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4.5 out of 5 stars6
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2001
The trend nowadays is to look upon a mediocre album as great if the artist has recently passed away. Many may think that I gave this album 5 stars because of Rick's passing nearly two years ago, but this is by far the best solo work he has done. Each song has a different flavor to it, unlike his self-titled album, which, while an extraordinary album, has many tracks that sound a lot alike. "Times Like These" is not a great album. It's a classic. Tears were brought to my eyes when I first listened to this on Christmas Day last year. Rick's sweet, trembling voice will never be equaled and, even after 40 years of smoking cigarettes, one would still be hardpressed to find another singer to better him in his later years. I still cannot get through this album without thinking about Rick the person: fun-loving, joyous, and always upbeat. If you buy this album for one song, it is "This Wheel's On Fire", a mostly instrumental version of his collaboration with Bob Dylan over thirty years earlier. Eric Clapton's words about Rick Danko, "It's my own humble opinion, but I think you have to be a great musician before you can sing like that", are so true. Rick, we all miss you, I know you can hear this masterpiece and you are surely proud of it.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2000
There is a tendency to overpraise an artist who has just died, so I will try to refrain from doing so. I would love to give Rick Danko's final album five stars, however, while this a fitting farewell, it doesn't quite measure up to "classic" status for me.
The album starts out wonderfully with the beautiful, self-written title track "Times Like These." Rick then moves on to a fun cover of the Grateful Dead tune "Ripple" which features performances by "Band" mates Levon Helm and Garth Hudson.
Other highlights are a a cover of the old Sam Cooke song "Chain Gang" and a new take on "This Wheel's on Fire," the song he co-wrote with old pal Bob Dylan. This version of "Wheel" is almost an instrumental with Rick's vocals finally added as just one last instrument. The final song, "People of Conscience," seems especially fitting, aimed at artists (and anyone else) who has ever tried to make a difference in this world.
There are some odd selections here as well. "Book Faded Brown" is a song The Band just covered on their last album "Jubilation." Although this is a live version, it doesn't sound that much different than the "Jubilation" version to warrant inclusion on this album. If a live "Band" number was desired, there were surely more inspired choices available.
But this, and other quibbles, are minor. If you're a fan of Rick Danko and "The Band," this is definitely an album you'll want to pick up. If you're asking "Rick Who?" and "What band?"...then maybe you should try "Music From Big Pink" first.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2006
This posthumous collection is indispensable for the Danko fan. As one who rediscovered this amazing musician when he was already "too soon gone," I'm just grateful that Rick had left behind enough studio material to make this album possible. The title track is as beautiful and moving as anything Rick ever did. His cover of Sam Cook's "Chain Gang," and two typically optimistic songs that Rick co-wrote ("Change Is Good" and "You Can Go Home") are additional highlights that even caught the ear of my teenage son. There really isn't a bad cut on the album, though the last one, "People of Conscience," will challenge those used to getting their social messages through layers of cynicism and irony. Treat yourself to this fitting memorial to one of the 20th century's most soulful and underrated artists.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 27, 2000
This album shows the true musical maturity of one of Rock n' Roll's most soulful voices. From the title track through the most beautiful cover of "Chain Gang" and the haunting instrumental of "Wheels on Fire" with Rick's voice floating above the last verse, this album is pure joy. Rick should be very proud of his last and perhaps most beautiful work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2015
This is a fine effort, a little slow. But get it for the this wheels on fire. An outstanding version that melts you with its melancholy ambience. Now why in the world wont they release the much more upbeat and fantastic first solo album. a sadly overlooked gem!
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on November 10, 2014
Music that touches you in a very special way, with the soulful voice of Rick Danko. "A work of art" that true Danko fans can savor.
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