Steve Earle — Albums Poll — DiScussion

I’ve been on a real deep dive into his discography of late. I rewatched The Wire a few months back and realized I needed to check out his music. Not something I would have appreciated or been able to stomach a handful of years ago but I’ve gained a new appreciation of country music in recent years. Anyway pick your three favorite albums and/or join me in discussing the music of Steve Earle.

  • Guitar Town (1986)
  • Exit 0 (1987)
  • Copperheard Road (1988)
  • The Hard Way (1990)
  • Train a Comin’ (1995)
  • I Feel Alright (1996)
  • El Corazón (1997)
  • The Mountain (1999)
  • Transcendental Blues (2000)
  • Jerusalem (2002)
  • The Revolution Starts Now (2004)
  • Washington Square Serenade (2007)
  • Townes (2009)
  • I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive (2011)
  • The Low Highway (2013)
  • Terraplane (2015)
  • So You Wannabe An Outlaw (2017)

0 voters

I thought about leaving off everything after like … Jerusalem, cos none of it really seems essential but opted to leave it in just in case someone wants to make an argument for any of it.

I think I’m going to rank them as such:

Transcendental Blues
I Feel Alright
Train A Coming

1 Like

Ive been pretty obsessed w these two songs off Transcendental Blues:


Really love him but also have not done a deep dive. When I was morbidly lonely and depressed after finishing uni (fuck, 15 years ago) I would go to the central library a lot, leaving with piles of books, cds and dvds - honestly probably a better education than I got in the preceding three years - and one of them was a compilation of him called Angry Young Man.

It was amazing, and although I think the compilation’s long since been deleted, it’s still basis for the Spotify best of I keep of him, and runs:

1/ Copperhead Road
2/ The Devil’s right Hand
3/ Angry Young Man
4/ Waiting On You
5/ It’s All Up To You
6/ No. 29
7/ I Ain’t Ever Satisfied
8/ The Other Kind
9/ The Rain Came Down
10/ Guitar Town
11/ My Old Friend The Blues
12/ Someday

There MIGHT have been an alternate track or two on that tape but it was basically the above (basically amazing) and seemed to tell the story to me of an angry young man in a small town trying to break out. I love it.

On a Wire-trip I recently read Clockers (seminal crime novel written by one of the writers) and it was phenomenal. You could see the basis for plenty of the show in it.

1 Like

I’m not familiar with pretty much any of the recent stuff but I Feel All Right is one of my all time forever faves. Fucking awesome record. I also enjoy Copperhead Road and Guitar Town

1 Like

lol nice. man i love that song.

i feel (felt?) p much the same but a lot of fans really prefer that part of his career, more raw and more country. on spotify the 30th ann verison of Guitar Town sounds way better, would suggest checking that with new ears. Fearless Heart is an all time classic. Exit 0 is about half great.

i like Copperhead Road but think it’s held in such high regard cos it stands on three perfect songs (copperhead road, johnny come lately, devils right hand).

yeah well prob best to stick to his stuff up through Jerusalem for that reason.

1 Like

That’s an interesting compilation. Basically all from his first 3 albums and one from his 4th.

throw on transcendental blues and report back! its very different, in sound/production especially, to what you’ve heard already.

crank this up on your next road trip and try and sing the lucinda williams part with her drawl

3 Likes

yeah for sure, he’s used tony fitzpatrick since i feel alright (1996)

https://tonyfitzpatrick.co/

1 Like

the sound and production choices are suspect for sure, lost that ability to write/perform a memorable hook. started with Jerusalem i think (just listen to conspiracy theory). lost that edge you know. but there’s like 9 albums before it that are all varying degrees of good/great/classic so im not mad. and there’s def some good songs sprinkled in the post transcendental blues era but imo it’s closer to like… two per album.

having said that, I see that @PaintyCanNed voted for three albums from that era so I’d be interested to hear their thoughts on them, maybe hear what I’m missing.

1 Like

Album-wise I find he’s a bit patchy. Favourites are Guitar Town, I Feel Alright and El Corazon. So many great songs though. Fort Worth Blues is just too good

1 Like

Didn’t make my top three, but Washington Square Serenade was a decent record. Not really got into anything he’s done since. Some of the stuff before that is great, especially the ‘comeback’ albums (which in my head are Train A Coming, I Feel Alright El Corazon. I know it’s generally regarded as a terrible hard rock misstep in the depths of his addictions but I really liked The Hard Way as well. If you like rockin’ Steve Earle there’s an EP he did with the Supersuckers which is good.

i really like p much all is “… blues” songs but ft worth blues is prob his best yeah.

1 Like

hm what is this? not seeing much on the web

Here it is

1 Like

danced with my daughter to this last night

Copperhead Road is an album that was always in the car (with a bunch of Ry Cooder) when we were driving around the country with my dad when I was a kid. It’s hard to judge it outwith that prism but I love it.

Video of him recording Johnny Come Lately with The Pogues:

There’s a slight possibility he was coked off his tits.

1 Like

oh this video is awesome, thanks!

1 Like