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All the People Are Talkin'

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Album Review

John Anderson was just coming off his monster hit "Swingin'" when this set came out in 1983, perhaps giving him the courage to record a couple of bluesy rock & roll tunes, although most of the material is cut from the hardcore cloth Anderson had become famous for. "Black Sheep" is a growling rocker about hard luck and hard times written by Hollywood writer Danny Darst and director Robert Altman, who knew a thing or two about Nashville. It was a number one single. "Haunted House" is a novelty hit that gets trotted out every Halloween. Anderson's version is as much honky tonk as rock, with snappy solos from Mike Jordan's piano and Vern Pilder's twangy guitar. "Let Somebody Else Drive" became a signature tune for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but Anderson's growling vocal implies more than a passing knowledge of boozy good times. Anderson's own "Things Ain't Been the Same Around the Farm" sounds like the boy moved a rockin' R&B band into the spread after baby split. Fiddles keep it country, but the female backing vocals suggest Memphis soul music. The title track sports a bit of easy listening sax and a chooglin' backbeat as well as pedal steel supporting Anderson's vocal, as much soul as country. The country tracks mine several traditional styles. "Blue Lights and Bubbles" is a drinking song delivered with a bit of Texas swing, "Look What Followed Me Home" and Anderson's "Call on Me" are lovesick waltzes, the latter one of Anderson's best love ballads. "An Occasional Eagle" is a moving love song to the wildlife of Alaska and our national bird, while "Old Mexico" combines R&B, country, and a bit of Tejano funk to tip its cowboy hat to drinking and good times. This is another great Anderson album without a weak track. ~ j. poet, Rovi


Born: 12 December 1955 in Apopka, FL

Genre: Country

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

Neo-honky tonker John Anderson was born in Apopka, FL, in 1955 and grew up listening to rock & roll, until he discovered country music at age 15 through Merle Haggard. He moved to Nashville in the early '70s, showing up at his sister's house with no warning, and worked a variety of odd jobs (including one as a roofer for the Grand Ole Opry) while playing clubs at night. Eventually, all the hard work paid off with a contract for Warner Bros., and Anderson released his first single in 1978. His self-titled...
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