Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball

5.0 4
by Emmylou Harris
     
 

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In the mid-1980s Emmylou Harris -- first on the strength of her work a decade earlier with Gram Parsons and then on her ensuing solo albums -- was the godmother of the New Traditionalist movement. Now, as the millennium nears, she's become the queen mother of alternative country-No Depression-Americana-whatever-it's-called-today, yet

Overview

In the mid-1980s Emmylou Harris -- first on the strength of her work a decade earlier with Gram Parsons and then on her ensuing solo albums -- was the godmother of the New Traditionalist movement. Now, as the millennium nears, she's become the queen mother of alternative country-No Depression-Americana-whatever-it's-called-today, yet another return to the traditional roots of country music. Wrecking Ball is a sharp left turn, though, featuring challenging song selection and a broad sonic palette courtesy of producer Daniel Lanois (Bob Dylan). Broad washes of ambient sounds and reverb-laden guitars mix with New Orleans-style rhythms and Harris's own aching soprano voice (here sounding rough and urgent) to take songs such as Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand," Lucinda Williams's "Sweet Old World," Neil Young's title track, and even a Jimi Hendrix tune, "May This Be Love," into bold, new territory. After more than 20 years of making music, Harris's impulses are still outside the mainstream but nonetheless compelling.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Ankeny
Wrecking Ball is a leftfield masterpiece, the most wide-ranging, innovative, and daring record in a career built on such notions. Rich in atmosphere and haunting in its dark complexity, much of the due credit belongs to producer Daniel Lanois; best known for his work with pop superstars like U2 and Peter Gabriel, on Wrecking Ball Lanois taps into the very essence of what makes Harris tick -- the gossamer vocals, the flawless phrasing -- while also opening up innumerable new avenues for her talents to explore. The songs shimmer and swirl, given life through Lanois' trademark ringing guitar textures and the almost primal drumming of U2's Larry Mullen, Jr. The fixed point remains Harris' voice, which leaps into each and every one of these diverse compositions -- culled from the pens of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Earle, and others -- with utter fearlessness, as if this were the album she'd been waiting her entire life to make. Maybe it is.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/1995
Label:
Asylum Records
UPC:
0075596185424
catalogNumber:
61854
Rank:
10839

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Emmylou Harris   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Steve Earle   Acoustic Guitar
Lucinda Williams   Acoustic Guitar
Neil Young   Harmonica,Vocal Harmony
Richard Bennett   Guitar (Tremolo)
Brian Blade   Drums
Malcolm Burn   Bass,Piano,Drums,Tambourine,Slide Guitar,Vibes,Vocal Harmony
Darryl Johnson   Tom-Tom,Chant,keyboard bass,Vocal Harmony
Daniel Lanois   Dulcimer,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Mandolin,Percussion,Electric Guitar,Chant,bass pedals,Vocal Harmony
Anna McGarrigle   Vocal Harmony
Larry Mullen   Drums,Hand Drums
Kate McGarrigle   Vocal Harmony
Tony Hall   Bass,Drums,Shaker

Technical Credits

Mark Howard   Engineer
Richard Bennett   Contributor
Malcolm Burn   Engineer
Daniel Lanois   Producer
Trina Shoemaker   Engineer
Sandy Jenkins   Engineer
Whitney Sutton   Copy Coordination

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Wrecking Ball 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
By the mid 90s Emmylou Harris had been pigeonholed as a country artist and was losing commercial clout. This CD made here an alt country queen and brought her new listeners. Some of my favorite tracks are Deeper Well, Where Will I Be, and All My Tears. Red Dirt Girl, her next CD, is almost as good but the surprise of her new style is gone. She and Daniel Lanois teamed up with Willie Nelson to make Teatro a few years later.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Without any doubt, "Wrecking Ball" is one of the most powerful albums of Ms.Emmylou Harris. It also marks the beginning of an elegant, prestigious and bold period ("Spyboy"-"Red Dirt Girl"-"Stumble Into Grace") in the career of this adorable lady of the country-rock (Her last four albums are radiating mesmerizingly mysterious and gloomy country music ever created by an female singer-songwriter.). Wrecking Ball’s twelve songs which talk about the hopes lost in the dubious fog of the future, the loves threatened by the everyday monotony, the joy of life stimulated by art despite the human being’s impotence against death; make this exceptional CD a must for the fans of the work of Ms.Harris. Listening to it without moderation is recommended without forgetting the precious support of Mr.Daniel Lanois.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wrecking ball is the start of something wonderful. Emmy departs from her usual and it's a great thing to listen to. She enlists the help of Daniel Lanois to produce and he knows what Emmy can do so well. Malcolm Burns is engineering (He produces her more recent "Red Dirt Girl" and "Stumble into Grace")and lends a helping hand. This CD is one of my all time favorites and the whole thing is worth the price. Not a bad song on the CD. Emmy sounds wonderful and her songs sing directly to your soul and heart. Every song has something that makes you sit up and take notice. What a voice...what music. Thank you EmmyLou et al.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago