Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ain't Ever Satisfied: The Steve Earle Collection
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Anyone who can string together outcast clichés and make them as fresh and exciting as the songs that adorn Ain't Ever Satisfied has earned esteem. The anthology is really 1993's Essential Steve Earle plus 15 additional tra... more »
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Anyone who can string together outcast clichés and make them as fresh and exciting as the songs that adorn Ain't Ever Satisfied has earned esteem. The anthology is really 1993's Essential Steve Earle plus 15 additional tracks, including live covers of "State Trooper," "Dead Flowers," and "She's About a Mover." The earlier best-of will suffice, if you can still find it, but the 2 CD updating is by no means a stretch. --Steven Stolder
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Passion and Meaning
Thomas A. Holmes | Johnson City, TN USA | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation of earlier Steve Earle material should convince skeptics that country music goes beyond the cliched, maudlin drinking songs, and it doesn't have anything to do with Garth or Shania. Earle's music acknowledges his rock and blues influences without catering to easy marketability--the closest he'll ever come to VH-1 will be the prison concert once aired on MTV, and we'll never see him bunched up with the Eagles wannabes on CMT. To get a solid idea of how Earle adapts his influences, listen to how "Copperhead Road" alone offers a condensed evolution of country music, from Celtic roots and bluegrass to a hard-driving, electric outlaw sound. Consider AIN'T EVER SATISFIED an Earle primer, where he's mastering the talent that flourishes more consistently on TRAIN A'COMIN' and the later material. If you love Emmylou, miss Gram, revere Willy, and honor Possum and the Hag, you'll be grateful that this album is on CD--you'd wear out copy after copy of lp and cassette.By the way, AIN'T EVER SATISFIED contains all of the material previously released on ESSENTIAL STEVE EARLE, plus a whole lot more. The live cover of Springsteen's "State Trooper" is a treat."
Terrific Anthology from Earle's MCA Period
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 05/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1986 I purchased the debut albums from three country artists that I thought were going to help put some integrity back in country music. Those three artists were Dwight Yoakam (Guitars, Cadilacs, etc., etc.), Randy Travis (Storms of Life) and Steve Earle (Guitar Town). While they didn't succeed in eliminating the pop excesses of what passes for country these days, they all provided a reminder of what quality country music could and should sound like.Of the three, Earle has had the rockiest journey over the intervening fifteen years. But it's only made Earle's music all the more honest and effective. In fact, his last three albums have been among the best of his career.This two-CD set covers most of the highlights from his five albums for MCA between 1986 and 1991. It duplicates all of the 1993 single-disc collection, The Essential Steve Earle, and adds 15 additional tracks including live recordings of "West Nashville Boogie," "She's About a Mover," "Dead Flowers" and the Bruce Springsteen cover of "State Trooper" which was previously only available as an EP. It also includes all but two of the tracks from Guitar Town, arguably his best MCA album, along with the strongest tracks from the other three studio albums: Exit O, Copperhead Road and The Hard Way. Earle can at turns be traditional country on songs like "Hillbilly Highway," then rock out on a song like "Copperhead Road," and then join the Pogues for the Irish folk-influenced "Johnny Come Lately." And it all makes for enjoyable listening. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Good starting place
m_noland | Washington, DC United States | 01/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This two-disk set has replaced "The Essential Steve Earle" as a greatest hits package covering the early part of his career (1985-1990) when MCA was trying to figure out how to market the talented but trying Mr. Earle. I would like to thank the thief who stole my copy of that CD in a burglary for encouraging me to purchase this one. I can only hope that you have the taste to appreciate what you stole.Steve Earle is a good musician and an astonishing songwriter. Bruce Springsteen is probably his only contemporary in American popular music to have such a lyrical facility with American vernacular.The songs in this package tend to be narrower both stylistically and thematically than Earle's later work, which, depending on one's taste could be a good or a bad thing. The cuts on the first disk, in particular, largely taken from his first two albums, are much in the mold of mainstream Nashville production of the time - heartbreak, white lines, stadium drums, and overdubbed guitars galore. In evidence is the populism that would later turn more explicitly political (again, a good or a bad thing depending on one's perspective).The second disk is more transitional - by this point MCA's country division in Nashville had given up dealing with the notoriously difficult Earle and transferred his contract to the rock division in LA. Less formulaic rock producers and deepening personal problems lent themselves to more musically diverse, darker, songs, and by the set closing live recording of "West Nashville Boogie" from 1990, Earle is howling desperate lyrics over the John Lee Hooker/ZZ Top "LaGrange" riff.This, in turn, would give way to jail and drug rehab, followed by an artistic and personal renewal in the latter half of the 1990s. Highly recommended as an introduction to Earle's music."