The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The standard line on Nanci Griffith's five-year sojourn at MCA Records is that Griffith, a Texas-born singer/songwriter, earned a major-label Nashville contract after four independent folkie releases on the basis of Kathy Mattea's Top Ten country recording of her song "Love at the Five and Dime," at a time when country music seemed more open to new sounds and MCA's Tony Brown was also signing such mavericks as Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. But after two albums, Lone Star State of Mind 1987 and Little Love Affairs 1988, met resistance, failing to produce a major country hit, Griffith was transferred to the label's pop division, where Storms 1989 showed promise but Late ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The standard line on Nanci Griffith's five-year sojourn at MCA Records is that Griffith, a Texas-born singer/songwriter, earned a major-label Nashville contract after four independent folkie releases on the basis of Kathy Mattea's Top Ten country recording of her song "Love at the Five and Dime," at a time when country music seemed more open to new sounds and MCA's Tony Brown was also signing such mavericks as Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. But after two albums, Lone Star State of Mind 1987 and Little Love Affairs 1988, met resistance, failing to produce a major country hit, Griffith was transferred to the label's pop division, where Storms 1989 showed promise but Late Night Grande Hotel 1991 turned out to be too much of a pop move and turned off her existing fan base without attracting a new one. Then MCA dropped her. After a sojourn at Elektra Records, Griffith returned to indie status with Rounder in 2002, which oddly landed her back at MCA, since the major had a distribution deal with Rounder. MCA has also reissued Griffith's early albums, which gives the label a considerable stake in her catalog. So, there is a full-priced one-disc compilation of her actual MCA recordings From a Distance: The Very Best of Nanci Griffith, a discount-priced Millennium Collection best-of, and now this two-disc package combining all four MCA albums with a few rarities. And when you listen to it from beginning to end, the standard line no longer seems to hold. The first two albums are no more country than Griffith's early "folk" albums, and the last two are not so "pop." The distinctions have more to do with production approaches, which pale before the dominant aspects of the music -- Griffith's sweet and sour voice with its distinctive twang and the terrific songs. Maybe there was something to the notion that Griffith, who delighted in showing listeners what novel she was reading on her album covers, was a bit too erudite for a Nashville thrush, but the result is a set of songs, written by her and some well-chosen others, that stand up well a decade later and are likely to sound just as good many decades hence.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/17/2003
  • Label: Mca
  • UPC: 008817038124
  • Catalog Number: 000044702
  • Sales rank: 16,459

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nanci Griffith Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Sam Bush Mandolin
Pat Alger Guitar, Hi String
John Stewart Electric Guitar, Vocals
Albert Lee Vocal Harmony
Tanita Tikaram Vocals
Mo Foster Electric Bass
Rod Argent Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocal Harmony
Jerry Donahue Electric Guitar
Phil Everly Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Lloyd Green Dobro, Pedal Steel Guitar
Jon Goin Electric Guitar, Classical Guitar, Hi String
Levine Andrade Viola
Mark Berrow Violin
Fran Breen Drums
Charlie Bundy Vocal Harmony
John Catchings Cello
Ben Croft Violin
Mitch Dalton Classical Guitar
Pat Donaldson Electric Bass, Mandocello
Philip Donnelly Guitar, Electric Guitar
David Emanuel Viola
Béla Fleck Banjo
Pat Flynn Acoustic Guitar
Roger Garland Violin
Wilfred Gibson Violin
Tim Good Violin
Emory Gordy Mandolin, Electric Bass
Peter Gorisch Cello, Fretless Bass Guitar, Upright Bass
James Hooker Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, Hammond Organ
David Hungate Electric Bass
John Jarvis Synthesizer, Piano
Paul Kegg Cello
Russ Kunkel Percussion, Drums
Bernie Leadon Electric Guitar, Slide Guitar, Mandocello, Vocal Harmony
Helen Liebmann Cello
Marvin Loveday Cello
Mac McAnally Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Neill MacColl Electric Guitar
Rick Marotta Drums
Pat McInerney Percussion
Mark O'Connor Acoustic Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Violin, Viola, Mandola
Anthony Pleeth Cello
Johnathan Rees Violin
George Robertson Viola
Robert Smissen Viola
Peter Van Hooke Percussion, Drums
Billy Joe Walker Jr. Acoustic Guitar
Barry Wilde Violin
Gavyn Wright Conductor
Roy Huskey Jr. Upright Bass
Byrd Burton Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Marc Donahue Emulator
Lucy Kaplanski Vocal Harmony
Danny Flowers Slide Guitar
David Woodcock Violin
Rick West Acoustic Guitar
Technical Credits
Nanci Griffith Composer, Producer
Fred Koller Composer
Pat Alger Composer
Tom Russell Composer
John Stewart Composer
Eric Taylor Composer
Tom Waits Composer
Bert Kaempfert Composer
Rod Argent Producer, String Arrangements
Phil Everly Vocal Engineer
Roger Brown Composer
Tony Brown Producer
Glyn Johns Producer
Julie Gold Composer
James Hooker Composer
Harlan Howard Composer
Simon Hurrell Engineer
Robert Earl Keen Jr. Composer
Paul Kennerley Composer
Mac McAnally Composer
Jack Joseph Puig Engineer
Mike Ross Engineer
Steve Tillisch Engineer
Peter Van Hooke Producer
Ben Weisman Composer
Fred Wise Composer
Vince Bell Composer
Vartan Art Direction
Chuck Ainlay Engineer
Erick Labson Mastering
Gene Levine Composer
Don Lowery Composer
Danny Flower Composer
Kay Twomey Composer
Kelly Martinez Licensing
Scott Schinder Liner Notes
Rick West Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Little bit country, little bit rock and roll...

    First of all, let me say that this collection is certainly worth your money. It is built around the novel approach of four complete albums on two CD's (not just nebulous highlights), and captures some of Nanci's most poignant and well-written work from her "high-pitched" period in the late 1980s and into the 90s. My favorite material from this collection appears on disc two of the album, which covers the albums "Storms" and "Late Night Grande Hotel." These songs were recorded during her tumultous time at MCA Records, when, after failing to capture a mainstream audience through country music, she began to dabble in a more synth-piano-pop sound. The best songs on disc two are "I Don't Want to Talk About Love," "It's a Hard Life Wherever You Go," "Just Another Morning Here," and of course, the hauntingly lonely "Late Night Grande Hotel." The album will enable you to gain a more transparent insight into Nanci's broad and sometimes comlicated discography. Buy this collection if you like Nanci in general, and particularly if you want to discover more of her music but just don't know where to start.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews