Border Lord/Jesus Was a Capricorn

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
It's difficult to figure out Wounded Bird's scheme for its ambitious Kris Kristofferson reissue program. The four volumes in the series contain eight albums. Only four of them are issued in chronological order, and this set includes two: 1972's Border Lord and Jesus Was a Capricorn. Why they chose to skip around and not simply release all of these two-fers in historical release sequence is a mystery; it would have made it a lot easier for the listener to pick and choose. While it's true that Border Lord and Jesus Was a Capricorn, Kristofferson's third and fourth albums for Monument, respectively, aren't as widely celebrated as his first two -- on which he had the luxury of ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
It's difficult to figure out Wounded Bird's scheme for its ambitious Kris Kristofferson reissue program. The four volumes in the series contain eight albums. Only four of them are issued in chronological order, and this set includes two: 1972's Border Lord and Jesus Was a Capricorn. Why they chose to skip around and not simply release all of these two-fers in historical release sequence is a mystery; it would have made it a lot easier for the listener to pick and choose. While it's true that Border Lord and Jesus Was a Capricorn, Kristofferson's third and fourth albums for Monument, respectively, aren't as widely celebrated as his first two -- on which he had the luxury of picking over his finest songs written over a long period of trying to make it in Nashville which he finally did thanks to Mickey Newbury -- they are nonetheless consistent in terms of quality and vision. Astonishingly, Kristofferson cut and released these two sets within nine months of one another, making for a total of four albums in less than three years! Needless to say, there was little time to painstakingly craft these newer songs as he had his earlier ones, so he went to the suitcase: some of the songs on Border Lord date back to the '60s. Who could blame him? Border Lord reflects on three subjects extensively: broken characters mainly women, God, and the Devil. They are intertwined seamlessly here, creating a themed album, though not quite a "concept" as a result. These are the reflections of a man who travels, whose life on the road brings him into contact with big questions, conflicting inner forces, and with people on the fringes. The best songs here, such as "Burden of Freedom," "Josie," and "Getting' By, High and Strange" are as poetic as anything the man ever wrote, and while the narratives are a little more sporadic and less catchy as the songs on his first two recordings, they delve deeper into the seamy side of life more naturally and with more memorable lines. It's solid, top to bottom. Jesus Was a Capricorn featured the largest alternating cast of studio musicians and singers Kristofferson ever recorded with: a dozen guitar players, three different singing quartets, his own unruly cast of backing vocalists, a full string section, five keyboard players, etc. The disc features a pair of duets with his soon-to-be-wife Rita Coolidge, the excellent "Give It Time to Be Tender," and "It Sure Was Love." The set was Kristofferson's greatest commercial success, though it was a sleeper album if there ever was one -- it hit number one on the country charts a full year after it was released. Another winner is the album's final cut, "Why Me," a full-on spiritual that hit the top of the country charts it was later a huge hit for Willie Nelson as well. Kristofferson's obsessions with God and Satan twinned here with his views of good and evil being something akin to fingers on the same hand. His optimism regarding love, despite his chronicling the lives of hard-bitten characters, using melodies that were at home on pop as well as country charts -- the title track in particular -- makes for a collection of strong, immediate tracks that account for a record that endures even into the 21st century. In this great but cheesily packaged series, this volume, along with Spooky Lady's Sideshow coupled with To the Bone,is the most consistent bet and the one in particular that offers newcomers to Kristofferson an excellent introduction outside the wealth of his legendary singles.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/7/2009
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • UPC: 664140130227
  • Catalog Number: 1302

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Kris Kristofferson Primary Artist, Vocals
Josh Graves Dobro
David Darling Strings
Rita Coolidge Vocals
Mac Gayden Guitar
Dennis Linde Guitar
Billy Swan Vocals
Grady Martin Guitar
Bobby Wood Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Larry Gatlin Vocals
Byron Bach Strings
Brenton Banks Strings
George Binkley III Strings
Stephen Bruton Guitar
Kenny Buttrey Drums
Charles Chalmers Track Performer
Chip Young Guitar
Tommy Cogbill Bass
Jim Colvard Guitar
Randy Cullers Vocals
Bobby Emmons Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Don Gant Track Performer
Carl Gorodetzky Strings
John Harris Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Hoyt Hawkins Track Performer
Lillian Hunt Strings
Millie Kirkham Track Performer
Sheldon Kurland Strings
Weldon Myrick Steel Guitar
Andy Newmark Drums
June Page Track Performer
Norbert Putnam Bass
Donna Rhodes Track Performer
Alan Rush Vocals
Jerry Shook Guitar
Steven Maxwell Smith Strings
Gordon Stoker Track Performer
Mike Utley Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
D. Bergen White Track Performer
Benny Whitehead Vocals
Fred Carter Jr. Guitar
Raymond Walker Track Performer
David Brigs Organ, Piano, Electric Piano
Technical Credits
Kris Kristofferson Composer
Stephen Bruton Composer
Fred Foster Producer
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