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If the World Was You

J.D. SoutherAudio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Price: $13.84 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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If the World Was You + Natural History + You're Only Lonely
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 14, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mri Associated
  • ASIN: B001F7XITW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I'll Be Here At Closing Time
2. House Of Pride
3. Journey Down The Nile
4. One More Night
5. In My Arms Tonight
6. Rain
7. A Chorus of Your Own
8. The Border Guard
9. Brown (Osaka Story)
10. Come On Up
11. The Secret Handshake Of Fate

Editorial Reviews

Souther was greatly influenced by Texan Roy Orbison, whose sound he tried to emulate. Following his move to Los Angeles in the late 1960s, he met a young guitarist from Detroit named Glenn Frey. They bonded over their Detroit roots and a common love of country and R&B music. In short order, they began working together while sharing a small apartment in Los Angeles' Echo Park area (their downstairs neighbor was Jackson Browne with whom both Souther and Frey would collaborate on numerous projects).

Shortly after meeting, Souther and Frey formed a folk duo called Longbranch Pennywhistle. Their lone album, released in 1970 on Jimmy Bowen's Amos Records, featured significant contributions from guitarists James Burton and Ry Cooder, fiddler Doug Kershaw, drummer Jim Gordon, pianist Larry Knechtel and bassist Joe Osborn.

After recording an eponymous solo album in 1972, persuaded by David Geffen, Souther formed the Souther Hillman Furay Band with Chris Hillman and Richie Furay. The group released two albums, but creative tensions and lack of record sales (not to mention Furay's discomfort with playing secular music following his conversion to Christianity) led to the band's demise.

Souther is probably best known for his well crafted songwriting abilities, especially in the field of country rock. He co-wrote some of the biggest hits for the Eagles, including "Best of My Love", "Victim of Love", "Heartache Tonight", and "New Kid in Town". He also wrote songs for several of Ronstadt's multi-platinum albums, including "Faithless Love" from Heart Like a Wheel and "White Rhythm and Blues" included in her Living in the USA album. He also recorded several notable duets with Ronstadt, including "Hearts Against the Wind," "Prisoner in Disguise," and "Sometimes You Can't Win." He wrote "Run Like a Thief," which appeared on Home Plate by Bonnie Raitt.

His biggest hit as a solo artist was his 1979 Orbison-influenced song "You're Only Lonely" from the album of the same name, which reached number 7 on the Billboard charts. A collaboration with James Taylor called "Her Town Too" from Taylor's Dad Loves His Work album reached number 11 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.

He was a contributor on the Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night 1987 concert and video, sang The Platters' "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" in the 1989 movie Always and sang the theme song to the 1989-1992 sitcom Anything But Love.

`If The World Was You` is his first new album in 24 years. The album was recorded live in the studio with a five-piece jazz ensemble. It includes the 12 minute 56 second epic `The Secret Handshake of Fate`.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's Ba-a-a-ck! And he's going strong! October 14, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Put simply: I love this collection. That comes as no surprise, since I consider Souther to be one of the finest songwriters of the late 20th (and now 21st) century. This album is not exactly indescribable--I shall endeavor to describe it--but it is uncategorizable. JD's new one will baffle the music industry because the industry has become so pathetically narrow in its niches. That it will be baffled is a good thing!

The album is not exactly groundbreaking; it is, in fact, grounded in the past. It is not exactly trail-blazing because it follows not only the road not taken but the road unlikely to be taken by anyone else. We have seen great song writers like Danny O'Keefe and Randy Newman dabble around the edges of this untapped genre, and Souther himself, especially on his album Black Rose, had his toes in the water of this approach, but here it comes at us full blown (brass pun intended). Lieber and Stoller meet Mongo Santamaria and Bill Monroe at Chet Baker's house down in Cuba.

Souther's Texas drawl, even more pronounced than in the past, croons and smoothes and squeaks and slides in and out of the melodies, while horns and banjos and pianos take the place of lead guitars and the brushes shush the snare. The description of his voice may not sound flattering, but it is; it has become what it he intended it to be: a beautiful, jazz instrument. The co-founder of the cool, LA country/rock school has graduated.

The lyrics are typical Souther, only more so: Literate, complex, catchy, clever, and even, dare I say it, occasionally profound. Compare that to anything on any of the pop, country, hip hop, or R&B charts of today. There is truly nothing like this uniquely Southerian amalgam. It has tinges of bluegrass jazz, but it's not "dawg" music.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old dog, perhaps not so new tricks December 14, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I've always considered Souther the underdog of that 70's California sound, the guy that nobody knew, but whose songs everyone had heard and hummed. Other perfomers like Browne, Zevon, Henley-Frey, et al, got the lion's share of attention. But that was because they demanded it, and wanted it more. Souther took a slower, more sensible (at least for him, as it turned out) approach, and managed to create a pretty comfy existence writing for himself and others. There was little or no desperation evident in the albums he made. His songs did all the talking.

