Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Homemade Songs/Come See About Me
Genres: Country, Blues, Folk, Pop, R&B
This CD contains the complete programs of two Tracy Nelson albums: Homemade Songs (1978) and Come See About Me (1980). Features soulful vocals and arrangements of songs that range from Motown and Memphis standards to litt... more »
This CD contains the complete programs of two Tracy Nelson albums: Homemade Songs (1978) and Come See About Me (1980). Features soulful vocals and arrangements of songs that range from Motown and Memphis standards to little known treasures.
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2 albums worth of great singing for the price of one
James Morris | 12/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tracy Nelson really came into her own as a solo artist with these two LP's (now combined on one CD) in the late seventies and early eighties. Previous efforts on Atlantic and MCA were fine in their way but a bit strained. Here she sounds comfortable and strong. Apparently Flying Fish gave her the leeway that the bigger labels did not. What I didn't realize at the time was that after these efforts and a subsequent Direct-to-Disc release (Doin' It My Way -- words that Tracy lives by from what I know about her)she would virtually disappear for over a decade. That made these releases all the more valuable to me. The albums reflect her blues, country and folk influences. But most of all they present Tracy Nelson at her vocal best--strong, clear, emotionally rich singing that will make people who have never heard her wonder why she's not a superstar. (Answer--at least in part: she's not interested in being one). It's hard to recommend any one TN release, but this one is a certainly a good intro."
Essential Album of A Truly Great Singer
James Morris | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 01/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1978 I was 24 years old and a sophisticated urban music lover, or so I thought. It was around that time that I was introduced to the music of Tracy Nelson, and my taste in music and perception of what good music is was immediately altered forever. Although I had heard some of the earlier efforts by this wonderfully eclectic artist, Homemade Songs was powerful enough to cause me to declare Tracy Nelson as my favorite singer shortly after I first heard it. Twenty-eight years later, she is still my favorite singer, and Homemade Songs remains one of my favorite albums of hers.
This CD represents two releases by Tracy (Homemade Songs and Come See About Me) that were originally issued on the Flying Fish label in 1978 and 1980 respectively. Of the two, Homemade Songs is my favorite, but each has its share of high-power moments. Tracy Nelson has one of the most powerful voices I've ever heard. No, make that THE most powerful voice I've ever heard, and although no mere recording can even quite capture the immense power that she presents in a live concert, this album will give you a very good idea of what she's capable of.
Homemade Songs starts off with the Randy Newman penned God' Song, which was also recorded by Etta James. Tracy reduces the lyrics to a sparse scale-down of the previous versions, but she does not hesitate to blow the roof off at the climax. Her final notes are so overwhelming that I sometimes stop the recording after the first track, just so I can allow my ears to rest for a moment and reflect on what a potent statement the song is. I've Been There Before is an R & B influenced ode to love; not so much love lost or love found, but the wonder of the state itself, and it's a perfect prelude to The Ice Man, which is all about the sweaty-palmed terror of finding true love ("It's not your fault, it's not even your concern. You ain't done a thing but just to try and be yourself. I can't get over my fear of being burned, I've no way to say I warn ya, but there just ain't no help for me...") Tightrope, which ended side one of the original vinyl, perfectly completes the love trilogy. In between we get a country-influenced tribute to a train (yes, that's right - a song about a choo-choo) and if you don't hear it with your own ears, you won't believe that such perfectly written imagery could be written about a mere bunch of railroad cars ("Somewhere along the Savannah, she was lifted away at the end of her day with her box-car lovers in sight. Still I can hear her arriving - whoo-whoo..."). When Tracy sings, "Whoo- whoo", her magnificent lungs lovingly caress each syllable until you're sure you've never heard anything more passionate in your life, and it's easy to forget that this is NOT a love song, but a nostalgic tribute to technology of the past.
Side two of the original vinyl opened with You Don't Need To Move A Mountain, lyrically one of the most beautiful tributes to deep love I've ever heard ("You don't need to move a mountain, tame the raging river, or make your body clean. You don't need to swim an ocean; just lay your head on my breast and rest a while with me".) The bouncy R & B influenced She Taking My Part (And It's Breaking My Heart) will have you snapping your fingers and moving around the room.
Carlene Carter Routh wrote the stunningly gorgeous song Friends of A Kind, which she performs with Tracy as a duet. Dianne Davidson, who Tracy has referred to in her concert gigs as "one of the finest songwriters in Nashville" proves the point with Sounds of the City, an aching paean to life on the road. And Suddenly is as bouncy an up-tempo number as you could want, never mind that it's about lost love ("Suddenly, you're not mine, well no more; suddenly, things ain't like they were before..."). I you really want to be impressed with sheer vocal ability, wait for Tracy to come out blasting at the beginning of the third chorus, right after the instrumental break ("Sudden-lee-ee, my li-ifeee AIN'T worth livinnnnnnn'; sudden-lee-ee I get no pleasure out of givin'..."). You will sit up and take notice, I promise.
And that's just the first ten tracks that make up the original Homemade Songs album. The next ten tracks, all R & B or R & B influenced gems, make up the Come See About Me album. Just the blues influenced Walk Away, which has become an important part of Tracy's live repertoire, makes the album worth every single penny.
Tracy Nelson is a powerhouse of a singer, and Homemade Songs is one of the strongest albums she's ever released in her (so far) 22 album career. If you are even marginally familiar with Tracy's work, but don't have this album, you will want to get it. If you have never heard her before, Homemade Songs is definitely recommended as a good place to start."