Dr. Horatio Fugputz | Bellingham, WA USA | 10/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Al's effort here is a fun one. As other reviewers point out, there is plenty message in this album... most of it outdated. Russians and Americans oughtn't worry too much about going to war with one another nowadays. Likewise, listeners ought look past the over-employed synthesizer in Al's album. He and the band may have had a bit too much wine before composing songs like 'strange girl,' but this album's fun sound works well though it covers some sombre themes. If you are new to Al, or prefer his elevator music hits, stick with 'Best of,' or 'Year of the Cat.' But if you have enjoyed those, and are looking to branch out, Russians and Americans is as good a start as any."
A Pivotal Moment
Cynth B. | Central Coast, CA USA | 08/19/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember when I first found this album...when it was on vinyl! I was a volunteer DJ at a community radio station in Dallas, TX and I was helping to catalogue their record collection. I was intrigued and had to listen to it.
The title track grabbed me and reminded me of the lessons I learned when I took world history in high school. (The teacher was a former CIA agent who also taught Russian.) I remembered the lessons from those days about how the Russians were really quite enamored of Americans and how very much like us they were even in the days before Glasnost.
Perhaps partly due to this album, I chose to become part of the Great Peace March in 1986. There were other reasons as well, but I cannot help but think of that year without my bringing up this song in my memory's soundtrack.
When the CD was finally released, I bought it immediately and still enjoy listening to it today. The last two tracks (added to the CD version) are nice to hear as they are presented. Even so, my favorite songs--besides the title track--are "Strange Girl", "Café Society" and "Accident On 3rd Street" (a haunting, bitter song about the loss of an innocent life due to a careless drunk driver).
While this wasn't a hit album--after all, this came out during the "evil empire" rhetoric of the Reagan Administration--I hold it in rather high esteem. My hope is that more will discover the rare pearls within this Al Stewart classic."
Setting it Straight
Michael R. Wilson | Huntington Beach, CA USA | 07/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not much feedback here for what is really a wonderful recording! After providing another less favorable review for Al's "Famous Last Words" I feel compelled to give "Russians & Americans its due. With possible exception to the two bonus tracks added to the end of the CD, the remainder of the album ranks with the best music that Al has done over his long career. Some of this is certainly harder edged than everybodies favorite "Year of the Cat" but it is unfortunate that so many only know Al Stewart from the Cat album. Sure is a great recording but there is so much more on so many of his records that I feel rank as high. The world has changed dramatically since the release of "Russians & Americans but so much of what is said in the lyrics of this album are timeless."
O.K., BUT OTHER STEWART ALBUMS ARE FAR BETTER
Cynth B. | 07/08/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although I enjoy almost all of the Al Stewart albums, this one is a little too "poppy" for my taste. I think this is because it was released during the 80's (the dancing decade)and it shows. Instead of concentrating on great melodies and lyrics as he normally does, Stewart appears to mostly worry about making rhythmic, danceable music here. However, there are a few good ones in there for the true Stewart fan."
As usual, deep music for Al!
email@example.com | new jersey | 12/09/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My review of this CD need not go further than one line from his very first song, "She still keeps a photograph beside her, the one that got away!" We all have that "one that got away" and this song really makes you think, and think hard about him/her. It's a top notch CD, and almost as good as the Year of the Cat CD, though nothing is that good! If you haven't listened to RUSSIANS and AMERICANS, it's time for you to do so! Only real Al Stewart fans will appreciate this"