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Guaranteed to work or your money back - PLEASE NOTE ALL MONIES FROM THIS SALE GO TO A 501 (C)3 NO KILL ANIMAL SHELTER
The biggest hit of Michael Martin Murphey's career was his 1975 No. 3 single, "Wildfire," a musical fable about a pony who roamed the Nebraska plains after his owner died. With a cheap romanticism borrowed from Jonathan Livingston Seagull and an acoustic-pop arrangement borrowed from a hundred fellow James Taylor imitators, the song epitomized the sensitive soft-rock of the mid-'70s. The number has been re-recorded for Murphey's 1997 album, The Horse Legends, a collection of 10 songs about horses. Most of the other tracks reflect the same facile myth-making and easy-listening/folk that made Murphey a star more than two decades ago.
The singer wrote or cowrote six of the numbers, including tributes to a thoroughbred race horse ("The Running Blood"), a wild horse ("Running Shadow"), a palomino pony ("Palomino Days"), and a quarter horse ("Quarter Horse Rider"). He pays tribute to his fellow mid-'70s guitar strummers by singing Dan Fogelberg's "Run for the Roses" and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Pony Man," but somehow he managed to avoid doing Roger McGuinn's "Chestnut Mare." Little evidence of how ornery and contrary horses can be survives the golden gauze that seems to hang over these songs. The only number that seems firmly connected to the ground, in fact, is the duet between Murphey and Johnny Cash on the great Jimmie Driftwood song, "Tennessee Stud." --Geoffrey Himes
Top customer reviews
I started buying Murphey albums, and kept adding onto the collection. They do not disappoint. When I import the CDs into iTunes, I set a custom category on Murphey's stuff to "Western" not "Country". There is a dramatic difference. Murphey rings true like a classic western movie. Contrast that with most country music, authentic like casting John Travolta as a Texan in Urban Cowboy.
Murphey's voice sounds better today than it did in the 70's, at the height of his fame. Contrary to another reviewer here who complained that Wildfire was not the original recording, you will find the version included on this disc to be superb, perhaps better than the original.
The Amazon Editor's flippant remark calling Michael Martin Murphey a "James Taylor imitator" is highly inaccurate and offensive. As an English major, I've always thought greatness is not apparent in the moment. Shakespeare's stature as an artist is established by a body of work, not by a few clever rhymes.
Don't buy this CD for sentimental reasons. Buy it to rediscover an awesome artistic talent, someone whose body of work merits attention. You will be rewarded with music that is never tiresome, which transcends the moment, and which finds in simple subjects the great eternal themes.
Anyone who can sing about our beautiful American Heritage, The Horse, is a winner. Michael Martin Murphey really puts their soul to music in the most wonderful set of songs. Love it.