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The Hard Way [Vinyl]

James HunterVinyl
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $6.64 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2008 $5.99  
Audio CD, 2008 $11.66  
Vinyl, 2008 $6.64  

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The Hard Way [Vinyl] + People Gonna Talk + Minute By Minute
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (June 17, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hear Music
  • ASIN: B00187PNL0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,241 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Hard Way
2. Tell Her
3. Don't Do Me No Favours
4. Carina
5. She's Got a Way
6. 'Til the End
7. Hand It Over
8. Jacqueline
9. Class Act
10. Ain't Goin' Nowhere
11. Believe Me Baby
12. Strange But True

Editorial Reviews

Eagerly awaited 2008 album from the British retro-Soul singing sensation, the follow-up to his Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk album from 2006. The Hard Way is Hunter's giant step toward staking his place in the Pop-Soul pantheon alongside Same Cook, Jackie Wilson, Charlie Rich and Van Morrison. Three of the album's cuts feature special guest Allen Toussaint on piano. 12 tracks.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Hunter At The Top Of His Game June 10, 2008
By Mike B.
Format:Audio CD
James Hunter is less Sam Cooke on this one, and more Ray Charles. He's clearly been absorbing the Atlantic/Stax catalogue - which is a great thing. Why not learn from the best?

Like on his previous CD, it's all original material. Hunter continues to exhibit his rare gift for writing songs that come out sounding like old r&b classics from the 50's, 60's, and 70's. And that's not easy. In fact, I can't think of any other current artist able to do it!

This is punchier, with more grit and growl than the ultra-smooth "People Gonna Talk" - and better reflects the energy of his "live" show. It's another beautifully paced mixture of mid-tempo and up-tempo compositions, with only a couple slow numbers. Many tracks feature prominent sax, keyboards, and sometimes a low-key violin section. As a whole, it rocks a little more than its predecessor - and has a somewhat looser, more organic feel to it. He sounds more contemporary. Lyrically, these are songs of unrequited love - the romantic pleas of a persistent suitor - but they're never sad or morose. A couple others offer hard-won advice gleaned from life lessons. In either case, he lets you know he's a survivor and a fighter.

For a guitar hotshot, Hunter seems to prefer being an understated team player - really letting loose only a few times. "Don't Do Me No Favours", "Til The End", and "Ain't Goin' Nowhere" all contain incendiary guitar work. "Carina" is similar to "Mollena" from the last CD. It's a sound I love - like Ben E. King and the Drifters. "She's Got A Way" slightly resembles Ray Charles' "I Got A Woman", while "Believe Me Baby" channels Ray's "What'd I Say" with a chorus nod to Rufus Thomas' "Walking The Dog" (featuring great Allen Toussaint piano).
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Blue Eyed Retro Soul June 11, 2008
Format:Audio CD
When I first heard James Hunter, I thought I'd missed something from the 60's. Something really good, that is--something I'd have dug a quarter out of my ragged jeans to hear on the jukebox good.

The reviewers who describe Hunter's voice as a growl are right--but he can purr, too. This is a strong entree into the new retro soul movement and a very welcome one. The beat's strong here and you just want to get up and dance.

So far, "Believe me Baby," "The Hard Way" and "Don't do me no Favours" are my top favorites of this CD, but I suspect I'm going to have a new favorite each time I listen. Love it--brand new and sounding like a classic.

Rebecca Kyle, June 2008
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Hunter/The Hard Way: As Good as I Can Find Now August 1, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Amazon Verified Purchase
I couldn't imagine who was singing those soulful, Motown, Temptations-like tunes I grew up with from CKLW when I heard them on WMNF only 2 months ago. This is a great addition to my CD collection. No better purchase can be made if you love the Temptations and R & B from the 60's and early 70's...What a great voice, excellent backups and musicians who do it the right way. I am so glad I bought it. Just purchased two more of his CDs. Thanks for having it in stock!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MUSIC MAN July 28, 2008
By jcs
Format:Vinyl
In my humble opinion, James Hunter is musics most underrated performer. He simply puts out tremendous music, plays intimate venues that allow you to be fortunate enough to be there listening. If you ever get the chance, try to see him in concert or at least get his CD to listen to truly one of musics magical performers. If you get the idea that i think he is pretty good, that would be an understatement. To listen to James play is as good as it gets......enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be converted! June 21, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Amazon Verified Purchase
I bought James Hunters previous album just because I liked the cover photo! First track had me thinking 'not my kinda music', by the end I just started it up from the beginning again - not done that in years! Since then delving into his back catalog has yielded still more warm, genuine and heartfelt music - label it what you will as 'soul', 'R&B", 'blue eyed soul' does not really do his contemporary, but retro, song style justice.

