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Rickie Lee Jones

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Album Review

With her expressive soprano voice employing sudden alterations of volume and force, and her lyrical focus on Los Angeles street life, Rickie Lee Jones comes on like the love child of Laura Nyro and Tom Waits on her self-titled debut album. Given the population of colorful characters who may or may not be real people that populate her songs — Chuck E., Bragger, Kid Sinister, and others — she also might have had Bruce Springsteen in her bloodline (that is, the Springsteen of his first two albums), and her jazzbo sensibility suggests Mose Allison as a grandfather. Producers Lenny Waronker and Russ Titelman, who know all about assisting quirky singer/songwriters with their visions, have brought in a studio full of master session musicians, many of them with jazz credentials, and apparently instructed them to follow Jones' stop-and-start, loud-and-soft vocalizing, then overdubbed string parts here and there. The music thus has a sprung rhythmic feel that follows the contours of Jones' impressionistic stories about scuffling people on the streets and in the bars. There is an undertow of melancholy that becomes more overt toward the end, as the narrator's friends and lovers clear out, leaving her "Standing on the corner/All alone," as she sings in the final song, "After Hours (Twelve Bars Past Goodnight)." It's a long way, if only 40 minutes or so, from the frolicsome opener, "Chuck E.'s in Love," which had concluded that he was smitten by "the little girl who's singin' this song." But then, the romance of the street is easily replaced by its loneliness. Rickie Lee Jones is an astounding debut album that simultaneously sounds like a synthesis of many familiar styles and like nothing that anybody's ever done before, and it heralds the beginning of a potentially important career.

Customer Reviews

get a grip

Get a grip iTunes - you have 2 identical versions of an LP on the system: one at £4.99 and the other at £7.99. However, when I try to purchase the cheaper version (did I mention it's identical to the version that costs £3 more?) I get the message that it is currently unavailable. Now that the competition is closing in you need to get your house in order. If this LP is not available at £4.99, why does your listing say that it is?

Thank you

its a very good album so sit back light a cigar and just chill

Got a grip....

£4.99 now works - sorry this is not a real 4* review, just had to rank some starts that did not distort ratings...

Biography

Born: 08 November 1954 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

From her 1979 debut onward, Rickie Lee Jones has proved to be an original, mixing beatnik-based poetic sensibilities with R&B, jazz, folk, and pop. Most of her commercial success came at the outset of her career, but a restless creative spirit -- combined with a stubborn refusal to fit comfortably into any one musical niche -- sealed her ultimate destiny as that of a highly regarded cult heroine. Jones was born on November 8, 1954, in Chicago, but the volatile relationship between her mother and...
Full bio