I Know It's Only Rock-n-Roll
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is no doubt, the Blues Brothers was a great live performance. With an all-star band backing them, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi could take off on a romp through classic songs recorded by legendary artists that were dusted off from the back pages of pop culture.
Recorded at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California, and released in December 1980, the 10 cuts - which clock in slightly over 30 minutes - is a high-energy tribute to the music which is the backbone of rock-n-roll.
The commercial success was fleeting, as Made in America peaked at number 49 on the Billboard album chart, while the only single, Who's Makin' Love, stalled in the 39th slot in Billboard's Top 40. But it remains an excellent representation of Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues educating the audience, as much as having fun.
"Got some whiskey from a barman..."
Larry Bridges | Arlington, MA United States | 08/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""...got some cocaine from my friends."
"Made in America" was recorded two years after the triumphant, joyous "Briefcase Full of Blues". John Belushi, one of the most beloved comic performers of his generation, was two years closer to death. So was everyone else in the world, of course. But for John, death was just two years away.
John/Jake sounds older, sadder, more tired on this album. He reportedly suffered vocal problems during the tour on which it was recorded, and parts of the album had to be rerecorded in the studio. Is this why it was the lowest-selling of the three main Blues Brothers albums released in his lifetime? Or had the act's peak popularity simply passed?
I think another factor may have been the choice of songs for this album. Although enjoyable, many of them are not as immediately engaging as the songs on "Briefcase" and the movie soundtrack. "Do You Love Me" in particular may have been a tactically unwise choice. Most of the other songs the Blues Brothers recorded were probably previously unfamiliar to listeners who were being introduced to the blues by John/Jake's advocacy. But the majority of listeners in 1980 would have heard "Do You Love Me" performed by other artists with more conventionally powerful and attractive voices than John's.
For Belushi fans the main event on this album is Jake's rendition of "Guilty", which gave John the opportunity to make an oblique musical comment on his own life. This track contains what for me is an utterly horrifying moment. When John softly sings the word "cocaine" with a tragically appropriate mixture of awe and fear, the imbecilic crowd **cheers**. Far better for them to have gasped, or maintained a sorrowful, painful silence."
Blues brothers are the kings of the blues.
Daniel R. Berney | alabama | 10/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"saturday night live created this band back in the mid 70's and it still holds up to today's listners. John Belushi is gone but not forgotten. Dan and John took a sketch and turned it into a great friendship as well as a great career for both. this album should be dedicated to john.