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John Prine - Common Sense
John Prine - Common Sense
Published: 2014/10/07
Channel: scarecrow3666
John Prine  -  Common Sense
John Prine - Common Sense
Published: 2011/07/11
Channel: ItsWaldo (Walter Brinkman)
John Prine - Middle Man
John Prine - Middle Man
Published: 2013/10/11
Channel: the winner
John Prine - Great Days (1993) [Full Album]
John Prine - Great Days (1993) [Full Album]
Published: 2017/07/14
Channel: Adam Funnell
John Prine  -  Forbidden Jimmy
John Prine - Forbidden Jimmy
Published: 2011/10/12
Channel: ItsWaldo (Walter Brinkman)
John Prine, Common Sense
John Prine, Common Sense
Published: 2013/10/28
Channel: luvnashville
John Prine Way Down
John Prine Way Down
Published: 2013/02/07
Channel: pecvillian
common sense
common sense
Published: 2009/05/18
Channel: ladyarchivist
That Close To You
That Close To You
Published: 2014/08/14
Channel: John Prine - Topic
John Prine
John Prine
Published: 2015/07/25
Channel: Low - Topic
John Prine - Billy the Bum
John Prine - Billy the Bum
Published: 2013/01/18
Channel: FredCDobbs00
Middle Man
Middle Man
Published: 2014/08/14
Channel: John Prine - Topic
John Prine - Bad Boy
John Prine - Bad Boy
Published: 2012/10/25
Channel: D
John Prine - Wedding Day In Funeralville
John Prine - Wedding Day In Funeralville
Published: 2014/01/02
Channel: the winner
01 - Often Is A Word I Seldom Use
01 - Often Is A Word I Seldom Use
Published: 2016/07/31
Channel: Ernesto Pedrero Real
Common Sense by John Prine, cover by Larry C
Common Sense by John Prine, cover by Larry C
Published: 2012/08/19
Channel: cluelocker
Love Is on a Roll (feat. Roger Cook)
Love Is on a Roll (feat. Roger Cook)
Published: 2017/05/25
Channel: John Prine - Topic
John Prine~~Unlonely~~
John Prine~~Unlonely~~
Published: 2012/10/28
Channel: Marianne Menon
My Own Best Friend (John Prine) by Kevin McKenna
My Own Best Friend (John Prine) by Kevin McKenna
Published: 2008/03/08
Channel: myshkyn
John Prine - Automobile
John Prine - Automobile
Published: 2015/08/14
Channel: Graham Andras
John Prine - Grampa was a Carpenter.
John Prine - Grampa was a Carpenter.
Published: 2011/06/21
Channel: wallywalt
John Prine - You Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry cover)
John Prine - You Never Can Tell (Chuck Berry cover)
Published: 2012/09/08
Channel: Dylan Arthur
John Prine - Illegal smile
John Prine - Illegal smile
Published: 2011/04/17
Channel: Kenneth Brown
Saddle In The Rain
Saddle In The Rain
Published: 2014/08/14
Channel: John Prine - Topic
Barbara Lewis
Barbara Lewis
Published: 2011/01/24
Channel: Reverend 'Gator
Saddle in the Rain (John Prine Cover) by Boot Leg
Saddle in the Rain (John Prine Cover) by Boot Leg
Published: 2016/03/06
Channel: Boot Leg
John Prine~ Down By The Side of The Road~
John Prine~ Down By The Side of The Road~
Published: 2012/11/10
Channel: Marianne Menon
John Prine - Killing the Blues
John Prine - Killing the Blues
Published: 2015/08/14
Channel: Graham Andras
Crazy as a Loon - John Prine
Crazy as a Loon - John Prine
Published: 2017/04/04
Channel: WalleyRadio
John Prine - Pretty Good - September 78
John Prine - Pretty Good - September 78
Published: 2017/08/25
Channel: John Prine
John Prine, Donald & Lydia, 6.23.12
John Prine, Donald & Lydia, 6.23.12
Published: 2012/06/28
Channel: mdcjr64
John Prine - Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard
John Prine - Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard
Published: 2011/06/02
Channel: BluesBrothersGirl
John Prine, Ballad of a Teenage Queen
John Prine, Ballad of a Teenage Queen
Published: 2013/10/29
Channel: luvnashville
Wedding Day In Funeralville
Wedding Day In Funeralville
Published: 2014/08/14
Channel: John Prine - Topic
John Prine -  A John Prine Christmas
John Prine - A John Prine Christmas
Published: 2010/12/09
Channel: peel4me
Please don
Please don't Bury Me
Published: 2009/05/18
Channel: ladyarchivist
John Prine, Far From Me
John Prine, Far From Me
Published: 2013/10/28
Channel: luvnashville
VIETNAM WAR - SAM STONE - John Prine - Bobby Bare Interview
VIETNAM WAR - SAM STONE - John Prine - Bobby Bare Interview
Published: 2011/08/20
Channel: Carroll Ray Thomas
John Prine. Angel From Montgomery.Live.
John Prine. Angel From Montgomery.Live.
Published: 2015/05/03
Channel: Noslenrat
David Allan Coe - Longhaired Redneck
David Allan Coe - Longhaired Redneck
Published: 2011/12/17
Channel: scarecrow3666
It
It's a Big Old Goofy World - John Prine
Published: 2017/04/03
Channel: WalleyRadio
Jackson Browne - life and death
Jackson Browne - life and death
Published: 2016/03/06
Channel: rnnnmt
For Kenny: "he was in heaven before he died" - John Prine
For Kenny: "he was in heaven before he died" - John Prine
Published: 2015/04/26
Channel: Ellie Loewen
1433 -  Billy The Bum -  John Prine cover with guitar chords and lyrics
1433 - Billy The Bum - John Prine cover with guitar chords and lyrics
Published: 2014/02/17
Channel: George Possley
John Prine, Donald and Lydia
John Prine, Donald and Lydia
Published: 2013/10/28
Channel: luvnashville
The Cowcatchers - In A Town This Size (John Prine cover) - 06/29/12
The Cowcatchers - In A Town This Size (John Prine cover) - 06/29/12
Published: 2012/07/02
Channel: Rick Barrett
John Prine Diamonds in the rough.wmv
John Prine Diamonds in the rough.wmv
Published: 2010/08/18
Channel: bikerdude990
John prine Billy
John prine Billy's moorings
Published: 2015/07/14
Channel: joe nuzzo
Quit Hollerin
Quit Hollerin' At Me (John Prine) - Ukulele cover
Published: 2010/03/17
Channel: WS64
Lindsay Buckland ~ The Awakening (1995) Australia
Lindsay Buckland ~ The Awakening (1995) Australia
Published: 2015/04/26
Channel: Rory Nights2
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Common Sense
CommonSensePrine.jpg
Studio album by John Prine
Released 1975
Recorded Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN and Larabee Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Folk, Alt-country, Americana
Label Atlantic
Producer Steve Cropper
John Prine chronology
Sweet Revenge
(1973)Sweet Revenge1973
Common Sense
(1975)
Prime Prine: The Best of John Prine
(1976)Prime Prine: The Best of John Prine1976

