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Magnetic South

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iTunes Review

Because Michael Nesmith’s The Wichita Train Whistle Sings and Gram Parsons & The International Submarine Band’s Safe at Home both came out in 1968, music historians and enthusiasts have long debated who was the forefather of country-rock. Frankly it’s just interesting to hear how ahead of the curve (and The Eagles) both Parsons and Nesmith were—especially Nesmith. Magnetic South surfaced in 1970, just months after he'd quit The Monkees. And right from the opening “Calico Girlfriend,” it was obvious that he had sophisticated songs in him that he couldn’t have released with the Prefab Four. He balances a buttermilk-smooth melody with a complex rhythm shuffle, courtesy of A-listers like drummer John Ware and bassist John London. Acclaimed pedal steel innovator Red Rhodes also contributes some incredible parts here and throughout Magnetic South. Check out Rhodes’ rich tone and cool restraint as he picks and slides over Ware and London’s country-funk backdrop in “Little Red Rider.” It’s all a perfect fit for Nesmith’s refined singing. In the outstanding “JoAnne,” Nesmith reaches up to his higher register.

Customer Reviews

Magnetic South by Michael Nesmith & The First National Band

I was thrilled by this album 30+ years ago as it was truly a part of the "cosmic-cowboy" scene in Austin,Texas, at that time. It was a very special time when hippies wore cowboy boots and shorts and went swimming at Marshall Ford or at the Pedernales. This music represents a cosmic purity of heart, of youth, that still today transcends reality, to put one's soul in that very special place it once was.....sort of a youth reborn. Only very special music can do that. Thank you Michael Nesmith and the First National Band.

Absolutely Beautiful

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying this entire album. I had long loved the single "Joanne," where Nesmith's voice is absolutely haunting, but decided to purchase the whole album. It was a superb choice on my part, and I recommend you do the same. It show cases some great works which are lesser known by Nesmith, and for those of you who only know Papa Nez from his time with the Monkees, it will be an album which probably will be a good first selection for you, as this is soon after his departure from the group, and still retains the flavor of some of his later work with the Monkees.

love this album

It's ashame that Mike and the rest of the monkees are Music Hall of fame outcasts because of how they came together. Oh well this ablum is wonderful, first time i heard it, i had no idea Mike even released any solo albums. So i went thru my uncles record collection and he had all of them. Crippled lion is my favorite.


Born: December 30, 1942 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The comparatively level-headed member of '60s teen sensation the Monkees, Michael Nesmith was the most proficient instrumentalist in the group and wrote their best in-house songs, rootsy pop numbers like "Papa Gene's Blues," "You Told Me," "You Just May Be the One," and "Tapioca Tundra." In fact, he had written many songs before even joining the group, and one of his compositions, "Different Drum," was a hit for Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys in 1968. After he left the Monkees one year later,...
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