By My Side

By My Side

by Ben Harper


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By My Side

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/16/2012
Label: Virgin Records Us
UPC: 5099997996125
catalogNumber: 79961

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ben Harper   Primary Artist,Acoustic 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
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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