June 18 - 24, 2023
Year of Release: 1988
Back To The Wall
The Devil's Right Hand
Johnny Come Lately
Even When I'm Blue
You Belong To Me
Waiting On You
Once You Love
Nothing But A Child
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The Complete WSVNRadio Album Archive
Steve Earle debuts this week, with his 1988 album, Copperhead Road. I had always thought he began his music career in the 1970s. His first album was
releaseed in 1986, Guitar Town. Copperhead Road was his third album. Country, Rock, and Folk describes his music.
Earle has been outspoken regarding his policital views, as there are songs from Copperhead Road that has that. Starting the album is the title track,
"Copperhead Road," where it tells the story of Vietnam War veteran. It has a Country Rock sound, and it was used as one of many Country line dances.
"Snake Oil" is definitely Country, as it tells the story of former President Ronald Reagan, as as a traveling con man, drawing attention to his "legacy of
creative deceit." "Back To The Wall" is about poverty, and the homeless. "The Devil's Right Hand" has Daddy leaving for the war, and his son getting
a pistol from the general store. Mama didn't like the pistol, as she declared, "The pistol is the devil's right hand." (In later years, Waylon Jennings and Bob
Seger individually covered this song) "Johnny Come Lately" describes the experiences of returning veterans. These first five songs from the album were all
war related - "Side One" from the album.
"Side Two" (the remaining five tracks) reflects on a more personal level, slower tempo'd love songs. "Even When I'm Blue" does have a slower tempo,
and it works extremely well - Love is blind, but in my dreams it's another (better) story. (This song has a Bob Dylan feel to it, and if Dylan went Country, I think
this song would be how he would sound like.) "You Belong To Me" is about lost love, although "you belong to me." It's more up tempo, and it has a good
Rock feel. Although "You Belong To Me," the next song has one "Waiting For You" -- "Behind this wall, I'm still waiting on you." Again, it's more uptemo,
and has a good sound to it - It has a Bruce Springsteen or John Hiatt feel to it. Bruce Springsteen gets the comparison on the next (slower tempo) song, "Once
You Love.' - "Once you love, you trust it / Once you love your soul is bare / One false move and you know you're busted / Once you love you care." Springsteen
and his Nebraska album gets the comparison on the slow tempo'd last track, "Nothing But A Child." It's a beautiful song,
Steve Earle's Copperhead Road is more of an Americana album. It defintely has the genres of Country, Rock, Bluegrass. Springsteen, Hiatt, Dylan fans
will enjoy this album. Critics praised his political songs (side One), yet not as praised for the remaining songs (Side Two). The Side Two songs may be of personal
nature, but the first five songs are personal, as it shares Steve Earle's political views. However, in my opinion, all of the songs all blend well. His slow tempo'd
love songs evens out the balance, musically.
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