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The Tiki Bar Is Open


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Audio CD, September 11, 2001
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Forty years into his recording career, John Hiatt has chosen to title his 22nd studio album, Terms of My Surrender. Surrender? Is that as in Cheap Trick? Or Appomattox? Hiatt laughs, tentatively, at the choice.

“It’s my Appomattox,” he says, wryly. “Really I don’t know where it came from, that idea of trying to arrange the terms of my surrender. I ... Read more in Amazon's John Hiatt Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 11, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • ASIN: B00005NG1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,839 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Everybody Went Low
2. Hangin' Round Here
3. All The Lilacs In Ohio
4. My Old Friend
5. I Know A Place
6. Something Broken
7. Rock Of Your Love
8. I'll Never Get Over You
9. The Tiki Bar Is Open
10. Come Home To You
11. Farther Stars

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

For much of this album, his 16th in 26 years, Hiatt reunites with his best band, the Goners, and takes a giant leap back to his still-hungry days as a jag-edged, Costello-esque rocker while hewing to the soulful, blues-based songwriting he perfected on 1987's Bring the Family. The withering pub rock of 1979's Slug Line--as well as a nod to fallen hero Dale Earnhardt--seeps into the title track, while the roaring guitar, courtesy of the brilliant Sonny Landreth, and tight rhymes of "All the Lilacs in Ohio" suggest the streetwise edge of 1983's Riding with the King. But it's with ballads such as "Something Broken" and "Come Home to You" that Hiatt's musicianship, songwriting, and deeply soulful vocals truly convince and offer the most moving moments on this, his most memorable album in many years. --Roy Kasten

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 62 customer reviews
John Hiatt is unquestionably one of the best songwriters around.
Henry Cross
Everybody went Low is a rollicking start the chainsaw rocker about his other great love, racing minicars.
Leon Alm
John Hiatt has that unique sound, which is good, but what makes his songs are the stories and sounds.
Denver B. Cornett

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bill Allison on October 11, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Last year, I fell in love with "Crossing Muddy Waters". It was a very different John Hiatt album with a very simple, stripped down feel to it. It made for great listening while enjoying my coffee every morning and it was great to drink too on those lazy evenings. In that one, he came across sounding more like George Jones than the John Hiatt that all his long-time fans had come to know and love. It was a nice change of pace, but I'm so glad that he made a "return to form".
From the opening of "Everybody Went Low", we know we're in for something great, then the song kicks in with almost a garage-rock sound and the band is rocking out. I bought "The Tiki Bar is Open" about five hours ago, and it's all i've been listening too. Every single track on here is great. There are no highlights here. The whole damn thing shines. It's really hard to believe how good it is. I know, right now, I'm barely scratching the surface. There is a lot of structure to songs like "Hangin' Round Here", "Rock of Your Love", and "My Old Friend".
I almost don't want to go to work tonight. I just want to stay home and listen to this all night. Up until a year ago, I was only a casual John Hiatt fan, but after picking up "Crossing Muddy Waters" on a reccomendation, I began to dig a little deeper and explore a lot of his other stuff. It's amazing to me that he is so underrated. He's got a voice that is all his own and fans of Steve Earle, Tom Waits, and Neil Young should really check into him.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By phil macek on September 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Following on the heels of "Crossing Muddy Waters," "Tiki Bar" signals John Hiatt's return to the electric guitar. Recorded with The Goners (his old band), Hiatt's new album is joyfully noisy and genuinely peremeated with bluesy soul. From the boisterous opener, "Everybody Went Low" to the thoughtful closer, "Farther Stars," it is clear that Hiatt has crossed his muddy waters and landed on the shore of straight ahead rock. Featuring his usual quirky, yet brilliant, lyrics, "Tiki" shows that Hiatt is having a helluva lot of fun as he grows older. Solid from top to bottom, this album ranks up there with Hiatt's best work ("Bring The Family," "Stolen Moments," "Slow Turning," and "Walk On), and it should garner the maestro quite a few new fans. It's about time Hiatt got the recognition he deserved. There is no filler here; Hiatt delivers the goods just like he has always done.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. R. Miller on September 16, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is a John Hiatt record that sounds like much less on first listen than it really is. You think the man has just reverted to solid, simple rock to grab back the audience lost to his last acoustic outing, "Crossing Muddy Waters." But there is so much more to "The Tiki Bar is Open." Take, for example, this classically revealing and gut-wrenching Hiatt follow up lyric to the description of a child left alone by drug wasted parents in "Come Home to You": And I've been that kid, yeah it's true. . .and I've been both those parents, too." There are so few songwriters like Hiatt capable of capturing the dichotomies and ironies in life so well. It is a record filled not only with Hiatt's effortlessly complex and clever lyrics, but also beautiful guitar work by both Hiatt and the masterful Sonny Landreth. Hiatt harkens back to his musical roots with Dylanesque cuts like the harmonica driven "My Old Friend" and the startling "Farther Stars," a George Harrison meets Ravi Shankar jam worthy of "Revolver". Finally, as always with Hiatt, there are beautiful melodies and the scorched heart depths of his ballads, as in "I'll Never Get Over You." While not Hiatt at his zenith, "The Tiki Bar Is Open" is filled with musical pleasures.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Timothy P. Young on January 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For this release, John Hiatt has reunited with the Goners, his road band in the 80's who featured on one of his finest albums, Slow Turning. The Tiki Bar Is Open finds Hiatt having abandoned the mostly acoustic experiment of Crossing Muddy Waters and the slick commercial production of his Capitol albums in favor of the simple 2 guitars, bass, drums (and occasional keyboard) that marked his best efforts. The Goners are in fine form here, especially Sonny Landreth's virtuoso slide guitar that NEVER overpowers the song while still adding immeasurably to it.
And the songs themselves! From the opening rocker "Everybody Went Low" to the mournful "Something Broken" through the title track (the Tiki Bar as an attitude more than a place), this album takes the listener on a twang-rock ride (ok, I guess it could be called alt.country, or roots-rock...lots of acoustic and slide guitars, tasteful arrangements and tons of energy) that can't be beat. As Hiatt himself says on the album, "I'm proud of my mistakes/And all the love and the trouble that I ever did make/I never meant to hurt no one/And when I did, well it wasn't any fun." No apologies, just explanation...but I can't find any mistakes on this album. Buy, listen, enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Allison on October 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Last year, he put out "Crossing Muddy Waters". While there were quite a few who didn't enjoy the stripped down approach, I loved it. I found it to be a perfect combination of country, blues, and roots music. There were songs about love and loss and there was even a fun track "lincoln town". Unfortunately, many of Hiatt's longtime fans didn't appreciate his change of pace. A year later he releases "The Tiki Bar is Open". For what it's worth, I'm enjoying this one just as much. I've had it long enough now to absorb it and I can gladly say that there are no filler tracks here and it is really hard to pick a favortie.
"Tiki Bar" kicks off with the rocking "Everybody Went Low". Throughout the album, things slow down a bit, mostly for the dark "I know a place". Sonnny Landreth, whom I've always thought of as a highly underrated guitar genius, really shines. His blues riffs are a tough match for anyone and (much like Hiatt's singing) he's created a style that is truly all his own. This is one of my favorite albums all year and it ties a close knot with Billy Bob Thornton's "Private Radio" (a HUGELY underrated and misunderstood work of art).
If "Crossing Muddy Waters" wasn't your thing and you're a little bit leary of this one, don't be. It's a 180 degree turnaround and it rocks like a mother. Just pick it up, put it in, and let the music do the talking. You won't have any regrets, I promise you that. This album will go down as one of Hiatt's career highlights.
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