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American Gothic

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Editors’ Notes

Released in 1972, David Ackles’ American Gothic is not as well-known as the works of Elton John, James Taylor, Randy Newman or Joni Mitchell, but David Ackles was once a contender and this album, produced by Elton John’s lyricist Bernie Taupin, is a main reason why. A former Vaudeville performer hired by Elektra Records as a songwriter, Ackles made his way to the recording studio for a series of eclectic studio albums that includes this underrated masterpiece. The title track begins with a Vaudevillian bounce before the piano and horns of the perfect ballad “Love’s Enough” prove Ackles to be as versatile and weird as a cult artist like Scott Walker or a hit-maker such as Don McLean. The album bounces between tender quiet moments (“One Night Stand”) and those of showtune intensity (“Oh, California!”). Ackles, the performer, comes out swinging for the vamping “Ballad of the Ship of State” where his voice, made for Broadway, serves up literate lyrics about a time and place now deep in our past. “Blues for Billy Whitecloud” recounts a Native American Indian’s slide into alcoholism with sadness and compassion. “Montana Song” ends things with a ten-minute epic. Beautiful.

Customer Reviews

American Gothic

Please listen to this several times and you will discover that it is truly one of the greatest albums (yes I am old enough to call them albums) ever created


Worth it just for "Love's Enough"...what a great song

American Gothic

Superb. Nothing quite like it in today's homogenized market. Elvis Costello and Elton John are great admirers (see Sundance Channel show – “Spectacle” 12.03.05 – Elvis interviews Elton). For younger listeners it will be an acquired taste well worth acquiring. If you like story telling coupled with creative music accompaniment this is for you.


Born: February 20, 1937 in Rock Island, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Even after his death from cancer in 1999, David Ackles continues to influence contemporary singer/songwriters with his combination of dark and desolate lyrics, emotionally wrenching songs, and subtle, sonorous delivery. Singers like Elvis Costello have acknowledged a creative...
Full Bio
American Gothic, David Ackles
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Singer/ Songwriter
  • Released: 1972

Customer Ratings