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Diamonds & Dirt
     

Diamonds & Dirt

by Rodney Crowell
 

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Rodney Crowell had already been making excellent albums for a decade when Diamonds & Dirt made him an honest-to-goodness country star in 1988. The landmark album yielded no less than five No. 1 singles, making its success a watershed event in the much-vaunted new-traditionalist movement. The album was fully deserving of the commercial breakthrough, melding

Overview

Rodney Crowell had already been making excellent albums for a decade when Diamonds & Dirt made him an honest-to-goodness country star in 1988. The landmark album yielded no less than five No. 1 singles, making its success a watershed event in the much-vaunted new-traditionalist movement. The album was fully deserving of the commercial breakthrough, melding Lennon-and-McCartneyesque melodicism to hard country rhythms in support of lyrics as cutting and incisive as Hank Williams's. Thirteen years later, Diamonds & Dirt sounds as warm, witty and wise as ever. "She's Crazy for Leaving" boasts one of modern country's wackiest lyrics; "After All This Time" one of its most touching; and the duet with then-wife Rosanne Cash, "It's Such a Small World," is of a piece with the fierce musical passion of such classic country duos such as Porter and Dolly, Loretta and Conway, and George and Tammy. It's hard to improve upon perfection, but this expanded edition does the trick by adding three bonus tracks.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Of the four records Rodney Crowell cut under his name before 1988's Diamonds & Dirt, three of them are still regarded as classics of the progressive country genre. The Houston native was well established as a songwriter (Emmylou Harris cut a slew of Crowell songs on her first five records), producer, and performer. Along with then-wife Rosanne Cash, he brought elements of new wave and early rock & roll into the genre, giving it a much needed kick in the rear. But as good as those albums were, Diamonds & Dirt put him on the map for good. In the 21st century, Crowell makes his living primarily as a hit songwriter, though he still records independently, cutting one critically acclaimed album after another. Co-produced by Crowell and Tony Brown, Diamonds & Dirt yielded five chart-topping singles, including "It's Such a Small World," a duet with Cash (who provided backing vocals throughout the set); a burning rockabilly version of pal Guy Clark's "She's Crazy for Leavin'"; the switchblade swagger of "Crazy Baby" (which sounds like Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe backing Jerry Lee Lewis); and the stellar ballad "After All This Time." That said, there is something else afoot here, too. A listen to "I Know You're Married" reveals that Crowell was a real fan of the early Beatles, and, on "I Didn't Know That I Could Lose You," of Roy Orbison. The only other cover on the set is a stellar swaggering honky tonk cum pub rock version of Harlan Howard's "Above and Beyond (The Call of Love)," which could have been recorded by England's Brinsley Schwarz. The remastered Legacy version of the album also includes three previously unreleased demos from the Diamonds & Dirt sessions and a wonderfully intimate set of liner notes. For contemporary country fans, this disc is such an important part of the development of modern music that it has virtually influenced everything that's come after it, making it impossible to ignore.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2008
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886972447322
catalogNumber:
724473
Rank:
15667

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rodney Crowell   Primary Artist,Rhythm Guitar
Rosanne Cash   Vocals,Background Vocals,Harmony
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Barry Beckett   Organ,Piano
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Vince Gill   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Russ Kunkel   Drums,Track Performer
Mark O'Connor   Fiddle,Mandolin
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Vince Santoro   Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Preston Smith   Harmonica,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Steuart Smith   Guitar

Technical Credits

Rosanne Cash   Liner Notes,Duet
Guy Clark   Liner Notes
Rodney Crowell   Producer,Liner Notes
Emmylou Harris   Liner Notes
Tony Brown   Producer
Susanna Clark   Liner Notes
Donivan Cowart   Engineer
Harlan Howard   Liner Notes
Will Jennings   Liner Notes
John D. Loudermilk   Liner Notes
Steve Marcantonio   Engineer
Bob Irwin   Producer
Bill Johnson   Art Direction
Howard Fritzson   Art Direction
Ken Criblez   Contributor,Recording Assistant
John Christiana   Packaging Manager
Martha Wood   Personal Assistant
Renée Bell   Personal Assistant

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