Thursday, July 4, 2013

John Prine - German Afternoons

John Prine – German Afternoons
Oh Boy, 1986
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Price: $3

The 80s still can’t kill John Prine! The telltale cornball flourishes are still smeared on bits and pieces of the recordings, but Prine still shines through like the golden boy he is. He sounds older here. Tired, maybe, I’m not quite sure. But it really perfectly suits “Speed of the Sound of Loneliness,” which basically proves my theory that no matter how middle of the road a John Prine album is there’s at least one song that is a certified all-star jam. The album sounds like a lazy afternoon put to wax. I am listening to it at 10 in the morning the day before the Fourth of July. I have nothing to do but sit here and think about how much I love John Prine. Once a week some middle-aged dude will come into Half Price Books and talk about John Prine. It’s weird how often it happens. Usually they see the two-CD set of Great Days that presides over the CD section, but sometimes someone comes in looking for his CDs (which we never get in) and I’ll immediately be like “I’ll help you!” and then they’ll tell me how they saw him in Chicago or Milwaukee or some other northern Midwestern burg and how, oh boy, he’s a hoot. Love it. “I Just Want to Dance With You,” “Linda Goes to Mars,” and a mega-bluegrass-ified version of “Paradise” (originally appearing on his eponymous debut) round out the hits. The rest of the songs are good in the way John Prine’s songs from the 80s are pretty good.

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