"I wore this thing out back in the 70's but hadn't heard it in over 20 years. When I put it on recently and heard "Angel #9" I ran to check out my Son Volt and Wilco albums....I was positive these guys must have covered it since it still sounded so fresh. (The similarity to Son Volt is especially a bit eerie) Just a fantastic album of melodic country rock that really evokes a particular place and time for me...Craig Fuller has never done anything as good since this and the subsequent incarnations of PPL never came close to matching this level of tight harmonies, and pure melodies. Compared to The Eagles I'd have to say that PPL always stayed more on the country side of the fence; in fact, the first LP, which I believe is now packaged as "Pure Prairie League/If the Shoe Fits" (one of those 2 for 1 packages) is downright twangy but still has some great tunes and jams ("Country Song" has a fantastic guitar/pedal steel jam at the end). If you're into Old 97's, Wilco, Son Volt....you MUST add "Bustin' Out" to your collection to see where this type of music was first perfected...I guarantee satisfaction."
The Beginning Of A Legend
T. Sheridan | Floral Park , NY | 02/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A long standing classic from one of the great country rock groups ,PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE , Craig Lee Fuller put himself at the forefront of not just country rock but music in general and cemented himself permanently as one of the great singer/songwriters of our era with this classic. Fuller's prior work with J.D Blackfoot on THE ULTIMATE PROPHECY and PPL'S self titled debut LP already had established him as an immensely gifted songwriter with an unforgettable voice- one that is perfectly at home in rock , country , blues , or any type of music he applies it to. Fortunately for music fans, he has done just that throughout his career. On this CD, Fuller takes things to a whole new level , and brings the listener on an emotional roller coaster while doing so.PPL is known for incredibly tight harmonies and superb musicianship along with superior songwriting.his CD has it all. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which was RCA's dismal effort in bringing PPL's first two LP's in 1972 to the public's attention , this music didn't achieve the accolades it so richly deserved until a few years after it's release. Fuller left in early 1973,and PPL caught fire with TWO LANE HIGHWAY, it's first gold LP,in 1975.The first two LP's were reissued and incredibly,Bustin'Out went gold almost three years after it's release.There is no doubt bands like The Eagles took more than a page from PPL's book. On this CD, Fuller surpasses anything done by Henley, Frey , Browne ,or anyone else from that genre you would care to mention. The versatility , complexity and overall depth displayed in his songwriting was unmatched by those who received far more publicity .Much the same can be said for his vocals.Even today,to try and categorize his music on this effort is fruitless; his music transcends a particular genre and it`s timeless. There is no point in trying to pinpoint which tracks standout; that is strictly personal opinion , a matter of taste. You can read several reviews and find different choices on each one .That is testament to caliber of this CD. AMIE , with it's lead in FALLING IN AND OUT OF LOVE , needs no introduction. Over 30 years later, the song has a life of it's own , one that shows no signs of slowing down. It's been covered by many covered by some of today's country stars , and is still standard airplay on many radio stations. The song and it's rise to fame is an amazing story in itself. The quick picking , rich , tight harmonies of PPL are flawless and AMIE exemplifies it. A Craig Fuller classic. LEAVE MY HEART ALONE , by George Ed Powell , is an indication of things to come from him. A terrific country rocker, Powell shows here his songwriting and singing would also be a major force in country rock with an uptempo song featuring some great vocals and driving guitar work. JAZZMAN ( one of two tracks not written by Fuller ) is a slow, easy tune put across in a very effective almost hypnotic , melancholy blues type way. ANGEL also is of the laid back variety but this one takes on an almost haunting , spiritual type aura. That's no surprise, since Fuller originally did it in 1969 on THE ULTIMATE PROPHECY with JD Blackfoot. EARLY MORNING RISER moves along in a more upbeat country rock type mode - wrapping up with a terrific guitar picking session. On BOULDER SKIES , Fuller creates a sense of imagery , with a you-are -there feel ,a part of the story. A superb effort. CALL ME , TELL ME again features some very crafty lyrics in which you are taken through snapshot view of a relationship going bad and ultimately fails. The songs builds throughout both musically and emotionally.In ANGEL # 9 , Fuller unabashedly pushes the emotional envelope to the extent you can't help but feel his anguish. This is a very personal tune to Fuller , dealing with an ongoing situation in his life. He manages to capture his thoughts and emotions in this song in an extremely powerful gut wrenching effort. He doesn`t hold back his feelings , he lets then all out -the confusion , frustration and the anger which clearly turns to rage by the songs end . Incredible. The guitar work is just as explosive , perfectly complimenting the powerful vocals. Much has been made of how slickly this was produced but the solid music , lyrics and vocals are what this CD is really all about.The pedal steel is quite good, although I do miss the more powerful , imaginative presence of John David Call 's steel which lit things up like nobody else on PPL's debut LP. Fortunately Call's magic would return for the next 4 LP's after Bustin' Out. Powell would showcase his terrific singing/songwriting on the next 5 LP's, establishing himself as a country rock great in his own right. The versatile , outstanding keyboard work of Mike Connor would become a permanent fixture in the unique sounds of PPL.Drummer Billy Hinds would provide PPL with a strong foundation,driving PPL's sound until the group's end in 1988. Bassist and singer Mike Reilly joined PPL when this was being recorded although he does not appear on it. He would become PPL's frontman,leading PPL to the pinnacle of country rock right into the 80's. Fuller proved BUSTIN' OUT was no fluke. He would return in 1975 to record two LP's with AMERICAN FLYER ,once again showcasing his superior songwriting/songwriting. These are available now as a two for one and certainly are a must in any collection. He then released an LP, Fuller - Kaz,after Flyer (Kaz was a member of Flyer). In the mid 80's he returned to PPL and released MEMENTOS, his vocals perhaps even stronger than ever. He performed a truly amazing Feat in the late 80's and early 90's when he spearheaded a huge comeback for LITTLE FEAT, who had been missing in action for ten years.Incredibly,and against a very strong bias,Fuller's singing and songwriting brought Feat back from the dead,leading them to their first gold LP in their history , Let It Roll. Like I said in the beginning- Fuller may not have gotten the publicity, but he didn't need it - his music generated the attention.
