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Natural History

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iTunes Review

On Natural History, J.D. Souther reconsiders both his hits for Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles and his own catalog of albums from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Souther’s elegance as a composer as well as his spare, rueful lyric style come through in unvarnished style on these acoustic-centered tracks. The jazz influence present on his 2008 release If the World Was You can be heard here as well, lending a low-lit nightclub ambiance to these tunes. Souther’s high tenor vocals sound seasoned and a little world-weary, adding to the wistful fatalism found in songs like “Faithless Love,” “Prisoner In Disguise” and “Go Ahead and Rain.” Singing from an older and perhaps wiser perspective, he brings a deepened insight to “New Kid In Town” and “Best of My Love.” Among other things, the album highlights the melodic sophistication of Souther’s chords and melodies — “Silver Blue” and “The Sad Café” especially shine in this stripped-down setting. For old fans and new listeners alike, Natural History makes for beautifully bittersweet listening.

Customer Reviews

Excellent performance, excellent songs

Legendary songs re-interpereted by the man who wrote them and performed with an insight and wistfulness that burns them into your mind. Other artists did great versions of some of these songs, but these hold their own as a personal vision from the man who wrote them in the first place, put them out there and then let them mature on their own. If you ever bought an Eagles or Jackson Browne record and you don't own this, you're missing something special. Then buy the rest of the catalog...seriously.

No One Is Better than JD

Scary beautiful...JD Souther's voice is still as amazing-or more-as all those days ago with Linda, Don and Glenn, James etc.
No one can harmonize like this guy and by himself.... seems to do it even as a soloist. "I guess I'm standin' in the halls of broken dreams..." Are you kidding me? Faithless Love, Best Of My Love.... wow, but Prisoner In Disguise... nothing better.
Thanks JD

An All-Time Favorite Songwriter

I've purchased and enjoyed J.D. Souther's work work for many years - unfortunately more than once from the cut-ot bins. Many people have loved his music without knowing he was one of the men behind it. Eagles thought enough of J.D. to include him (and Jackson Browne) as the fifth and sixth Eagles in the back photo on "Desperado." These are different treatments of some of his best solo tunes and a few more familiar by other artists like Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, and Karla Bonoff. Anyone who is deeply wedded to the earlier arrangements may not like this album. "Sad Cafe" takes a bit of acceptance but the border sound of "New Kid in Town" more than makes up for any misgivings about the other numbers. The arrangements are well-crafted, the musicianship is tight, and the mix is intimate. Souther has penned many, many more songs that could have, perhaps should have, been included - "White Rhythm and Blues" in particular comes to mind - but then we would have entered the world of the boxed-set retrospective and that isn't what this collection is about. We are fortunate that the man once known as John David Souther, who made all the young girls in the Troubadour swoon, has survived long enough to spin these tunes a bit differently, with the perspective of 40 years on.


Born: November 2, 1945 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Rock

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

While J.D. Souther may have made his biggest impact on the country-rock sound behind the scenes or in a supporting role to some of the bigger pop names of the '70s, he had an impressive and critically acclaimed series of solo albums that have unfortunately all but disappeared from music fans' radar. Born in Detroit, Souther was raised in Amarillo, Texas, which may help explain his stylistic roots in both country and rock music. He was in a band called John David & the Senders (also known as the Cinders)...
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