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Alice's Restaurant

4.7 out of 5 stars 179 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

How would you like to be the son of Woody Guthrie? But Arlo carved out a niche for himself with this, his debut album, which features that beloved 18-minute title cut and the lovely Chilling of the Evening .

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While the title track may seem, by now, a rather obvious and nostalgic relic, we'd do well to remember that an entire post-baby boom generation has likely never heard it. At 18 minutes, the song remains one of the most hysterical things ever recorded, and many of its politcal barbs can still sting. But the record also contained two far more lyrical pieces: "Chillin' of the Evening" and the gorgeous, sweeping "Highway in the Wind." Some will turn to this countercultural classic for side one's epic, but it's the exceptional songs on side two that will offer finer rewards. --Roy Francis Kasten
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30
18:36
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3:04
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2:15
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2:23
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3:18
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2:50
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002KOA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I heard *Alice's Restaurant* for the first time on the radio in 1967 and I almost drove off the road- it caught my attention both for what the lyrics were saying and the fact that it was long (18:22 min.) and kept going and going and...

I pulled over on a cul-de-sac in Ocean Beach, California facing the beautiful Pacific Ocean to listen without distraction. WOW!

Mind you, I was on my way back to the Navy base farther south to board a war ship and leave for a second tour in Vietnam. "To be or not to be?", that is, leave or stay? Duty to the Navy won the decision, so instead of bailing, I did the next best thing and went to a music store, picked-up the album and returned to my ship so I could share it with my fellow shipmates. They would just love these lyrics before going back to war:

"...and maybe, just maybe...", as the lyrics toward the end say, "...if 50 people come in and sing a bar of Alice's Restaurant, it may cause a movement: The Alice's Restaurant Massacre Movement." ...and the war would end, hopefully.

Alice's Restaurant is my most loaned out, never returned or ripped-off album and I now have this CD with a pit bull posted next to it- just kidding.

This is an all-time favorite classic from the wild `60's with a timeless message and it is well worth sharing with generations to come.

There was another war protest song playing at the same time by the group, "Country Joe and The Fish"- with a song titled, "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag". Very different from Guthrie's style, but potent.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The 30th anniversary edition features all-new recordings of the same tunes that were on the 1967 version. The sound quality is better now (more bass, and all). At the risk of being accused of heresy, I shall also state that I prefer the newer version of Alice's Restaurant -- more solid performance, fewer glitches, etc. But with at least two other tunes, Ring-Around-A-Rosy Rag and The Motorcycle Song, something is lacking now -- or is it just nostalgia? It's hard to judge whether you, the average listener, would prefer the 30th anniversary edition, or the 1967 original. For some reason, the four reviews that have so far appeared have shown up under both versions, even though each review may have been intended for only one.
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Format: Audio CD
Since I was born, every Thanksgiving at noon a local radio station has played Alice's Restaurant. I think this is the most solid traditio in my family. The song is hysterical. My mom has always loved it and whenever I tell people in my generation, like my fiance, that they must listen to it, they look at me like I am insane. But it is a classic song that has enhanced my life. When I went to buy the song for my mom I found this CD, which also had the Motorcyle Song, that my mom used to sing when I was really little and I had never heard the actual thing. So if your kids have never heard this, tell them it is great and make them listen to it, they will at least laugh. And in a time when the draft may come back, they may need to hear his brief experience in a funny way...
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Format: Audio CD
You can get anything you want at

Alice's Restaurant,

You can get anything you want at

Alice's Restaurant

Just walk right in

It's around the back, just a half-mile from the

Railroad track.

You can get anything you want at

Alice's Restaurant

One day in school, when I was in eighth grade, we had some free time and one of our teachers sat us down in a hallway, Indian style, and played us his record album entitled Alice's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie. Some of the more "street-smart" children comprehended the complete message of the song; I did not. However, now that I am old and foolish instead of being young and foolish, I think I finally get Arlo's message.

The title track for this CD is a whopping 18 plus minutes; but please don't let that scare you away. The melody is infectiously catchy the very first time you hear it; Arlo plays the guitar so beautifully as he recites the lyrics by speaking them except for the main chorus which he does sing.

Arlo tells the true story of how he got caught for littering; and he then goes on to tell his audience the unexpected ramifications of his littering when he went to enlist in the armed forces. Arlo tells his story with a folksy style that you will find to be thoroughly endearing and engaging; most people won't have any trouble paying attention to his story. Arlo uses this number to poke fun at authority; and the audience enjoys it very much. People have written that this number is extremely funny; and they are right! And yes, Arlo delivers the message that he is opposed to the Vietnam War in an exceptionally artistic, creative way through this song.
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Format: Audio CD
I was just 15 when I went to the movies to see the movie "Alices's Restaurant" when it hit the theatres. It was an era of distrust of the US Government, a war most Americans did not want to be involved with and a young generation that began the tradition of questioning the validity of judgment calls made by those whom were our elders. This time brought about many musical groups, like Arlo Guthrie, that had the means of expressing our thougths in musical and lyrical formats. Arlo chose to use his musical abilities to convey what he believed to be he issues of the day as reflected by what he heard and experienced from the young generation of which he was a part. Alice's Restaurant, both in movie and musical format, expressed our fears and jest at what we then called the "establishment". The "establishment" is still with us today, in our work lives, our home lives and in our government policies. Alice's Restaurant still can provoke judgments as to what an individual is willing to accept as the norm and the willingness to make change. But isn't this what makes America what it is - the place where dissidents, like Arlo, can express themselves?
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