Common Sense is the fourth album by American folk singer and songwriter John Prine, released in 1975.

Recording[edit]

Common Sense was produced by Steve Cropper and was recorded at Ardent Studios in Memphis and Larabee Studios in Los Angeles. The album features contributions from Bonnie Raitt, Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne and Steve Goodman. Bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, who played in Booker T and the MGs with Cropper, plays on "Forbidden Jimmy" and "Saddle In The Rain". The album marked the first time Prine recorded an album on Atlantic without producer Arif Mardin, and critics took note the change in the Prine sound. In the Great Days: The John Prine Anthology liner notes, Prine insists Sweet Revenge "was a really good record, but I didn't want to keep making the same album over and over, do another 'Dear Abby.' I was really reaching on Common Sense, trying to do some different things musically." According to Eddie Huffman’s book John Prine: In Spite of Himself, the singer was “perfectly content with the record he cut in Memphis. But Cropper was moving into the rock ‘n’ roll big leagues as a producer, working on Rod Stewart’s next record around the same time. He decided Prine’s album needed fleshing out. Despite the singer’s reservations, Cropper took the tapes to Los Angeles and added the kinds of overdubs Prine said he wanted to avoid...” [1]

Compositions[edit]

For the sleeve to his 1988 release John Prine Live, Prine wrote that he began writing "Come Back To Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard" "in the summer of '73 during a tour of Colorado ski towns with Ramblin' Jack Elliott. What I had in mind was this girl who left home, did drugs, did religion, did husbands, and ended up doing diddley." In the Great Days anthology, Prine explains the idea behind the title track: "It's a song about the American dream only existing in the hearts and minds of immigrants until they live here long enough for democracy to make them cold, cynical, and indifferent, like all us native Americans. It don't make much sense." In the same essay, Prine reveals that "Saddle In The Rain" is "another song about friendships and relationships, and being let down. Ever since I can remember, when I was a small kid, anytime I had a friend who really let me down, it would affect me. The disappointment was always large with me. So I guess that's why that's a theme I go back to every once in a while." "Saddle In The Rain" is one of only two songs from Common Sense to appear on the 1976 Atlantic greatest hits compilation Prime Prine (the other being "Barbara Lewis").

