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Wrecking Ball CD

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Audio CD, CD, September 26, 1995
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Already celebrated as a discoverer and interpreter of other artists’ songs, 12-time Grammy Award–winner Emmylou Harris has, in the last decade, become admired as much for her eloquently straightforward songwriting as for her incomparably expressive singing. On Hard Bargain, her third Nonesuch disc, she offers 11 original songs—three of them co-written with Grammy– and ... Read more in Amazon's Emmylou Harris Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Wrecking Ball + Old Yellow Moon + Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 26, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Asylum Records
  • ASIN: B000002HKI
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,770 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Where Will I Be
2. Goodbye
3. All My Tears (Be Washed Away)
4. Wrecking Ball
5. Goin' Back To Harlan
6. Deeper Well
7. Every Grain Of Sand
8. Sweet Old World
9. May This Be Love
10. Orphan Girl
11. Blackhawk
12. Waltz Across Texas Tonight

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Emmylou Harris's formula has been to match a crack crew of left-of-center country players with an assortment of tasteful tunes and head into the studio with a nonintrusive producer. Now and then (most notably the 1980 bluegrass collection Roses in the Snow), she tampers with her basic blueprint and comes up with something exceptional. Wrecking Ball is one of those. Daniel Lanois's radiant production no longer seems as fresh as it did on albums by U2, Peter Gabriel, and Bob Dylan, but here its hum enfolds Harris like an electric blanket. Lanois's usual recruits, including U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr., and New Orleans regulars Malcolm Burn, Brian Blade, and Daryl Johnson, lay down a solid base for Harris's weary vocals and Lanois's buzzing guitar. At its core, Wrecking Ball seems almost too finely calculated. Hot producer plus sought-after songwriters plus venerated performer frequently totals to deadly bore. Here, however, all that calculation adds up to something. --Steven Stolder

Customer Reviews

The songs themselves are great.
Jim McKenna
These songs are stunningly beautiful with a very haunting sound that is consistent throughout.
David J. Couture
This Daniel Lanois produced set by Emmylou Harris is a great joy to listen to.
George Schaefer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 107 people found the following review helpful By mackjay on May 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The main thing that has always been interesting about Emmylou Harris is her choice of material. She has written and co-written some good songs ("Boulder To Birmingham", for example), but succeeds primarily as an interpreter. This album can be singled out not only for its interpretive qualities, but for the incredible atmosphere created by producer Daniel Lanois. The recording has a similar dark, introspective ambience familiar from Lanois' work with Bob Dylan, and it works wonderfully with these songs.

There are no weak track on the disc. High quality songs by Neil Young and Bob Dylan ("Every Grain of Sand") are here along with lesser known gems by Lucinda Williams ("Sweet Old World") and Steve Earle ("Goodbye"). However, for this listener, the songs penned by Lanois himself are the real high points. All three are unforgettable. "Deeper Well", a collaboration with Harris, will haunt the listener long after a single hearing. These songs are nothing short of brilliant and deserve to be known by all interested in any kind of contemporary music.

Many of the songwriters featured on this recording participate in the performances as well (Dylan, is of course absent, but it is hard to imagine his song being any better than it is here).

An indispensible CD.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Shashank Tripathi on May 30, 2004
Format: Audio CD
No CD collection is complete without this marvellous venture by Harris, which includes breathtaking covers of numbers by stalwarts such as Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams among others. Giving the album its dark ambience and its almost primal percussions is Daniel Lanois, better known for his work with U2 or Peter Gabriel. And it shows.
I thought of Harris as primarily a country/folk singer, but here she breaks free from the conventions of cheatin', hurtin', pickup trucks and what not; her song-selection addresses real issues here. I highly recommend picking up Wrecking Ball, a work of exceptional grace, depth, and beauty. Noteworthy number: "Deeper Well".
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50 of 54 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As a long term Emmylou fan, I avoided this album for years because of the wrong-headed negative reviews that centered too much on Producer Daniel Lanios' mystique. Having gotten this CD today for X-mas, I must say that not having this group of songs in my life for years has been my sad loss. I'm on my tenth play-through and I tell you, the haunting, Lanois-Guitar tracks layered over Larry Mullen Jr's insistant but not intrusive Irish drumming style transforms Emmylou's Cosmic American voice into a true Cosmic World voice. The peculiar arrangements don't annoy, they intrigue, giving you new reasons to respect the songwriters represented here (Dylan, Neil Young, Gillian Welch, Jimmi Hendrix and more). The fragility of her voice is a perfect foil to Lanois' wall of ethereal sound. If you have never bought an Emmylou album before because you consider her "country" (which she is NOT, but she can be perceived that way) then you must listen to this CD first. The wide variation in songs show you her depth but they are produced in such a way that they flow from one into the other to produce a truly hallowed sound. I was especially moved by Emmylou's take on Dylan's classic EVERY GRAIN OF SAND. It is of course, based on scripture and her reading of the song can be taken either as a personal revelation of the gift of life or as an affirmation of one's own faith. For more detailed notes on Lanois and the other songs consult the reviews below. Finally, if my husband the Head-banger can find something to adore about this CD along with myself, a Celtic Folk baby, then transcendent is the best word to describe the apeal.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Claude Bourggeois on June 24, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Wow. How to convey in words just how brilliant this album is ? Let me try. This album is deep, spiritual, reflective, sad and hauntingly breathtaking. Every cut is a standout. "Where will I be" is spine-tingling--a song about death and questioning when and why this event eventually happens to us all. "Goodbye" is so painfully beautiful it is hard to listen to the first few times because it makes you want to cry of heartbreak. "All my Tears" is a powerful song that teaches us that we need not be afraid of death if we just have faith. "Wrecking Ball" is dreamy, a bit bizarre, but dreamy nonetheless. "Sweet Old World" is another hard one to listen to. If you've ever lost a loved one to suicide you will know why. The song mentions all the things a person misses when cutting his/her life short. "Goin Back to Harlan" is a sweet number as is the powerful "Walk Across Texas". I don't think anyone else on the planet could pull off such a complex, heavy album and end up in heavenly territory. Emmylou is a true artist and is just brilliant-her vocals are like none other and resonate with pure unadulterated emotion. You need to get this album--it's just that good.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By James Ferguson VINE VOICE on December 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've always enjoyed Emmylou Harris. She has struck me as one of the most honest performers in Country Western music. But, what I enjoy most about Emmylou Harris is that she is not afraid to take chances and this recording is a major departure from her previous work. She has drifted into that no man's land of folk and grunge music to create a very compelling album which seems to owe much to Neil Young, with whom she collaborated on this collection of plaintive ballads. Those used to her sweet melodic voice may be disappointed, because Emmylou really bares herself on this one, warts and all. The title is very apt because she shatters many of myths that surround her, and leaves you aching for more. It is such a rich recording. Each song gives you an aspect of Emmuylou Harris which you didn't know before.
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