I was tempted to only give this new one 4 stars, due to the (false) impression that he refused to be who he was. But then I realized that the music on "If The World Was You" represents a maturation of some earlier musical themes. Two tunes from "Black Rose", "Doors Swing Open" and the bass and acoustic guitar version of "Silver Blue" were early evidence that Souther's passion was jazz. The country rock hybrid was easier to put out there, and perhaps more lucrative. To those who long for those old ballads, like "Faithless Love" (arguably one of the greatest songs of the last several decades), I understand the longing. But I gave Souther that extra star for ambition, the good kind, and for feeling confident enough to say just as much (or more) with less, lyrically speaking. And yes, Eugene (see his review) I could have done without the epic-length track, too, but sometimes you get that on jazz records. That was a bit of a blemish, I admit.

Old dogs who have been around for awhile, but who aren't ready to lay down, can use fewer words, and more meaningful silences, to say what they've always said.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's the rush?... October 30, 2008
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There's a lot that's new here. None more pronounced than the fact that there isn't one line sung in harmony. For JD Souther, that's quite a departure. But there's also a lot, if you've been a fan as long as I have, that will be familiar. I love this album. It's been playing in my CD player since I bought it. "Looking for a place to lay you down, but I don't want to make you cry" could have come right out of anything he's ever done. His voice is just as it always was....plaintive, clear, musical. A little bit of Texas opera. Someone wrote here that he still sounds like Glen Frey. I disagree with that. He, like David Crosby, is in an age-defying league of his own. The jazz accompaniment is not at all unexpected. More so than any of his old contemporaries, Jazz was never too far away. Listen to "Trouble in Paradise", or "Doors Swing Open" and you could have guessed that it would eventually carry an entire album. Didn't think it would take 25 years, however. It's been a long time. It's very nice to hear these songs sung by a great talent.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! This IS good. March 1, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Like a few others here I am a longtime appreciator. I always liked the songs Mr. Souther wrote with others, even when I didn't like everything the others wrote. Twenty-five or more years later I still love "You're Only Lonely". So this new thing is 25 years after. It's recorded live with jazz players. It references Blue Note and it shows growth and breadth. The 70s ended a long time ago. Those records (remember records?) were packed with some of the best studio players around and it WAS just slick. But this is a different time, and a lot of people have graduated from back then and wound up here. Here is a very different place. The world is a vastly different place and so is the music industry. But JD Souther is a talented guy and he's managed to make a very listenable piece of work with a different feel. It's not that oh-so-great-classic-rock-album but it is extraordinarily accessible. There's some of what we knew back then, but a lot of what is good is how things change. Smaller, easier, but it shows craftsmanship. There's a lot of good new music out there. Some of it by new people, some of it by old friends. Some of it is hugely produced and some of it isn't. This is clearly of the latter on both counts. But it's good, real good, and it is wonderful to find something from an old favorite that is seriously worth a listen. So yeah, get yourself one. Get one for someone younger who wouldn't know melody if it hit them over the head. Oh hey, one more thing. If you don't have 13 minutes in your life to listen to one thing then you are doing something wrong.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cool not Slick
J.D. Souther goes moves far away from California LA Rock slickness. Instead, he uses a small Jazz combo, which works great with these new songs. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Ed Schneider
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected jem!!!!!
J.D. proves to be an accomplished writer. This is a very jazz and latin influenced album. Great lyrics, great studio band also!
Published 6 months ago by MARK J FULLER
3.0 out of 5 stars Different But It's Grown On Me
This is not a typical J.D. Souther album but, I have to admit, it's grown on me. As others have pointed out, he's flirted with jazz before and that's fine with me. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Naz
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as it gets!
A pleasure to hear this great artist once again and see his musical growth over the years. An exquisite album from an exquisite artist. Read more
Published 17 months ago by auntiebeth
4.0 out of 5 stars If the World was You - J D Souther
I am almost exclusive to listening to Singer Songwriter, as opposed to band music. I appreciate someone who writes his own music, performs it with the instruments he plays and... Read more
Published on August 25, 2011 by CDP
5.0 out of 5 stars Here it on Vinyl!
I had the pleasure of seeing JD Souther in May 2010 at Nighttown in Cleveland, Ohio. I didn't even know he had a new album out at the time that I made reservations for the show. Read more
Published on June 10, 2010 by Doug in Ohio
1.0 out of 5 stars Good songwriter but......
I'm a huge fan of many JD Souther songs so after downloading this CD I jumped at the opportunity to see him live. Read more
Published on March 14, 2010 by M. Privalsky
5.0 out of 5 stars Smooth
J.D. Souther has a wonderfully smooth voice! I grew up across the alley from him in Amarillo, TX. Super sound!
Published on April 12, 2009 by Lindsey R. Givens
5.0 out of 5 stars Blown away by this album...
When an artist waits 20 some odd years to release a new album, it had better be DAMN good! That's how I felt when I heard that Souther was releasing "If the World Was You". Read more
Published on February 12, 2009 by Little Sparrow
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy the old ones
I have been a fan of J.D. Souther for more than 30 years, from his time as a solo artist and then with Souther-Hillmen-Furay. To this day, I listen to those CDs regularly. Read more
Published on December 19, 2008 by Bruce D. Cheson
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Who wrote that Product Description?
Souther sang the "Anything But Love" theme. Gold sang the "Mad About You" theme.
May 17, 2009 by J. Schwarz |  See all 2 posts
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