we can do, being the somewhat sarcastic refrain. This is a great song, maybe the best on the record.
Conspiracy Theory is a nice rnb song with some somewhat surprising female lead vocals on the chorus which at first seem out of place, but on repeated listenings begin to grow on you.
John Walker's Blues is the notorious song about the so-called American Taliban. It is a haunting ballad which puts you into Walker's head without trying to tell the listener how to feel about the subject.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Richard Silverstein on April 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I like everything Steve Earle does. So it comes as no surprise that I like this album too. But the one song that stands out above all others for me is "Jerusalem." If you have any interest whatsoever in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this song plumbs it to the depths. Almost no singer-songwriters (except Israelis) have attempted to write about the conflict & I feel enormous gratitude to Earle for taking the subject on and doing it such justice.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Matt Thompson on September 25, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There's been much ado about Steve Earle's newest disc, JERUSALEM, specifically the tune "John Walker's Blues". You're standard bunch of right-wing chicken littles have called for Mr. Earle's head because he "glorifies" the so-called "American Taliban". All that ado turns out to be a whole lotta nothin`, as Steve gives us what he thinks - in his own unique way - is a glimpse into the mind of young Mr. Lindh. There's no glory here; just a confused boy looking for truth and finding only hate and destruction.
Now, if that's all there was to JERUSALEM, we'd have problems. As nifty a tune as "John Walker" is - and it is a pretty nifty tune; Woody would be proud - it's nowhere near the best cut on yet another top-shelf record by Nashville's baddest bad boy. Continuing the stripped-down "loud folk" of such masterpieces as EL CORAZON and TRANSCENDENTAL BLUES, JERUSALEM is raw, rocking and defiant. The overly political Earle lashes out with much fear and loathing at many of the hot topics in today's Generic America. The brilliant "Amerika v.6.0 (The Best We Can Do)" takes to task the former idealists of the baby Boomer generation who've sold out the dream for comfort, stability and a big S.U.V. "Conspiracy Theory" asks hard questions, those same questions that will get you branded a "nutball" or "trouble maker" by the mainstream media. Earle even takes The Boss to task with "What's A Simple Man To Do?" which sounds like a NEBRASKA outtake, harkening back to a day when the Jersey Boy wasn't quite so comfortable.
Speaking of Springsteen, Earle's "Go Amanda" has a raw, loose feeling like the best roots rock should, slipping out of the political mode for some good ol' fashioned rockin'. The title track closes the whole affair with questions about the Holy Land that no one seems to want to answer.
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