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Anthology Volume One: Cowboy Man

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iTunes Review

A concise overview of three concise Lyle Lovett records—his first three, all recorded and released between 1986 and 1989—Anthology Volume One shows Lovett at the ground floor of his career. At the time these songs were written, Lovett’s songwriting was compact and clever and extraordinarily gentle without being soft. In “Cowboy Man,” “Why I Don’t Know," and “Give Back My Heart,” he showed he'd absorbed the lessons of swing, blues, and gospel without resorting to aping them. When traces of the old traditions emerge here, they come out in the form of Lovett’s distinctive personality. When he was cutting his teeth, Texas was an incredibly competitive place for songwriters. They treated the craft like carpentry; if you couldn’t build a beautiful, sturdy house, nobody would take notice. Thankfully for Lovett, he studied well. The testimony is a sequence of songs—“God Will,” “Which Way Does That Old Pony Run,” “If You Were to Wake Up”—that resemble simple but exquisitely crafted buildings, each with windows that never fail to let in light even on the coldest days.

Customer Reviews


Lyle is very underrated. This is a great album by someone with years of experience with several genres. What a musical treat!!

The best

of the best from a true original


Born: November 1, 1957 in Klein, TX

Genre: Country

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

Lyle Lovett was one of the most distinctive and original singer/songwriters to emerge during the '80s. Though he was initially labeled as a country singer, the tag never quite fit him. Lovett had more in common with '70s singer/songwriters like Guy Clark, Jesse Winchester, Randy Newman, and Townes Van Zandt, combining a talent for incisive, witty lyrical detail with an eclectic array of music, ranging from country and folk to big-band swing and traditional pop. Lovett's literate, multi-layered songs...
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