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Bop Till You Drop Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, October 25, 1990
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$13.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 13 left in stock. Sold by megahitrecords and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

[Note: This product is an authorized CD-R and is manufactured on demand] RY COODER / BOP TIL YOU DROP

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For all the laudatory work he's done in rediscovering a panoply of artists from roots-based musical genres, Cooder's attempt to pay homage to influences closer to home, namely '50s rock and R&B, on Bop Till You Drop produced spotty results. While Arthur Alexander's "Go Home, Girl" and Cooder's own composition, "Down in Hollywood," are notable exceptions, most of the album suffers from languor stemming from a real lack of drive or direction. Cooder's failed attempt to place Elvis Presley's "Little Sister" in a broader musical context underscores the gap between intent and achievement which plagues the majority of songs on this well-meaning but unsatisfying effort. --Wayne Pernu
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros.
  • ASIN: B000002KKG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,389 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David K. Bell on August 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Ry Cooder, more than anyone who has touched the pop music scene, has done a great service to music lovers by resurrecting nearly-forgotten genres of indiginous American music. From his early inspiration by Hawaiian slack-key guitar master Gabby Pahinui and the gritty, passionate Sleepy John Estes, to very early jazz forms to Tex/Mex to gospel, bluesy mandolin, Depression-era worksongs, the list is very long. But you cannot accuse him of being a dilettante, because he is extremely respectful of all the traditions he explores, remaining true to their spirits while somehow adding his own distinctive imprint. His interests have ranged abroad in more recent years to India, East Africa and, most famously, Cuba.
Bop Till You Drop explores neglected corners of the rhythm 'n' blues genre. I am a 30-year enthusiastic fan of Ry Cooder's work, and I think this is one of his best. Start with "Down in Hollywood," as tight a piece of funk as you will find. The peerless Jim Keltner anchors the rhythm section with his drum work that manages to be aggressive and tightly restrained as well. Chaka Khan's backup vocal is searing. Cooder's trademark combination of sly humor and get-down musicianship make this song a classic. The gospel-based Trouble You Can't Fool Me and I Can't Win are masterpieces of vocal harmony. I Can't Win is as poignant an unrequited love song as the best Motown ever produced. The Very Thing is once again vintage Cooder, with its effortless, flawless backbeat rhythm, stunning vocal harmonies and just-right instrumental work. The man knows how to put an album together. The cover of the old Ike and Tina Turner number Don't Mess Up a Good Thing is better than the original.
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Format: Audio CD
This disc is one of the oddest but most satisfying in my collection. Ry Cooder's mastery of slide guitar, slack-key and nearly everything stringed is the stuff of legend. But here he proves he can turn soul and early rock nuggets on their heads with his off-the-wall interpretations --and warble as well as any blue-eyed soulman, Morrison included.

Cooder transforms Elvis' "Little Sister" from cheeky rockabilly into a lovesick plea set to a soulful, steamy pop melody. "The Very Thing That Makes You Rich (Makes Me Poor)" matches done-me-wrong blues lyrics with percolating, mid-tempo funk.

"Down in Hollywood" is silly and as greasy as a KFC three-piece, and it shines courtesy of a tensile background vocal workout by Chaka Khan. "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing" again showcases Khan and echoes its original counterpart more faithfully than any of the other tunes on the album.

Steeped in Staples gospel, the disc's closer, "I Can't Win," exposes the wounds of heartbreak naked to the world. Cooder lets his stellar backing vocalists do the heavy lifting, capping a late-night, melancholy tribute to rock and soul's earthy beginnings.

The contributions of Cooder's studio friends alone make this set a treat. In addition to Khan, notable co-conspirators include vocalist Bobby King and guitarist David Lindley, who stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Cooder in the pantheon of less-appreciated string wizards.
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Format: Audio CD
I cannot understand anyone flogging this album. It has got warmth, it has got depth, there are some very good songs and a few great ones on it, and the people involved can really sing and play their instruments... which is something too rare, nowadays.
My personal favorites are the first four tracks, with the instrumental 'I think it's gonna work out fine' as the absolute pinnacle of top notch playing without getting technical. I mean, there still is a lot of emotion and feeling going on behind the flawless playing.
This album drew my attention to Ry Cooder and I have been buying all his stuff before and after. I can strongly recommend Chicken Skin Music and his work with the Buena Vista Social Club, although both albums are quite different from this one.
As a bonus: this was one of the very first digitally recorded popular albums - if not THE first.
Enjoy. Go with the flow. You'll get back to this album once you've learned to enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There is always something about a Ry Cooder album that prevents me from simply thoroughly enjoying his work immensely. BOP TILL YOU DROP is the one album I have of Cooder that I have the "fewest beefs".
Actually the only beef heard here is that the only thing to rave about - to me - is the best and most entertaining song on the album is the only one Cooder wrote (with bass player Tim Drummond): "Down In Hollywood." And even this tries a little too hard to be clever or funny. See, even there a slight complaint, although the song is humorous (street dialogue of pimps and possible hookers etc...) and the beat is quite good with Cooder's, of course, as always, clean pure guitar play.
Cooder seems to have/had an especially good time orchestrating his vocalist and background singers on BOP TILL YOU DROP with Bobby King and Chaka Khan(!) (I remember her from not very successful(?) solo career in 80's) as standouts.
Actually, it is the slow R&B "I Can't Win" with Bobby King on lead vocals and Herman Johnson (and Cooder(!)) singing backup that I slowly realized what a great Motown hit this was/or could have been (I don't recognize it). "I Can't Win" is quite lovely just like one of those Motown hits of yesteryear.
This 1979 Ry Cooder release is, certainly, an upbeat pleasant enough 40 minutes of clean, consistent good retreads of rather obscure music given that just modern enough Cooder flavor.
Jim Keltner is also here (as always with Cooder it seems) on drums.
And there is No accordion and/or Flaco Jimenez which for me is a good thing; and a quick, cheap shot directed at Chicken Skin Music.
Blasphemy to some, I know, but I just can't take Cooder's eventual fascination with accordion. Had to be said.
BOP TILL YOU DROP won't blow too many away, but it really is steady good. Those 'little smiles' will probably break through, too, because you find yourself continuing to listen to "just one more."
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