"For years, I searched for this album on CD. I found it on Amazon and just received it. The sound has been replicated with precision. There is only one "out of place" song here, which is "Mansion on the Hill". But even that might be appreciated by fans of his later work.
First, I'll write mostly about a song not mentioned by the other reviews, which is my favorite Murphey song.. and one of my all time favorites by any artist... That song is "Pink Lady". What an intense song! This is the only place you can find it.. and it alone is worth the purchase.
Second, I agree with the other review about "Swans Against the Sun". You can close your eyes and deliver yourself to where Michael stood when he was inspired to write these lyrics. This one can be found on other Hit package CD's, however.
Third, "Buffalo Gun" is a political yet not too heavy-handed tribute to the history of the west. Again, as far as I know it can only be found here.
Fourth, "Renegade" is here in all its glory and passion as Michael's finest rocker. You are hooked from the first bassline and the song keeps driving you... available elsewhere, but fits wonderfully following "Swans".
Fifth, "Seasons Change" has become one of my top 5 on this album as I get older. He impressively captures his the life he had led and his relationships over time and gently folds the story of his lost love into the ambience of this song.
Sixth, "Natural Bridges" is another wonderfully written song about the problems he was facing in his life at the time.
Among the rest, "Dancing in the Meadow" is pure fun with a great percussive break in the middle of the song. "Temple of the Sun" is a great "sunset mood" western tune in the classic Murphey style that fits just right at a long day's end. "Wild West Show" is a solid uptempo Western effort. I could listen to this CD anytime, anywhere. It is hard to find at a reasonable price but it is worth the extra $5 to $10 you have to pay to find this "hidden treasure"
Great great great album
John Tiernan | Columbia. MO | 12/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If there is a CD that I could wear out from playing, it would be this one! This album goes so well as a sequel to his previous one, "Blue Skies, Night Thunder". The song-writing is excellent - and his voice never sounds anything but excellent. If there was one weakness on the album, it would be the quirky 'Mansion on the Hill'...John Denver cannot sing the song like Hank Williams did it, that's for sure! 'Renegade' is probably the most "rockin'" song that MMM EVER did...very underappreciated song which shows MMM's versatility in styles. As one of the other fans of MMM noted in his review, a superb highlight is his song 'Dancing in the Meadow'...has a Celtic sound to it and the lyrics and music make it a song that sticks in your head.I could go on and on about the album - 9 well-crafted and well-produced songs and the quirky 'Mansion on the Hill"...NO ONE could make an album this good nowadays - it is a shame that it doesn't get the recognition it needs because this is one heckuva an album. Buy it and give it a try - it is MMM all the way!!!"
"Swans," a mixed bag effort.
John Tiernan | 07/13/1998
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Swan's Against the Sun," Murphey's follow-up to his breakthrough "Blue Sky/Night Thunder," is a real hit and miss effort. Murphey's songs seem to have worked best in his 1970's efforts when he was singing songs of the old and new West. The tracks "Buffalo Gun," "Temple of the Sun," "Wild West Show," and "Dancing in the Meadow" are all a must for Murphey fans. Also, the spirited, banjo driven "Rhythm of the Road" (a duet with Willie Nelson) is a quality effort. This album suffers from the same problem as all Murphey's non-western releases; they are inconsistent. The thing with Murphey is the good stuff always carries the day. That is why I am ordering "Swans" today to replace my worn out LP."
Wild Swans Against the Sun
MaryK | Lompoc, CA USA | 10/28/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album has MMM in all his glory has a songwriter and singer. The album has heart and depth.This album may not be on any bestseller list but if you are an MMM fan; or a folk, country or someone who appreciates lyrics...this rates. The title song Wild Swans Against the Sun could only have been written by someone who has seen, watched swans. With music and words MMM created for the listener the flapping of the wings, he captured their beauty and grace in song. I am also a John Denver fan. Mansion on the Hill in its simplicity, the unplugged, comlimentary voices of MMM and John Denver gives the song heart and soul. Willie Nelson on Rhythm of the Road has spirit. MMM is country singer, a Western man, a cowboy, and a songwriter....original, always.Wild Swans Against the Sun is original too."