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Perfectly Good Guitar

4.7 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 7, 1993
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Plays fine, sounds sublime. Fom a well cared for personal collection. Buy with confidence--see my feedback. Thanks and enjoy this great CD!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 7, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000002G1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,867 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
"Perfectly Good Guitar," released in 1993, finds John Hiatt flexing his rock 'n' roll muscles. He can still find a balance with slower, folkier, or bluesy numbers--which are also perfect vehicles for his throaty, nasal vocals--but it's the stomping, harder offerings that really stand out.
The opening track, "Something Wild" gets the album off to an explosive start, complete with Hiatt's cougar-like howls and snarls and his syncopated rhythm guitar. The title track is equally powerful and raw, with an ominous chord progression that reflects the singer's anger toward other artists who disrespect or mistreat his favorite sacred instrument.
"Buffalo River Home" is one of those in-between songs that manages to be both rocking and folky at the same time. "Angel" is terrific, but "Cross My Fingers" might be the album's high point. The song manages to be haunting in spite of its breakneck pace. "Permanent Hurt" is also toe-tapping and catchy, proving Hiatt hasn't lost his knack for insightfulness and wit.
As far as the ballads go, "Blue Telescope" is quite memorable, and perfectly placed among the faster numbers.
An all-around solid album, and a must for any John Hiatt aficionado. If you've never owned a Hiatt disc, give the guy a chance. His clever lyrics and distinctive melodies will surely pull you in.
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By A Customer on May 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
There are certain CDs - maybe 10 in a lifetime - that if you could know ahead of time the joy and emotion they would bring you, you would gladly pay $100's of dollars for. For me, this is one of them. Like another reviewer, I bought it on the basis of hearing "Perfectly Good Guitar", and ended up finding there were 5 other songs better than a perfectly great song in its own right. The album is a rocker, but also one of the most lyrical albums I can think of, which is what gives it its lasting power. This was my first Hiatt CD, and has lead to the purchase of 7 others. All of them are good, but none as good as this one.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You can listen to Perfectly Good Guitar all of the way through, every song, not skipping a one. Something Wild, Straight Outta Time, Perfectly Good Guitar, Buffalo River Home, Angel, Wreck of the Barbie Ferrari, When You Hold Me Tight, Permanent Hurt, Loving a Hurricane, are all rockin'. The mmm-mmm-mmm at the beginning of Old Habits is just sensual, leading you into a strip-it-bare stolidly mournful song. This album is one of his best.
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Format: Audio CD
Ask a fan of John Hiatt's about their favorite Hiatt CD, and there's probably a 90% chance he or she will pick one of the "trilogy" - "Slow Turning", "Bring the Family", or "Stolen Moments". These are all great albums, but the argument could be made that "Perfectly Good Guitar" is Hiatt at his best. Hiatt always infuses his songs with a sense of fun even when singing about the pitfalls of life, but he really seem to cut loose on this album with some terrific guitar work and some of his most clever lyrics. The title song is one of Hiatt's best - a rock anthem that would be rated with "Born to Run" and other legendary rock songs if Hiatt got the credit he deserves. This is as good an album as any to pick for an introduction to Hiatt - his clever lyrics will captivate "newcomers" and leave them wanting more.
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By A Customer on February 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
John Hiatt has outdone himself with this album. I first heard "Perfectly Good Guitar" on a classic rock station that also threw in new stuff by established artist. Wow what a song. I bought the C.D. immediately. When I put it in, little did I know that the title track, the first song I heard off the album, was not the best. "Straigh Outta Time", "Permanent Hurt", "Something Wild", "Buffalo River Home", and "Angel" all top the title song. I recently saw Hiatt unplugged in Ashland, Ky. at a little theatre. He was absolutely awesome. If you get only one Hiatt album, make sure it's this one. Then go with Slow Turning and then Little Head. He is one of the finest artist out there that has yet to get his due. Let's make sure that happens.
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Format: Audio CD
John Hiatt's loudest album, you've got to be in the mood for it. When I'm not, I just pick out the exceptional tracks and leave the rest for a loud day. The title track is one of those: a quintessential Hiatt song with howling guitars and sassy, unusual lyrics. "Old Habits" is the best song on the album though, and almost worth the price on its own. Hiatt gets into an unmatched swamp-groove on this track. Perfect. The rest are mostly good, if sometimes uncharacteristically lacking in light and shade. Only "The Wreck of the Barbie Ferrari" makes me want to skip on to the next track. So, if you like the Hiatt style, and can stand the extra noise, you'll probably like this well enough, but it wouldn't be my choice of your first ever Hiatt album.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Perfectly Good Guitar is another strong release from one of the best songwriters of the last 40 years, John Hiatt. The production on many of the tracks is akin to the louder and noisier proceedings of the time in 1993 and this works well for the most part. The opening "Something Wild" is very good and plays like an anthem. The title track is one of his best and his euphemisms in this song are impressive. The choruses on this album are strong throughout as evidenced on the joyous rockers "Angel" and "Cross My Fingers" and the aforementioned title track. The slower and more reflective songs are also very strong as reflected on "Blue Telescope", "Straight Outta Time" and the excellent "Buffalo River Home". Other strong tracks include "Permanent Hurt" and "Old Habits". And while the other songs are all good, "When You Hold Me Tight" suffers from being too busy while the aforementioned "Permanent Hurt" and "Angel" sound very similar, even though they're both good songs. This is a very good album though and if you like Hiatt, you have to have it.
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