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Jones, Ricki Lee - 1989 Flying Cowboys
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on March 19 2017, In 1989 Articles , 1 Comment , 272 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Jones, Ricki Lee
ALBUM: Flying Cowboys
LABEL: Geffen
SERIAL: 9 24246-2
YEAR: 1989


LINEUP: Rickie Lee Jones - vocals, guitars, synthesizer * John Robinson, Peter Erskine - drums * Buzz Feiten, Dean Park, Sal Bernardi - guitars * Greg Phillinganes - keyboards * Neil Stubenhaus, Rob Wasserman, Ed Alton, Walter Becker - bass * Paulinho da Costa, Michael Fisher, Bob Zimmiti - percussion * William Smith, Greg Mathieson - organ * Bob Sheppard - sax * Marty Krystall - english horn, clarinet, sax * Vince Mendoza, Randy Brecker - trumpet * Jim Keltner - drum machine * Chris Dickie - drum programming * Michael Omartian - piano * Michael Boddicker - synthesizer * Pascal Nabet-Meyer - synthesizer, piano, percussion programming * Chris Smith - harmonica * Vonda Shepard - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Horses * 02 Just My Baby * 03 Ghetto Of My Mind * 04 Rodeo Girl * 05 Satellites * 06 Ghost Train * 07 Flying Cowboys * 08 Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying * 09 Love Is Gonna Bring Us Back Alive * 10 Away From The Sky * 11 Atlas' Marker

WEBLINKS: www.rickieleejones.com

I was woefully unimpressed with Rickie Lee Jones after I saw her on 'Saturday Night Live' in the spring of 1979. I can't remember why I caught her performance since I was never big on the overrated comedy show and more than likely I was flicking channels while staying up to watch 'The Midnight Special' or some other wee hours music extravaganza. Rickie's soon to be top 10 single 'Chuck E's In Love' which of course she played that night was a universe away from the type of music I was into at the time and she was no Kate Bush, yet there was no escaping the song that was cotton candy sweet on the surface but digging deeper, oddly literate. In other words, not your typical pop fare. A couple years later I happened to hear the title track off her critically acclaimed 'Pirates' LP on the radio and again, the song was artfully engaging and sounding like a female fronted Steely Dan. Interesting and the album was pretty good too. Fast forward to 1984 and the release of the James Newton Howard produced 'The Magazine' found the songwriter at a creative apex, releasing one of the best pop records of that year. This was clearly not the same beret wearing Bohemian I saw on TV in the late 70's.

The Songs
Taking some much needed time off for personal reasons, Jones re-emerged in 1989 with 'Flying Cowboys'. Produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker, there's an American West theme in the lyrics and song titles and although it's noticeably laid-back and less experimental than 'The Magazine', the disc does not disappoint. Opening with a track that was a co-write with Walter Becker; 'The Horses' became a number one Australian hit for Daryl Braithwaite as well the original version finding a major placement in the popular film 'Jerry Maguire'. 'Just My Baby' harkens back to the playfulness of her debut while the catchy 'Satellites' was surprisingly the only single pulled from the album and it did pretty well on the charts. The dusty blues and dark narrative of 'Ghost Train' succeeds and while I'm not sure the cover of Gerry And The Pacemakers 'Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying' was necessary, it certainly is one of the sweetest I've heard. 'Atlas' Marker' closes the album on a fun note with funky ethnic percussion and jazzy vibes recalling Paul Simon's groundbreaking 'Graceland' album. Nice.

In Summary
Rickie still records and tours and while she might not be for everyone perusing these pages, for my money you can't go wrong with 'Flying Cowboys', the aforementioned 'Pirates' and especially 'The Magazine' as all three are sophisticated pop classics which should fit comfortably between Joni Mitchell's undervalued 'Dog Eat Dog' album and the early Suzanne Vega artpop masterpieces.

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#1 | gdazegod on March 20 2017 13:08:26
Rickie Lee Jones - 1989 The Horses
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The Daryl Braithwaite version has become the national anthem of the state of Victoria - Australia, where I currently live, due to its overwhelming popularity around the horse racing season, which is pretty much 9 months of the year.
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