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Upside Downside

Scott Miller and the Commonwealth, Scott MillerAudio CD
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Price: $14.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 12 Songs, 2006 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2003 $14.99  

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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. It Didn'T Take Too Long 2:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Raised By The Graves 2:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. The Way 3:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Pull Your Load 2:02$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Second Chance 2:30$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Chill, Relax, Now 2:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Amtrak Crescent 4:40$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Angels Dwell 2:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Ciderville Saturday Night 2:14$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen10. I'Ve Got A Plan 4:24$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Red Ball Express 3:05$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen12. For Jack Tymon 2:58$1.29  Buy MP3 

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Frequently Bought Together

Upside Downside + Thus Always to Tyrants + Citation
Price for all three: $40.77

Buy the selected items together
  • Thus Always to Tyrants $14.99
  • Citation $10.79

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 10, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B00009KUB2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #199,243 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, native Scott Miller first gained attention as part of Knoxville roots-rockers the V-Roys, who briefly recorded for Steve Earle's E-Squared label. On Upside Downside, the follow-up to his 200l solo studio debut Thus Always to Tyrants, Miller once again acquits himself admirably as a quintessential heartland rocker and the closest thing the "Old Dominion" has to its very own Earle or John Mellencamp. Backed by his crackerjack band, the Commonwealth, Miller delivers a superb mix of blistering, often Virginia-specific rockers ("Raised by the Graves") and acoustic, country-tinged forays ("Amtrak Crescent" and "Ciderville Saturday Night," both featuring newgrass master Tim O’Brien on mandolin), tempering each with sobering self-realization, hard-fought wisdom, and self-effacing humor. A fine groove-driven instrumental called "Chill, Relax, Now" and a couple of frenetic, humorous rockers, including "It Didn't Take Too Long," add to the fun. --Bob Allen

