Anthology, Vol. 1: Cowboy Man

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Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A package designed to enthrall fans and win over skeptics, Anthology, Vol. 1: Cowboy Man meshes 2 new tracks with 13 others from long, tall Texan Lyle Lovett's early years -- 1986-89 -- as a New Traditionalist pioneer. Lovett's back pages are some of country's best, but the new songs alone are worth the price of admission here. The album-opening "The Truck Song" is an infectious Texas shuffle highlighted by pungent guitar solos and Lovett's wry expressions of devotion to his battered but reliable Old Black pickup. "San Antonio Girl" gets into a western swing-cum-honky-tonk mode in relating Lovett's growing obsession with another guy's girl, although as the song develops ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
A package designed to enthrall fans and win over skeptics, Anthology, Vol. 1: Cowboy Man meshes 2 new tracks with 13 others from long, tall Texan Lyle Lovett's early years -- 1986-89 -- as a New Traditionalist pioneer. Lovett's back pages are some of country's best, but the new songs alone are worth the price of admission here. The album-opening "The Truck Song" is an infectious Texas shuffle highlighted by pungent guitar solos and Lovett's wry expressions of devotion to his battered but reliable Old Black pickup. "San Antonio Girl" gets into a western swing-cum-honky-tonk mode in relating Lovett's growing obsession with another guy's girl, although as the song develops into a San Antone travelogue, it appears Lovett is more attached to the city than the female. Otherwise the tune stack illustrates his ability to embrace a multitude of stylistic influences and still keep it country. "Farther Down the Line," from 1986, melds country and pop as artfully as Rodney Crowell was doing at that time. The beautiful folk-styled ballad "This Old Porch," co-written with Robert Earl Keen, is all acute detail and poignant recollection of an unassuming place rife with personal history. Two bittersweet tracks from 1989 Lyle Lovett & His Large Band album, "Which Way Does That Old Pony Run" and "If You Were to Wake Up," illustrate a discreetly expanded sonic palette. There's a lot to chew on in a Lovett song, whether it be lyrics, arrangement, or the sly vocal phrasing that can freight an ordinary lyric with startling intensity and a wealth of emotion.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Check the subhead in the title -- yes, this may be an anthology, but this isn't a greatest hits, it's a collection of songs that emphasize Lyle Lovett's country side and, therefore, is pitched directly at the country audience that never had much truck with him after he started singing "Stand By Your Man," playing with His Large Band, and indulging his passion for Randy Newman. In other words, it's not really representative, particularly in how it consciously avoids his status as a leader of the alt-country movement in the first Bush era. His Large Band, Joshua Judges Ruth, and I Love Everybody are entirely avoided perhaps saved for Vol. 2, and even good portions of Lovett's country work are ignored, such as "You're Not From Texas" and the rest of The Road to Ensenada, for that matter. That's not really a complaint, but their absence feels more puzzling since two new songs are thrown in for good measure the really good "The Truck Song," plus "San Antonio Girl". In any regard, this is a good summary of Lovett's first two albums, containing most of the great songs from those records -- "God Will," "This Old Porch," "If I Were the Man You Wanted," "If I Had a Boat," "Walk Through the Bottomland," and "LA County" are as good as music got in the '80s, and it's a pleasure to hear them in any context. Even so, it's hard to shake the nagging feeling that the whole story isn't told with this collection, and it's even harder not to notice that Lovett hasn't released a collection of original songs since 1996 -- and, for the hardcore fans who are suckered in by the two new songs, it'll be hard not to wish that a full-fledged album is around the corner sometime soon.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/23/2001
  • Label: Mca Nashville
  • UPC: 008817023427
  • Catalog Number: 170234

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lyle Lovett Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar
Sam Bush Mandolin
Emmylou Harris Background Vocals
Matt Rollings Piano, Keyboards
Eddie Bayers Drums
Jeff Borree Drums
Stuart Duncan Fiddle
Gene Eichelberger Overdubs
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar
John Hagen Cello
Ray Herndon Electric Guitar, Background Vocals
Viktor Krauss Bass
Paul Leim Drums
Matt McKenzie Bass
Mark O'Connor Fiddle, Mandola
Dean Parks Electric Guitar
Mark Prentice Organ
Brent Rowan Electric Guitar
J. David Sloan Background Vocals
Jon Randall Background Vocals
Leland Sklar Bass
Technical Credits
Lyle Lovett Producer
Billy Williams Producer
Tony Brown Producer
Gene Eichelberger Remixing
Robert Earl Keen Jr. Composer
Willie Pevear Engineer
Doug Sax Mastering
AAA Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lyle on Wry

    This selection of songs from Lovett's first two albums had a Texas swing and country sound. If you are looking the big band or gospel sounds from a bit later, you will not find them here. The musicianship and the sound are impeccable. The flaw with this collection is Lyle's ironic tone. It works on songs like If I Had A Boat. However, on the murder-revenge ballad LA County the listener is left to wonder how such a cynical guy could become so enraged at his ex-lover and her fiancee that he would follow them to California and gun them down at the altar. Lovett would move further away from straight country as time went on. This is valuable as a look at his early roots.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Lovett with 2 new titles...what more could you want?

    This is a great compilation of classic Lovett with two great new songs. His backup singers are among the finest in this genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Wow

    This is an absolutely wonderful album. Every selection is excellent, and a fan who was not familiar with Lovett's work from 80's is in for a real treat. Go Lyle, you are THE MAN.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    It Doesn't Get Much Better Than This

    This is a wonderful collection of Lyle; it doesn't get much better than this. I particularly like ''Farther Down the Line'' if I had to pick a favorite on the CD. I highly recommend this CD to any country music fan. It's the best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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