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Night On the Town

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Album Review

Bruce Hornsby's hardest-rocking album, A Night on the Town announces that he is heading into a different direction in its first few notes. John Mellencamp's producer Don Gehman gives the sound, especially John Molo's drums, a feel reminiscent of Mellencamp's best work. The material here is among Hornsby's best, and guest players include Jerry Garcia, tenor saxman Wayne Shorter, banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck, vocalist Shawn Colvin (before she was known), and jazz bass legend Charlie Haden. The arrangements still include the mix of synthesized and real percussion, and the trademark piano licks are sprinkled abundantly throughout, but the overall feel is much more rock & roll than anything before or since. The songs are great, with a political edge to "Fire on the Cross" and "Barren Ground." The latter features Garcia's lead guitar, the former a fine Shorter sax solo. "Stander on the Mountain" is a perceptive reflection on a former BMOC, straight out of Hornsby's own attendance at a high school reunion, and "Lost Soul" is one of the most profound ballads he has composed, sung as a duet with Colvin. The single, "Across the River," is a powerful look at the pursuit of one's dreams in the face of local naysayers, and the subsequent return to one's hometown with the resultant "I-told-you-so's." With A Night on the Town, Bruce Hornsby achieves a mix of mostly up-tempo rock music, adult lyrical themes, and crisp production values that has seldom been matched by other popular musicians of his generation. Though it only peaked at number 20 (his first two albums had reached the Top Five), it is an artistic high point.

Customer Reviews

A masterpiece

I can't believe that I am the first person to write a review on this. I think that Bruce Hornsby is as good of a piano player as Elton John, or Billy Joel,(all of whom i've seen live). This is an excellent recording. I feel that this is his best recording so far. If anyone doesn't have this, I highly recommend that they pick it up. My favorite tracks on this are the title track, Barren Ground,(which is an AMAZING song), Across the River, and Lost Soul, which talks about a man who is lost, gets taken in, and is given some shelter. This song kind of describes a homeless person, or a person with a "confused and sad nature". I am a christian, and to me, Bruce really shows compassion on this song, and other songs on this recording. Please get this!

A great album!

All of Bruce Hornsby and the range albums are good and are not dull. This album is fun from beginning to end! Bruce Hornsby is a great musician and so is his band!

One of my favorites!

I remember from back in the days when I would run out and buy his latest release on the first day, and just ride around in my car and listen over and over again to his latest creations. I also managed to introduce Bruce's magic to several friends at the time. These days (2011), I can still pop this one in on a road trip and fall right back into it all. My favorites are A Night On The Town, Fire On The Cross, Across The River (I sing and play an acoustic version myself), Stander On The Mountain, Lost Soul, Special Night (especially that piano solo), and These Arms of Mine. Wonderful, magical, soulful stuff.

Night On the Town, Bruce Hornsby & The Range
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Customer Ratings