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Blues Traveler CD

4.3 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, June 5, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Popular Music
Media Format: Compact Disk
Rating:
Release Date: 5-JUN-1990

Amazon.com

Though Blues Traveler's 1990 debut gets docked points for having foisted on the world a "jam band" scene whose white funk-boogie reprised some of the worst excesses and stifling professionalism of '70s rock, it's hard to write the album off as simply a bunch of aimless displays of improvisational chops. Yes, there's plenty of wanking and not enough songs here. But when grooves, melodies, and song structures emerge--most notably on "But Anyway"--it's practically unforgettable. And even at its worst, the band's playing--especially John Popper's virtuoso harmonica blowing--is always impeccable and occasionally thrilling. If it's yuppie rock you crave, you could do a lot worse. --Roni Sarig
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 5, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002GJ0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Pincus on December 17, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Don't believe the critic's reviews. This, their 1st album, has a charm that they haven't recreated since. First of all, this one grooves more than all the others combined. Anyone who actually SAW the band play in the early 90's knows just what an amazing live band they are, and this album hints at that more than any other.

"But Anyway" is the single (and the critic's fave), but the segue of "Alone" into "Sweet Talking Hippie" is worth the price of admission alone. "Droppin Some NYC" is a high energy rocker and one of the best tunes they've ever done. "Slow Change" grooves with the one of the coolest bass lines ever to grace their albums. The mellower "100 Years" and "Crystal Flame" capture John Popper at his lyrical & philisophical best.

Late, great bassist Bobby Sheehan is more prominent on this album than on later LP's, and his busy super grooving basslines perfectly compliment drummer Brendan Hill's powerful, driving, super grooves. A "before she was famous" Joan Osbourne supplies vocals on "Warmer Days", and of course this is the album that put harmonica extroadinare John Popper on the map. Guitarist Chan Kinchla is the perfect guitarist for the band and lays back with just enough cool funky rhythms to comliment everything.

Yea, this album isn't produced as much as later ones, and the jams are longer on here, but that's what they were about, and they did it wonderfully. To this day these are some of the songs that get the most applause & passionate fan reaction when they play live.

Put this on in your car and go for a long drive (be careful not to speed!). A true gem.
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By A Customer on September 4, 1998
Format: Audio CD
One of the things that distinguishes a true musician from the average hack is that with a true musician, the instrument becomes invisible to the listener - you forget the musician is having to physically do something because they appear to be able to communicate anything they hear in their head to your ears without any effort. I've had that feeling watching Eric Clapton and SRV play guitar and I get that feeling listening to John Popper play harmonica on this album. His playing is so fluid and dynamic you will forget on most tracks that he's actually playing harmonica.
What really puts this album over the top is Popper's harmonica playing with the rest of the band's tight rythm, the sparkling production (this album JUMPS out of the speakers with the same spaciousness and presence as Who's Next), and the songwriting/lyrics. One of my favorite lyrics from Slow Change:
Well fear not, for my fear soon turns to anger / As I watch my world get ruined by a pristine hand / I said I'm out here, saying "Excuse me" like a stranger / Cuz I never did learn how to say "Isn't this grand?" /
Although Blues Traveler has a reputation as a "jam band" in the vein of the Dead, Phish, etc. the songs on this album all seem to be the perfect length. Songs like 100 Years and Dropping Some NYC make their point and stay short and sweet. The longer songs like Crystal Flame and Alone take more time but the material still seems to fit perfectly in the space - you won't be checking your watch.
In summary, a great album with incredible material which gets better with repeated listenings. Certainly one of the top 2 or 3 albums released in the 1990s and well up the all-time list.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Simply a great album, and a nice addition to any vinyl collector's catalog.
The sound is very clear and the 180g weight is nice in the "splatter" colors.
For the money, I wish this re-issue came as a gatefold, or with some additional artwork/inserts
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Format: Audio CD
I bought BLUES TRAVELER back in the summer of '92 after a friend of mine had me listen to it well kicking back with a few beers. Right off the bat, I was hooked listening to the way John Popper just blew everyone away with his harmonica playing on BUT ANYWAY. That is a killer song that kicks the album off. Out of the 11 songs on the album, the one that just left me kind of wanting was GOTTA GET MEAN. It is not a bad song, it just doesnt measure up with the others so thats the 1 star deduction is for. The song that really stands out here is CRYSTAL FLAME. It is a 9 1/2 min classic rock epic that should be put on a mantel like the other epics like STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OR FREEBIRD. I think that this album is a good introduction to the band for a new fan or for someone who only knows them by RUNAROUND. Go Out and buy this album know
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Format: Audio CD
Blues Traveler certainly became more mainstream with the Four release with smash singles Hook and Runaround. And Four is certainly a fine record. However, the debut release just might be the best. The band is raw and honest sounding with many spunky and funky jams.
The single, But Anyway may have a catchy structure but the fine guitar and harmonica solos just keep my attention. The streak of great songs just continues. The rapping and catchy lyrics of Mulling It Over makes me chuckle. John Popper is sure thoughtful with his lyrics. 100 Years is a pleasant ballad and Warmer Days is a fine blues number featuring Joan Osbourne on background vocals. And Alone is so captivating with its shifts from slow to fast.
Truthfully there isn't a dull moment on this release. If you were HOOKED on Blues Traveler because of their radio friendly hits, you certainly owe it to yourself to explore the roots of this excellent band.
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