Gold

Gold

by Ryan Adams
     
 

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One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went around telling everyone he was a genius, and his record company gave himSee more details below

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Overview

One would think that being Ryan Adams would be a pretty good deal at the time of this album's release; he had a major-label deal, critics were in love with him, he got to date Winona Ryder and Alanis Morissette, Elton John went around telling everyone he was a genius, and his record company gave him carte blanche to do whatever he wanted. But to listen to Gold, Adams' first solo album for his big-league sponsors at Lost Highway, one senses that there are about a dozen other musicians Adams would love to be, and nearly all of them were at their peak in the early to mid-'70s. Adams' final album with Whiskeytown, Pneumonia, made it clear that he was moving beyond the scruffy alt-country of his early work, and Gold documents his current fascination with '70s rock. Half the fun of the album is playing "Spot the Influence": "Answering Bell" is a dead ringer for Van Morrison (with fellow Morrison enthusiast Adam Duritz on backing vocals), "Tina Toledo's Street Walkin' Blues" is obviously modeled on the Rolling Stones, "Harder Now That It's Over" sounds like Harvest-period Neil Young, "New York, New York" resembles Stephen Stills in his livelier moments (Stephen's son, Chris Stills, plays on the album), and "Rescue Blues" and "La Cienega Just Smiled" suggest the influence of Adams' pal Elton John. Of course, everyone has their influences, and Adams seems determined to make the most of them on Gold; it's a far more ambitious album than his solo debut, Heartbreaker. The performances are polished, Ethan Johns' production is at once elegant and admirably restrained, Adams is in strong voice throughout, and several of the songs are superb, especially the swaggering but lovelorn "New York, New York," the spare and lovely "When the Stars Go Blue," and the moody closer, "Goodnight, Hollywood Blvd." But while Gold sounds like a major step forward for Adams in terms of technique, it lacks the heart and soul of Heartbreaker or Pneumonia; the album seems to reflect craft rather than passion, and while it's often splendid craft, the fire that made Whiskeytown's best work so special isn't evident much of the time. Gold sounds like an album that could win Ryan Adams a lot of new fans (especially with listeners whose record collections go back a ways), but longtime fans may be a bit put off by the album's richly crafted surfaces and emotionally hollow core. [The first pressing of Gold came with a five-song bonus disc titled "Side Four," that allowed Adams' twangy side to rise to the surface again for a couple of numbers, especially "The Fools We Are as Men" and "The Bar Is a Beautiful Place."]

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/28/2003
Label:
Lost Highway
UPC:
0008817023519
catalogNumber:
170235
Rank:
7488

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ryan Adams   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Piano,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Sid Page   Concert Master
Julianna Raye   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Bucky Baxter   Steel Guitar
Benmont Tench   Piano,Hammond Organ
Jennifer Condos   Bass
Ethan Johns   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Celeste,Conga,Drums,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar,Slide Guitar,Vibes,chamberlain,Mandocello
Rob McDonald   Choir, Chorus
Sid Paige   Concert Master
Adam Duritz   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
C.C. White   Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Milo Decruz   Bass
Keith Hunter   Choir, Chorus
Chris Stills   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Andre "Big Dre" Carter   Trumpet
Richard Causon   Piano
Kamasi Washington   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Ethan Johns   Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements
Steven Rhodes   Engineer
Ryan Adams   Art Direction
Karen Naff   Art Direction

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