"Erm - this is not an "anthology." This was a straight release at the time. And if you know anything about Steve Earle at all, you'd know that while he might do an acoustic number occasionally, he has only recorded one all acoustic album. Other than that he's the loveable country/rock hybrid the rest of us has come to love.This was also not the album that finally brought out all of Earle's demons, you can hear that on "The Other Kind" which is the CD where he finally went off the rock and roll cliff and pounded out some great tunes before spining wildly out of control (and into jail.)As for this record, I'll admit it does sound like a greatest hits package. But that's because of the strength of the songs. Copperhead Road is a classic. Devil's Right Hand too. Both good slices of the country/rock style Earle has perfected. But these were early days. For those who savor his duets - Nothing But a Child is a classic in the genre. However, Once You Love probably remains as my favorite from this CD.If you want to know what Earles "Country/Rock" is - then let me say that I'm no fan of Country music (other than Chris Knight.) I come from a rock and roll background. I like this. It's country with all it's melody and singalong choruses with a driving band and rock sensibility. The lyrics are great (none of that, "My girl left me, I'm so sad..." stuff, and this guy can sing.Copperhead Road is a great place to start your Earle collection if you are coming from the same background as myself. Then check out The Other Kind, Feel Alright and El Corazon. All driving albums, with hooks to spare, and soul."
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde...together again
Johnny Roulette | 04/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit that I hated Copperhead Road when it came out. I was 17 and if it wasn't punk- it wasn't for me. Oh, how things have changed! I now see this as a nearly flawless effort. This record was a tale of two Earles. Side one(tracks 1-5) are dirty rock songs with a healthy dose of Earle's country/folk(even Irish) roots. Steve was headed for a crash, but he wasn't quite at the wall when this was released in 1988. Three of the first five are still regulars in his set-list today(The Devil's Right Hand/Copperhead Road & Johnny Come Lately). The Pogues play with Earle on Johnny Come Lately(yes, Shane MacGowan is playing a banjo here!). The last five songs are basically ballads with a bit of a charge in them. On the final track, Nothing But A Child, Earle is joined by Telluride. The Jekyll & Hyde nature of this release works for me...it won't work for eveyone(but then, what does?). The dirt that you collect on the first half of this album is cleansed by the longing ache of the second half. Steve Earle never puts the same record out twice. They are all very different...This was his third major release. It was unlike the two before it and nothing like it has come from him since. Earle's diversity and intelligence, along with his wonderful gift for storytelling are what keep his fans coming back, no matter what banner a particular release is flying. This is a great rock album with some radio-friendly songs that get inside your head and aren't easily dislodged. Enjoy. Do yourself a huge favor...check him out when he tours. One of the best live shows I see every year."
Steve Earle the polymath
Catherine S. Vodrey | East Liverpool, Ohio United States | 03/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What is it? Is it country? Is it southern rock? What is that banjo doing in there? Is this guy an Irishman? Steve Earle continually confounds and tests his audience with his polymathic tastes and talents. Listen to the bagpipe drone that introduces the title tune, "Copperhead Road," which ends with the same bagpipes but in between, employs propulsive drumming and hard-charging guitar. "Snake Oil," the very next track, sounds almost precisely like something Lynrd Skynrd might have recorded in the 1970s. "Johnny Come Lately" sounds musically as though it might have sprung from the hand of a Civil War-era Irish immigrant, yet it manages to be fresh today. Remarkably, all the songs on the album--as on every Steve Earle album--were authored by Earle himself. The guy is amazing."
TAKE THAT NASHVILLE!
Patrick Earley | Edmond, Oklahoma USA | 04/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to reviewing a Steve Earle album, it's hard for me an objective reviewer. I like virtually everything this hardcore troubour has done. This album in particular though, seperated him from Nashville for good, and established him as a country rebel with a rock and roll attitude. On his first two albums "Guitar Town" and "Exit O", Earle had his feet planted in country, but with a little hard twang here and there. On Copperhead Road though, he brings out a full arsenal of guitars, big drums, and slick production. The hardest rockin' song here is the title tune "Copperhead Road", which starts out innocently enough with it's bagpipes and mandolin intro, but then turns into a full-tilt rocker that sets the tone for the rest of the album. "The Devil's Right Hand", with it's barrage of steel and six string guitars, is a classic that has long been a staple of his live shows. A couple other standout tracks are "You Belong To Me", with it's irresistable "not fade away" beat, and "Waiting On You", with the deep bass drum sound and big time production, is a beautifully arranged song that sounds fresh everytime I hear it. The album ends with the beautiful "Nothing But A Child", which has Earle singing a duet with the lovely Maria Mckee. For me, "Copperhead Road" is the cadillac of all rockin' country records. It helped pave the way for many of the alternative country rock acts we have today. I fondly remember this album as being the last record I bought on vinyl, and one of the first I bought when I converted over to CD's. It's a true classic that is a must have if you're a Steve Earle fan."
Catherine S. Vodrey | 03/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When presented with this eclectic "bluegrass/heavy metal" project, MCA transferred Earle's account to their rock division, Uni International, and Earle's road band had already undergone a dramatic country-to-rock change of personnel. Newly recruited guitarist Donnie Roberts is a rough-edged hard rocker, not as proficient on his instrument as former studio whiz/producer Richard Bennett. Roberts' guitar sound changes the ambience of this album, and with Earle producing, the result is an eclectic rock record. Earle's writing saves the day. Released as a single, "Copperhead Road" achieved enormous crossover success onto the rock charts and VH1, and it remains one of Earle's best-known songs. The oft-recorded "Devil's Right Hand" is here, as is "Snake-Oil," and the touching "Only A Child," perhaps a nod to Earle's own children. At any rate, this effort established Earle as a definitive rock crossover artist, capable of surviving on both sides (or the middle) of the country/rock fence."