Great Days: The John Prine Anthology
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Top Customer Reviews
But don't mistake Prine's humor as an attempt to merely go for a laugh; it usually is there to help mask pain or anger or to make his message more palatable. Mark Twain made this observation in "The Mysterious Stranger": "For your race, in its poverty, has unquestionably one really effective weapon--laughter. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."
Prine uses this weapon effectively. Whether he's urging us to blow up our TVs in "Spanish Pipedream" or looking at the lighter side of death in "Please Don't Bury Me," his songs are full of charm and wit. And then there's the serious side of Prine's songwriting like the pathos of "Hello In There" and its look at aging, or the plight of the Viet Nam war vet in "Sam Stone."
Many of these songs, like "Paradise" and "Angel From Montgomery," have become standards. Quite simply, Prine is one of the best songwriters of the past thirty years (he wrote or co-wrote all but one of these songs) and for longtime fans even this generous 41-track collection will be incomplete. It's a great introduction, but I'll bet you'll want to buy the individual albums after giving this a few listens. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Immensely respected by the greatest artists of our time (Who HASN'T covered at least one John Prine song?) - the guy with the twangy voice and the wonderfully simple, sometimes twisted, often times downright crazy view of life - has gotten even better with age. According to Kristofferson, I guess he would be pushing 250 about now. "Great Days" is a wonderful chronology of Prine's continued brilliance, with ALL the songs on this anthology proving that point.
Sure, there are some songs that are conspicuous by their absence, such as "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore," as mentioned by previous reviewers. So, big deal - buy the first album also. Then go buy the rest of the Prine catalog - you'll find, unless you already know, that there's a tremendous wealth of great music to be heard. Amazingly enough, even this two disc set with 41 tracks, only scratches the surface.
I can't pick a favorite from this recording. Everything is good. Great Days, indeed. The only mystery is this - Why hasn't John Prine sold about 100 million records?
This set would be a steal at twice the price. Buy it.
This anthology is getting dated now that John has released "The Missing Years," "Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings," and "In Spite of Ourselves." Still, a must buy for Prine fans, especially if you prefer his early stuff.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Having read so many great things about this album, I was a little disappointed upon first listening to it. The vast majority of the reviews are by long-time Prine fans. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Paul Hackbarth
John Prine is a one of a kind musician. His music is so down to earth and real. A Dylanist style with a much better voice.Published 16 months ago by Carl Hardy
The Best of the best! My favorite artist and Johnny Cash's Too!Published 18 months ago by Timothy P. Mogck
Have these recordings on records from the old days! Was happy to find it on CD. This storyteller still makes me laugh and cry.Published 19 months ago by Grace