"Joan Osborne's _Early Recordings_ is, simply put, an incredible CD. Most listeners know her music from a few radio songs which don't do her justice. But with this CD, Osborne lets her voice go all out, and she sings some of the most incredible blues I've ever heard-- reminiscent of Janice Joplin's sound and Ma Rainey's soul.I adore every track, but my favorites include the cover of "Son of a Preacher Man" (is it possible to go wrong with that tune?) and "His Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles," which combines Osborne's later move toward an eclectic studio sound and her heartfelt club blues, taking the best from both worlds.On a side note, I have had friends ask me who the singer is when I put on _Early Recordings_, because the sound is so vastly different from Osborne's studio recordings-- and what's more, everyone who hears the CD loves it. If you liked _Relish_, then it can only get better from there."
If you knew joan...
androydnyc | NYCdowntown NYC | 06/04/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"No, i don't actually KNOW Joan, any more than any of the other thousands who had the pleasure of watching her smoke every other chick on the NYC music scene when the calendar started with a 19 and not a 20. i am writing this b/c another reviewer reminded how much i used to really enjoy catching joan live at wetlands, delta- even at continental divide and gonzales if memory serves- it seemed like you could catch her somewhere at least once a week and sometimes even twice. i get up at 5 am for work, and joan was the only musician who could ALWAYS get me out on a school night. this album almost captures her LIVE energy.
i remember the first time i saw her live at a w/e outdoor show at the seaport [an outdoor 'mall' that i despised, but my EXwife liked]. in the midst of all the summertime heat and shopping, folks profiling their boats and overdressed types getting their heels caught in the boardwalk, i heard the voice of an angel- albeit a dirty angel that sang with a leer and a wink. if you think her vh1 or austin city limits gigs were hot, they were nothing compared to hearing her in a low ceilinged, smoke filled juke joint, watching her hips sway as she torched the joint with her sheer joy at being alive. she could take that room up and down and all around and you wouldn't hit the head for fear of missing a moment. and now she opens for the 'dixie chicks'.... i'm waiting for her return to small venue playing- that is the very best place to feel her full impact.
enough of the memory lane- just letting you know i been digging joan since you didn't know who she was, and i am telling you that THIS IS THE JOAN THAT I REMEMBER! no, i don't absolutely love every cut, but nonetheless, this is consistently among the most played on my iPod- much more than relish or righteous love [both good in their own right- BUT not Definitive joan]. i will leave it to others to break it down cut by cut- on the whole they get it right. i just need to let you know that THIS is joan, 'straight no chaser'!btw- ran into her in street recently and the energy and vibe art STILL there in person. if you EVER have a chance to see her live, do yourself a favour and GO!"
David Robinson | Williamsport, PA USA | 04/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Primarily recorded at a club called "Delta 88", this just rocks.Joan's voice, and the power behind it are simply incredible. I can't believe this work has not received more attention. While I am quite fond of all of her work, this is by far the best.The real standouts are "Match Burned Twice", "Fly Away" and the screamer "Fingerprints".Simply a must-have piece of music!I would like to see another album released of other songs she recorded at the Delta 88 at this time."
How could you tell she was this good with "One of Us?"
Christine K. Ward | 09/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps one of the best chances I've taken on a CD, I decided to buy this album because I bought Relish and found some great little treasures like "Crazy Baby" and "Lumina." Anyway, who knew that Joan Osborne was so crazy about blues--a great album...one of the neatest covers of "Son of A Preacher Man," and songs like "Fingerprints" and "Match Burns Twice" really hint at how great Joan Osborne can be. I'm waiting eagerly for new music by her."