By My Side

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The problem with many retrospectives is that they usually place an artist's best-known and/or best-selling songs in a sequence that can defy context. The end result can be a rather jagged listening experience. Ben Harper's By My Side seems to address that issue by looking at it directly. Instead of simply letting his label choose a slew of tracks and call it a "hits" or "best-of" collection, Harper handpicked a dozen cuts, and focused on a particular aspect of his work: ballads. In addition to ten standard-bearers from his catalog, he also chose an alternate studio version of "Not Fire Not Ice," which sounds like a nicely recorded demo (and was never available in the United ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
The problem with many retrospectives is that they usually place an artist's best-known and/or best-selling songs in a sequence that can defy context. The end result can be a rather jagged listening experience. Ben Harper's By My Side seems to address that issue by looking at it directly. Instead of simply letting his label choose a slew of tracks and call it a "hits" or "best-of" collection, Harper handpicked a dozen cuts, and focused on a particular aspect of his work: ballads. In addition to ten standard-bearers from his catalog, he also chose an alternate studio version of "Not Fire Not Ice," which sounds like a nicely recorded demo (and was never available in the United States before), and provided a single new cut, a sparse, sexy, soulful number called "Crazy Amazing" with his Relentless7 bandmates. The remaining tracks are canny choices: the vast majority of them would be the very cuts his fans would choose for such a collection. They span his entire career beginning with "Forever," from Welcome to the Cruel World. Also included from that recording is "Waiting on an Angel" near the end of this set. The two tracks chosen from Fight for Your Mind are the title track, of course, and "Gold to Me." The title track to Diamonds on the Inside is also here. Among the other selections are "Morning Yearning" from Lifeline (with the Innocent Criminals), "Beloved One" from Burn to Shine, and "Happy Everafter in Your Eyes" from Both Sides of the Gun. Taking in Harper's ballads without the rockist guitar pyrotechnics is solid not only in conception but in execution. While there's no doubt that fans have most of these tracks already, listening to By My Side's presentation of them as a resonant sampling of a particular area in the larger context of his work adds both depth and dimension to Harper's reputation, not only as a songwriter but as a singer as well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/16/2012
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • EAN: 5099997996125
  • Catalog Number: 79961
  • Sales rank: 49,980

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Forever (3:25)
  2. 2 By My Side (3:35)
  3. 3 Gold to Me (4:58)
  4. 4 Diamonds On the Inside (4:24)
  5. 5 In the Colors (3:01)
  6. 6 Beloved One (3:59)
  7. 7 Not Fire Not Ice (3:40)
  8. 8 Morning Yearning (4:04)
  9. 9 Feel Love (3:44)
  10. 10 Happy Everafter in Your Eyes (2:24)
  11. 11 Waiting On an Angel (3:53)
  12. 12 Crazy Amazing (3:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Harper Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Vocals, Vibes, Weissenborn
Jon Clarke Oboe
Joel Derouin Violin
Greg Kurstin Electric Piano
Greg Leisz Pedal Steel Guitar
Leon Mobley Percussion
Michael Ward Guitar
Jason Yates Keyboards
Suzie Katayama Cello
Eric Sarafin Piano
Jessy Greene Violin
Juan Nelson Bass
Rock Deadrick Percussion
Ervin Pope Hammond B3
Eve Butler Violin
Timothy Loo Cello
Oliver Charles Drums
Alyssa Park Violin
Jesse Ingalls Bass
Jason Mozersky Guitar
Joel Pargman Violin
Matt Cory Bass
Patrick Rosalez Violin
Jordan Richardson Drums
Brett Banducci Viola
Matthew Funes Viola
Nicky P Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Bradley Cook Engineer
Ben Harper Composer, Producer
Danny Kalb Engineer
Rick Olivier Cover Photo
J.P. Plunier Producer
Mikal Reid Engineer
Suzie Katayama String Arrangements
Eric Sarafin Engineer
Christine Kane Management
Bob "Stiv" Coke Producer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
Tom Dolan Art Direction
Todd Burke Engineer
Jessy Greene String Arrangements
Will Botwin Management
Dan Steinberg Engineer
Lindsay Brown Management
Pete Lyman Engineer
Patrick Jordan Management
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