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Editors’ Notes

Rhodes scholar, Army captain, helicopter pilot. By the time Kris Kristofferson landed his first recording contract, he'd been a lot of things, all of which he poured into 1970's Kristofferson, a debut that captured the essence of the romantic, hard-living solitary man like few before it. Using his first solo-artist outing to return to his songwriter roots, Kristofferson took "Me And Bobby McGee," a #1 pop hit for Janis Joplin, and restored to it an earthiness simply lost in translation. And if "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" had been a hit for Ray Price, in its writer's hands — the hands of an Oxford-educated student of literature — the song was elevated from mere hangover blues to a devastating portrait of impenetrable loneliness. Meanwhile "Help Me Make It Through The Night" and "For The Good Times" are two of the most gorgeous expressions of yearning in all creation. In pop music, few artists have arrived as fully formed as Kris Kristofferson did with this album.

Customer Reviews

Muse in heat

As a freshman in college in 1970 I am told by a friend that I must get to Nashville to check out this singer songwriter. Kris Kristofferson who was, by then, already the underground pretty boy and poet laureate of the back rooms and honky-tonks of a dying “Music Row” in Nashville. However Kritofferson was, and remains, very smart and played the romantic lost boy while writing historic lyrics that will follow in the path of such legendary singer song writers such as Jimmie Rogers, Hank Williams and Bob Dylan. History will reveal however that Kristofferson is more a product of academia in search of a place to hang a hat on- and in this case a cowboy hat. Where Jimmie Rogers leans heavily on southern black roots music and the real life experiences of a railroad brakeman. Hank Williams investigates the aftermath of drunken redemption of the back sliding white male coming of age in the Protestant south. Meanwhile Kristofferson relies on invention and manipulation of observations reported with literary skill that calculates a collision of the metaphoric twist of infusing a dying middle class with a the beer drinking over indulged, fraternity hating, bull riding, pot smoking, “Dead Head”, who is ready for some country, with - of all things -”existentialism”. ( Its was, and remains, a breakthrough moment for “Country Music”) The angst of a young white urban man discovering that his humanity will pour just as neatly into the same beer mug as that of the emerging "Outlaw Country" singer. Kristofferson's lyrics owe more to Byron and Shelly than Leadbelly. The lyrics paint a picture of middle American angst surrounded by the aftermath of Vietnam, Nixon, and the failed American dream, etc. Kristofferson’s genius is in camouflaging the intellectual dilemma in a three chord country form then presenting the goods in a plain brown bag. Kristofferson’s lyrics are timeless in content and point at the observation of an America in flux, on the run, dumbing down and looking at lost salvation viewed through the gray (grey) veil of what was the seventies. A narcissism that predates the established mind set that will soon emerge in the full unraveling and final meltdown of the millennial awakening that; General Motors is dead and gone along with the "rivot heads" that fought the wars, bought the trucks and relied on "Outlaw Music". Kristofferson, one hopes, is still writing and my guess his writing is now in prose form.


Great song writting, It has to be one of his best.

His music still has power

I like it - not sure why - but the voice and the music feels real. It is moving and not over done with lots of extra music - just simple and powerful!


Born: June 22, 1936 in Brownsville, TX

Genre: Country

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

After a lengthy period of struggle, Kris Kristofferson achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. His songs "Me and Bobby McGee," "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," and "For the Good Times," all chart-topping hits, helped redefine country songwriting, making it more personal and serious, much in the way that Bob Dylan's songs had transformed pop music songwriting in the mid-'60s. By 1987, it was estimated that Kristofferson's compositions...
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Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson
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