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Ain't Living Long Like This

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iTunes Review

The future of country music was waiting to be discovered on Rodney Crowell’s Ain’t Living Long Like This. Sad to say, all too few availed themselves of the opportunity when this album was released in 1978. At the time, Crowell had just left Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band with an armful of killer tunes and a desire to shake up Nashville, and on these tracks, he sings with both a sense of tradition and an edge of desperation, backed up by such stellar guest players as Ry Cooder, Ricky Scaggs and Dr. John. There’s a hint of backwoods rage and violence running through songs like the Cajun-flavored “Leaving Louisiana In The Broad Daylight” and the rockabilly-fueled title tune. Balancing this rebel strain are gentler expressions of hard-won wisdom like “Song For The Life” and “Voila, An American Dream.” Crowell compliments his originals with such well-chosen covers as Dallas Frazier’s “Elvira” (rendered as a twangy blues) and the Elvis favorite “A Fool Such As I.” Though it fizzled in the marketplace, Ain’t Living Long Like This proved highly influential among other artists and paved the way for Crowell’s much-deserved success a decade later.

Customer Reviews

Ain't Living Long Like This

I was program director at a country music radio station in the Applachian Mountains when this album was released in 1979. I had the DJ's over to my house to listen to this astonishingly original recording. They were immediately in love with it, as was I, and several of its song were among the very few album tracks we ever played. The version of Leavin Lousiana in the Broad Daylight here is infectious and vastly superior to the cover version that became a top ten hit. In Rodney's own words, "I swear it sounds as good today as anything I hear". You won't be disappointed. This download was the best $8.91 I've ever spent.

Still Sounds Great

I wore out the grooves of this LP back in the late 70s and early 80s. Rodney was way ahead of his time and the number of his songs cut by others in the 80s that first appeared on his first three solo albums is proof. Nearly all of these are superior to the cover versions, with the possible exception of the Emmylou Harris ones, which were much closer to the originals in spirit. Check out all three albums from ’78 to ’80. So glad to see them on iTunes finally. Highly recommended.


Born: August 7, 1950 in Houston, TX

Genre: Country

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

When Rodney Crowell first gained widespread recognition as a leader of the new traditionalist movement of the mid-'80s, he was, in fact, a singer, songwriter, and producer with roots and ambitions extending far beyond the movement's perimeters. Born to a musical family on August 7, 1950 in Houston, Texas, Crowell formed his first band, the Arbitrators, while in high school, and in 1972 moved to Nashville to become a professional musician. There, he struck up friendships with singer/songwriters Townes...
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