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb followup July 1, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"Thus Always to Tyrants," Scott Miller's solo debut after leaving The V-Roys, was one of the best albums of 2001 (and its cover using the Virginia state seal earned him a cease and desist letter from state lawyers with too much taxpayer-funded free time on their hands). With "Upside/Downside," Miller proves that record was no fluke with a typical mix of songs that are loud (rocking) and not so loud (folkie) and just plain fun (a disposable homage to Booker T & the MGs.)
There's nothing as grinning as the opening line to the last album's "I Won't Go With You:" " Man, this beer is colder than the shoulder you would give me if I were to tell you the truth." But there are lines that come close, especially in "Second Chance": "I don't want to fight. Sometimes I'm always right. I'd love to change it, but you know I can't so I need a second chance."
It's typically smartass Miller, a William & Mary graduate who is as wise and funny about his Virginia heritage as any writer around -- on page or on disc.
Musically, Upside/Downside careens from straight ahead rock ("It Didn't Take Too Long") to bluesy rock ("Pull Your Load" to folk storytelling ("Amtrak Crescent" and "Ciderville Saturday Night," both featuring Tim O'Brien's mandolin). The Commonwealth returns as his backing band on most cuts and Patty Griffin stops by to lend her ethereal vocals to "Angels Dwell" and "The Way."
Like the first record, Miller explores finding your way as a Southerner in the modern world. "I'm headed out to find what it is that makes a man want to come home," he sings in "The Way. "I've had enough off the way I was. Seems like it's time to learn the way."
Overall, it's a typically precocious record, one that offers bits of musical tapas for country, rock or folk fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Sophomore Effort July 2, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Scott Miller & the Commonwealth follow up their excellent debut album, "Thus Always to Tyrants," with another excellent album full of worthwhile songs. Miller has become the master of the three minute song, and the 12 tracks on "Upside Downside" clock in at a tidy 36 minutes in total. The "Upside" includes a number of burning rockers, with "It Didn't Take Too Long," "The Way" and the mostly instrumental "Chill, Relax, Now" being the highlights. The following "Downside' is softer and more accoustic, and is highlighted by the story song "Amtrack Crescent," the Patty Griffin duet "Angels Dwell," and the World War Two memories of "Red Ball Express."
The album's only downside is that it fails to expand substantially on anything Miller has done earlier in his career. The rocking tracks sound a lot like his old band The V-Roys, and "Red Ball Express" merely continues in the same historical storytelling vein as "Highland County Boy" and "Dear Sarah" from his Commonwealth debut. Nevertheless, "Upside Downside" is still a strong album from a very talented songwriter who very much deserves a bigger audience.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It didn't take too long... June 26, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"It Didn't Take Too Long" for me to realize this is an excellent record. With a tip of the cap to Chuck Berry, the record is off and running. "Chill, Relax, Now" could be the next sports anthem played at every halftime, time-out and 7th inning stretch in big-league parks around the country. "Red Ball Express," Miller's first song about WWII, marks him as possibly the best war songwriter since Johnny Horton. "For Jack Tymon," with nothing but guitar and vocals is simply beautiful. Very few writers could cover such territory on one record and make it work. Somehow, Scott Miller finds "The Way."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miller & Co. haved brewed up a worthy batch June 12, 2003
Format:Audio CD
This album is an excellent followup to "Thus Always to Tyrants". The songs are strong, performances are great, and the lightweight production allows them to really shine. It includes a good mix of rockers like the Chuck Berry-esque "It Didn't Take Too Long" and the presumably at least semiautobiographical "Raised by the Graves" to mellower cuts like the touching "For Jack Tymon", which was dedicated to a friend's newborn son, and "Angels Dwell". Then there's the rollicking bluegrassy "Ciderville Saturday Night", the nearly instrumental Tequila-esque "Chill, Relax, Now", and the historical "Red Ball Express".
If any of this sounds interesting, take a chance on this album. You're not likely to be disappointed. Of course, if you're already a fan, this is a must-have. ASAP.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% Upside July 3, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Scott Miller and The Commonwealth deliver...AGAIN. Great mix of music, much of it biographical, and each song speaks to everyday folk. He delivers the same passion in his live performances. See him if you can. Scott takes you from rock and roll in songs like "It Didn't Take too Long," to ballads like "Amtrak Crescent," and into Appalachia with "Ciderville Saturday Night." The depth of his song writing puts him on par with the likes of Bob Seger and Pete Seeger. He performs with passion. The breadth of his talent makes one wonder what corporate radio station, with their canned playlists, will find a spot for him. Do yourself a favor and turn off the radio and listen to this CD and his earlier "Thus Always to Tyrants."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Americana Band of the 21st Century
Scott Miller and the Commonwealth are the great Americana rock band of the 21st century. "Upside, Downside" is their best CD and is the best rock CD of the 21st century, thus far. Read more
Published on June 26, 2008 by pop culture icon
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT RECORD!
Great album from Mr. Miller. Don't miss a chance to see him live. Also, check out his other disks. They are all fantastic. Folk, rock, blues, country and more. Read more
Published on April 11, 2007 by M. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Mr. Miller and crew deliver the best release of 2003. Period. Scott is a wonderful songwriter and has a way of giving the listener an image for each song that resonates on many... Read more
Published on February 9, 2006 by M. McElhaney
5.0 out of 5 stars top-notch album
scott keeps getting better and better. from his college days when even his commentary on frat boys and bowheads was inspired and musically excellent, his lyrics, phrasing and... Read more
Published on September 6, 2004 by tom ho
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Blown Away!
What an album. I've listened to Scott Miller since he was with the V-Roys, a very good short lived band you should check out if you haven't, and I was blown away by what a great... Read more
Published on April 28, 2004 by Matthew Ward
5.0 out of 5 stars Variety is good.
Miller seems to be all over the place, but if you followed his former band the V-roys this shouldn't suprise. Read more
Published on March 10, 2004 by Blake Motley
5.0 out of 5 stars I found my new love on the Amtrak Cresent
This guy is amazing! The upside/downside album is a very unique and very entertaining collection that will be stuck in your head for weeks. Read more
Published on January 28, 2004 by Jodie Chessor
5.0 out of 5 stars It took too damn long Scott
Actually this is a great, although brisk sophomore follow up for Scott Miller/Commonwealth. Appropiatly titled, this album is no real departure from his previous works, but it... Read more
Published on July 26, 2003
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