***EDIT NOTE : PURE PRAIRIE LEAGUE IS BACK !!*** They have just released a sensational new CD, ALL IN GOOD TIME. They have received rave reviews on their recent national tour. The band is led by Reilly and Fuller, who are joined by Nashville award winners Fats Kaplin, Curtis Wright and Rick Schell.It's classic PPL-incredible singing and songwriting. It's a must ! Check out their website for details, you'll love this CD !!"
Great Music, Lowsy CD
Richard D. Hodgson | Madera, CA United States | 07/21/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, musically this album deserves far better than 3 stars. This is Pure Praire League's best album, released before the unfortunate departure of Craig Fuller. There is a nice, mellow, easygoing feel to this album, also somewhat apparent on thier debut album but severely lacking on most of their later efforts. This album contains the song the band is perhaps best known for, "Amie", which is bookended by the beautiful, acoustic "Fallin' In And Out Of Love", which was not included on the single version. The second standout is "Early Morning Riser", one of my all-time favorite cruisin-down-the-highway-on-a-nice-warm-sunny-day tunes, and alone worth the price of the album. But in truth, there's really not a bad song to be found here. The CD itself, however, is a different story altogether. I first purchased this album on vinyl LP, and although it struck me as sounding a bit "bright" at times, the overall sound was warm and natural, with a really nice bottom end. By comparison, the CD sounds truly horrid. It is labeled as "Digitally Remastered", but that obviously does not translate to anything positive. They have taken a really nice enjoyable album and rendered it almost unlistenable. Instead of "a bit bright", the top end is downright shrill and irritating. The nice warm bottom of the LP is virtually non-existant, now sounding thin and shallow. I can't listen to this release, and feel completely ripped off by RCA with this piece of garbage. I highly recommend this album for the music it contains. But search out a used LP and dust off your turntable. The CD is a complete and total waste of money. Come on RCA, show this band and its fans the respect they both deserve. Remaster this disc, and this time do it right.
UPDATE (Dec., 2006): Better still, England's Acadia Records has just released a remastered version of this album, TOGETHER on the same disc with PPL's debut album "Pure Praire League". To my knowledge this first album has never been released domestically on CD, and while not quite the equal to "Bustin' Out", it's very good. More important, both albums have indeed been remastered and sound great, especially as compared to this turd. And it only costs about half again more, for both albums instead of just one. By all means, skip the domestic release and go for the import! Then kick back and enjoy two of the finest country-rock albums ever-- the way they were meant to be heard."
There's no better songwriting than this.
Jim Toms | W. Frankfort, IL (USA) | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Down to earth and heartfelt songwriting makes up the bulk of what we have here in this great album. It's a shame that after only this, the second album, that founding member Craig Fuller would leave the group in the early 70's. From the outstanding first track, "Jazzman", one gets the sense that the creation of Pure Prairie League was done so to showcase Fuller's perfect voice and lyrics. "Jazzman"'s only flaw is that it's too short at well under three minutes. I'm always left wanting more."Angel #9" packs a bit more of an electrical punch and helps to diversify the sound a bit more as "Early Morning Riser" and "Boulder Skies" are in the same laid-back vein as "Jazzman". All great songs, to be sure. The song that most people probably know, "Amie" is a sing-along classic rock radio staple. Leading into "Amie" is "Falling in and Out of Love" which is actually more of a prelude to "Amie" rather than a separate song. I now find it impossible to listen to one without the other.Originally, I found "Leave My Heart Alone" (the creation of another founding member George Powell) to be so unlike the rest of the album that I wanted to skip it each time it came up. But, like a lot of songs on a lot of other great albums, it grew on me. However, if a weak song does exist here it would have to be "Call Me, Tell Me". Notice I said "if". Decide for yourself, but don't delay any longer from getting this album. It may be an overused cliche but in this case it's fitting. They really don't make them like this anymore."