The guy can not only sing with grit and authentic emotion, he plays a mean lead guitar that does not get in the way of the song. The band are exemplary with great grooves and awesome brass (plus the best sax solo in years). Each song has a mood and a comfortable feel but with the wit and twists to make it all James's personal statement.

Recorded at a back to basics 50/60's equipment studio in London, this album captures the feeling of a bygone age without ever feeling stale or dated - more like rediscovering what makes music great in this pro-tools digitized age.

Whatever music you are into, if this album doesnt raise a smile, tap a toe or get you shouting 'Oh Yeah!!!' at least three times, check your pulse - you may be dead.

Get it - you wont regret it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Soul Music! June 13, 2013
By Estring
Format:Audio CD|Amazon Verified Purchase
James Brown and Sam Cooke had a baby. His name is James Hunter. This is soul music for the ages. You will not be disappointed if you buy this cd.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Genuine Five Stars December 2, 2009
Format:Audio CD
James Hunter recalls so many African-American greats. Sam Cooke, obviously his idol. Ray Charles. And - bear with me - Ella Fitzgerald. Like Ella, James Hunter sounds like he's never really having a bad day, even when he's singing about heartbreak. This juxtaposition of sunny disposition and genuine soulfulness is a rare thing, but Hunter pulls it off. He has a truly great voice - perhaps the best English soul voice since Dusty - and this is a great album. People Gonna Talk was good, but this is a classic. The songs are better, the band is excellent, the arrangements are perfect and Hunter's guitar solos - tight cameos all - add bluesy spice. It's all over in less than 40 minutes, and it's hard to resist the urge to play it again.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to enjoy
From the minute I popped the Hard Way into my CD player I was simply whisked away. The sounds took me to so many good places. The horns, the Sam Cooke tones or the styles... Read more
Published 17 days ago by David J.
5.0 out of 5 stars Never dissappointing
I have been following James Hunter for years. Love his style, songwriting and vocals. He is consistantly a strong performer. This CD will not disappoint.
Published 27 days ago by Margaret Powers
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great album from James Hunter
We like listening to this album a lot. This whole album has a great groove to it. His latest album (with the "six") and this one are start to finish albums.
Published 4 months ago by David Dare
5.0 out of 5 stars James Hunter Is Putting Out Some Of The R&B Currently Being Released
If you're not familiar with James Hunter, he's a British musician who is putting out some of the best R&B, or music based of classic 1950s and 1960s R&B, currently being released. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mark Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Has become my favorite.
Love it. I listen to it every morning since I received it. James Hunter is now in my top 10!
Published 11 months ago by Marie Aguirre
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Don't know how I stumbled upon James Hunter but really love his style and vocal ability. Wish I could see him in concert!
Published 11 months ago by Beth B
5.0 out of 5 stars "New" R & B singer
I have just discovered James Hunter and love his old school r&b sound done in a fresh way! If you like the soul sounds of the 60's and 70's you will love this singer. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Kathleen
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
James Hunter is a great artist with an interesting sound and this album is terrific representation of why he is great!
Published 12 months ago by CK22vd
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing time machine
James Hunter has absorbed the full range of R&B techniques and plays them back in a spirited and enjoyable way while retaining his own style.
Published 15 months ago by Cooking Maven
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Album
I can't believe I'd never heard of James Hunter! I picked up the mp3 album when it was included in one of Amazon's monthly five dollar specials. Read more
Published on October 6, 2010 by D. Avery
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