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If I Had Known - Essential Recordings, 1980-1996

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iTunes Review

Cherry-picking the best tunes from Greg Brown's first decade and a half is no easy task, but this collection manages to nail it, corralling an abundance of the Iowa troubadour's finest moments. He finds a fresh take on nostalgia with the title track, sketches a vivid portrait of a minor league ballplayer's life after baseball on "Laughing River," and faces getting older with a grin on "Who Woulda Thunk It." That's just for starters. But no matter what Brown's singing, his ursine rumble and earthy, no-nonsense production approach make his every observation feel like a deep, unassailable truth.

Customer Reviews

Everyone should be listening to Greg Brown!!!!

Greg Brown is amazing, if you are just discovering him, this album is a great place to start, and go see him live in concert, it will change your life!!!!

A Visionary

Listening to Greg Brown makes me think that--just maybe--everything will be all right in the world.

the real deal

If you haven't heard him yet, you need to. If you have and you don't have any of his music this is a great place to start.


Born: 1949 in Fairfield, IA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Critic Josh Kun once described singer and songwriter Greg Brown as "a Midwestern existentialist hobo with a quick-draw mouth, a bloodied heart, and bourbon on his breath." One of the leading contemporary folk artists of the American Midwest, Brown's music reflects a poetic spirit while also sounding thoroughly down to Earth; his deep, craggy voice expresses quirky humor and the mysteries of life and love with equal skill, and over the course of a career that's spanned more than five decades, he's...
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If I Had Known - Essential Recordings, 1980-1996, Greg Brown
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