Like “Mexican Home” on his previous album, “He Was in Heaven Before He Died” was partially inspired by Prine’s father, who died in 1971, and Prine later reflected on the song’s opening line about “a rainbow of babies draped over the graveyard”: “Where do you go from there? I consider it a challenge, thought, to paint myself into a corner and then get out.”[2] The musical arrangements were more complex than they had been in the past, with Prine biographer Eddie Huffman noting that "Common Sense" used the common I-IV-V chord progression, though Prine "mixed it up with extra chords, as usual, stretching the music to fit the lyrics," while "Saddle in the Rain" "kept his sidemen on their toes, seeming to modulate between D and E minor," and "That Close to You" shifted from A to D in the bridge like a middle-period Beatles song.[3]

As with his previous two LPs, Prine ends the album with a cover song, this time Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell". Although primarily known as a folk singer-songwriter, Prine was just as captivated by rock and roll in his youth as he was by American folk and country music, telling Paul Zollo of Bluerailroad, "I was coming of age just as rock and roll was invented" and cites Berry as his favorite because "he told a story in less than three minutes. And he had a syllable for every beat...Some people stretch the words like a mask to fit the melody. Whereas guys who are really good lyricists, have a meter so that the melody is almost already there."

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2.5/5 stars [4]
Robert Christgau A− [5]

Common Sense received the worst reviews of Prine's career up to that point, with Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone going so far as to say that the album "is a confused, self-indulgent fourth album by a major songwriter gone downhill." Music critic Robert Christgau wrote "Prine customarily strives for coherence, but this time he has purposely (and painfully) abjured it. He seems to regret this at one point--during a more or less cogent lament for a dead friend — but the decision was obviously unavoidable. It results in the most genuinely miserable album I've heard in years." Writing for Allmusic, critic Jim Smith says of the album: "Unfortunately, the cloying production overpowers the lyrics and relegates them to an almost cursory notion, and it doesn't help that Prine hasn't come up with much new material of note. His wit is still sharp, but it no longer shines; consequently, Common Sense has the unfortunate distinction of being the worst of Prine's Atlantic albums." Steven Stolder of Amazon.com writes that Cropper's liberal use of horns and vocal choruses resulted from "Atlantic Records' futile attempt to make John Prine a star" but concedes that Prine's obscure lyrics might make Common Sense "the Prine album fans of crossword puzzles enjoy the most." The chilly critical response shook Prine and marked the end of his relationship with Atlantic records, with the singer admitting to David Fricke in 1993: "After Common Sense it seemed like all there was to write about was what was going on on the road. Which was nothin'. The whole initial rush had left me...I had to take a good look at everything."

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Prine, except as shown.

  1. "Middleman" – 2:29
  2. "Common Sense" – 3:07
  3. "Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard" – 3:17
  4. "Wedding Day in Funeralville" – 2:25
  5. "Way Down" – 2:21
  6. "My Own Best Friend" – 3:11
  7. "Forbidden Jimmy" – 2:52
  8. "Saddle in the Rain" – 3:30
  9. "That Close to You" – 2:45
  10. "He Was in Heaven Before He Died" – 2:12
  11. "You Never Can Tell" (Chuck Berry) – 3:17

Personnel[edit]

  • John Prine – vocals, guitar
  • James H. Brown Jr - (James Hooker) piano, keyboards
  • Peter Bunetta – drums, background vocals
  • Paul Cannon – guitar
  • Tommy Cathey – bass
  • Mailto Correa – percussion, conga
  • Jackson Browne – background vocals
  • Al Bunetta – background vocals
  • Pat Coulter – background vocals
  • Dan Cronin – background vocals
  • Steve Cropper – guitar
  • Donald "Duck" Dunn – bass
  • Steve Goodman – guitar, background vocals
  • Leo LeBlanc – guitar, steel guitar
  • Alan Hand – piano, keyboards, background vocals
  • Larry Muhoberac – piano
  • Steve Spear – bass
  • Rick Vito – guitar, slide guitar
  • Greg Jackson – background vocals
  • Brooks Hunnicutt – background vocals
  • Glenn Frey – background vocals
  • Herb Pedersen – background vocals
  • Gwen Edwards – background vocals
  • J.D. Souther – background vocals
  • Bonnie Raitt – vocals, harmony vocals, gut-string guitar
  • Jim Rothermel – vocals, wind
  • Jim Horn – horn
  • Lewis Collins – horn
  • Jack Hale – horn
  • Wayne Jackson – horn
  • Jackie Kelso – horn
  • Andrew Love – horn
  • Chuck Findley – horn
  • James Mitchell – horn
  • Dave Prine – guitar

Production notes[edit]

  • Steve Cropper – producer
  • Ron Capone – engineer, remixing
  • Richard Rosebrough – engineer
  • Barry Rudolph – engineer
  • Stephen Innocenzi – mastering
  • Paula Scher – design
  • Bob Defrin – art direction
  • Carl Marsh – strings, string arrangements

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1975 Billboard Pop Albums 66

References[edit]

  1. ^ Huffman, Eddie 2015, p. 95.
  2. ^ Huffman, Eddie 2015, p. 94-95.
  3. ^ Huffman, Eddie 2015, p. 94.
  4. ^ Smith, Jim. "Common Sense > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Common Sense > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 9, 2011. 

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