Search - Tracy Nelson :: Mother Earth

Mother Earth
Tracy Nelson
Mother Earth
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Tracy Nelson
Title: Mother Earth
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Wounded Bird Records
Release Date: 5/10/2005
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
Styles: Contemporary Blues, Blues Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 664140205420, 081227869366

CD Reviews

Nelson in her glory days
Stephen Saunders | O'CONNOR, ACT Australia | 06/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One of the truly transcendent rock albums, Mother Earth's "Bring me Home" (1971) has had no CD reissue. Until that grave oversight is rectified, savour the reissue after 33 years of Tracy Nelson's followup Mother Earth album (1972).

If "Bring me Home" is the peerless spiritual journey, its successor is a mellower take on love and regret. As always in her glory days, Nelson had an unerring ear for the finest country and blues writers.

Here, with a similar band to that of 1971, she covers Bobby Charles (twice), Eric Kaz (twice) and the indestructible John Hiatt. Tim Drummond, bassist in 1971 but absent here, contributes the achingly beautiful tune "I Want to Lay Down Beside You". Nelson chips in with "I Don't Do That Kind of Thing Anymore", a passable number that pales beside the immortal "Soul of Sadness" that she wrote for the 1971 album.

It's a platitude that Nelson is the greatest unappreciated female voice of American rock. In her matchless timbre and phrasing she is light years ahead of a minor muse and major mischief like Janis Joplin. Add this one to the collection and keep praying for "Bring me Home" to return in triumph."
Still A Band--If You Please!
Gregor von Kallahann | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Tracy Nelson's transition from lead singer of Mother Earth to a solo artist was actually a gradual evolution. Unlike so many other women singers of the late 60s and early 70s (including Janis Joplin and Linda Ronstadt), she wasn't quick to leave her band behind once she had achieved a certain level of prominence herself.

It would be another couple of years after this 1972 release before she would actually release her post-ME solo debut, the eponymous TRACY NELSON on Atlantic. (I'm not counting the pre-Mother Earth DEEP ARE THE ROOTS here--nor the side project TRACY NELSON COUNTRY, recorded between Mother Earth's second and third albums--but inevitably their existence seem to have contributed to the confusion about the arc of Tracy's career.) But even after the Atlantic album came out, she was actually still touring with Mother Earth. So there's no clear timeline, and the process was pretty much a gradual one--as Tracy herself has indicated in interviews and on her website.

But this album was still very much a group effort. The change in billing (from "Mother Earth" to "Tracy Nelson/Mother Earth") was pretty much an acknowledgement of the fact that, after the first two albums on Mercury, Tracy had become the sole vocalist in the group, and therefore the focus of most of the attention. The band's third and fourth albums (SATISFIED and BRING ME HOME) could just have easily used this new billing. Like I said, this was a gradual process. But they were still a band at this point (and in fact, would go on to release one more album under the TN/ME rubric, namely POOR MAN'S PARADISE). The cover shot tells it all. Tracy is seated in the center, playing with her dog, while gathered around her, looking decidedly earnest, are her bandmates.

So while distributers Wounded Bird are to be commended for releasing this, and all the other Mother Earth titles originally appearing on Mercury and Warners, they did kind of blow it in their packaging. The dash between the "Tracy Nelson" and the "Mother Earth" seemed deliberate, as though to suggest that the group consisted of two equally important elements, the vocalist and the band. Wounded Bird, while keeping the original cover, has designed a package which clearly suggests that this is a Tracy Nelson solo ENTITLED "Mother Earth." That is an unfortunate error, one that Tracy herself would certainly have pointed out had she been involved at all in the packaging of the re-release.

Well, be that as it with all the Mother Earth stuff now available, it is a joy to have this at last on CD. Never thought we'd see the day, actually. Warners had released their BEST OF... compilation in the mid-90s, and for the longest time, it looked like that would be that. Thank the good Lord for companies like Wounded Bird, Rhino and Collectors' Choice, which license and re-release classic albums in their entirety. They're on the side of the angels, so I hope they do well (minor errors in packaging notwithstanding).

But speaking of the billing change, it was actually kind of ironic that it should have occurred with this particular release. Nearly all of the previous Mother Earth albums contained at least one or more showstoppers by Tracy. TN/ME gave her star-billing, but her performances on this record were (although quite wonderful) among the most understated of her entire career. Of course, there are any number of gorgeous ballads, including her classic rendition of "Tennessee Blues" and John Hiatt's "Memories of You," which show off her stately vocals to great effect. But the uptempo numbers, such as "Same Old Thing" or "I Don't Do That Kind of Thing Anymore" do not end with one of Tracy's patented socko-boffo finishes. The band just kind of good naturedly choogles along to an eventual fade-out on these numbers. It's all very nice and appropriately bucolic--the group was firmly ensconced on their farm outside of Nashville by then--but overall this record lacks the punch of its predecessors (particularly the gospelly BRING ME HOME, which came out a year or so before).

But it's a perfect record for a lazy Saturday afternoon, when you're playing with your dog--and your bandmates are just sitting around groovin'.

Another Tracy Nelson Classic
Diana Brodie | Leslie, AR USA | 12/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you are as big a TN fan as I am, you'll be so happy to get a new copy of this on CD. I love this album. The songs have stayed with me since the first moment I heard them. This is another terrific example of how great songwriters pitch their songs to Tracy. (If you're looking for great songs- listen to any TN album.)

The cover picture is down-home & real- just like Tracy, and the songs are comfortable old friends the first time you hear them. If you don't know about Tracy, ask any great vocalist and I'm sure they can tell you about her as her fans are legion.

Get this fact, get all of her CDs. This is a good one to start with. Stop by her website, too, and tell her what you thought of it."