…one of rock’s most astute singer-songwriters of the
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John Hiatt - Anthology (2001)
[Hip-O Records 314 556 134-2]

duration: 2:35:07
  1. Sure As I'm Sittin' Here   3:18
  2. Hangin' Around The Observartory   3:02
  3. Down Home   3:09
  4. Washable Ink   3:15
  5. Slug Line   3:00
  6. Radio Girl   2:55
  7. Pink Bedroom   2:54
  8. It Hasn't Happened Yet   3:23
  9. Spy Boy   3:15
  10. Doll Hospital   3:03
  11. My Edge Of The Razor   4:22
  12. Riding With The King   4:19
  13. She Loves The Jerk   3:38
  14. I Don't Even Try   3:24
  15. The Love That Harms   2:50
  16. The Way We Make A Broken Heart   3:19
  17. When We Ran   4:42
  18. The Usual   3:47
  19. She Said The Same Things To Me   4:01
  20. Lipstick Sunset   4:12
  21. Thank You Girl   4:07
  22. Have A Little Faith In Me   4:03

  23. Memphis In The Meantime   3:58
  24. Thing Called Love   4:11
  25. Tennessee Plates   2:56
  26. Slow Turning   3:38
  27. Drive South   3:55
  28. Feels Like Rain   4:50
  29. Paper Thin   3:36
  30. Child Of The Wild Blue Yonder   4:25
  31. Real Fine Love   4:20
  32. Perfectly Good Guitar   4:39
  33. Buffalo River Home   5:14
  34. Angel Eyes   5:01
  35. Cry Love   4:20
  36. Shredding The Document   5:03
  37. Don't Think About Her When You Are Trying to Drive   4:33
  38. Pirate Radio   4:28
  39. Crossing Muddy Waters   4:04
  40. Take It Down   3:58

Disc 1 - Track 1-22
Disc 2 - Track 23-40

Track 16: Duet with Rosanne Cash
Track 37: Little Village
16-page booklet with liner notes by Scott Schinder, June 2001











As of its 2001 release, there are at least three other single-disc compilations of John Hiatt's prolific career available, but none truly does justice to his immense body of work. Until now.

This intelligently collected, sequenced, and annotated double pack delivers 40 tracks covering 15 of Haitt's albums from his inauspicious yet refreshingly naive debut (1974's Hangin' Around the Observatory) to 2000's all-acoustic Crossing Muddy Waters, a return of sorts to his rural roots.

Fans may quibble with the song selection, lack of previously unreleased material, and the inclusion of only one rarity ("Spyboy," his Jack Nitzsche-produced contribution to the obscure Cruising soundtrack), but this is as close to a perfect summation of Hiatt's career through 2001 as one could hope for without expanding to the box set he probably deserves.

Hip-O thoughtfully licenses tracks from Sony, Capitol, Reprise (for Little Village's "Don't Think About Her..."), and Vanguard, in addition to including hefty chunks of his defining A&M years as well as the more spotty yet essential MCA and Geffen work. The overall effect is staggering in its stylistic diversity and sheer volume of ruggedly melodic singer/songwriter tunes. Whether it's his vaguely new wave rockers like "Doll Hospital," country weepers such as "The Way We Make a Broken Heart," the twangy pop of "Memphis in the Meantime," heartfelt, emotionally tugging ballads like "Lipstick Sunset" and "Feels Like Rain," or the Stones-y crunch of "Paper Thin," there are precious few clinkers here.

Each disc maxes out at 78 minutes, the 16-page book is filled with an informative essay, quotes from the artist, and rare pictures (but surprisingly lacks specific track personnel, a major omission considering Hiatt has worked with a stellar assortment of talented musicians), and the 24-bit remastered sound is crisp, lean, and clean. As of its 2001 release date, the modestly titled Anthology is the definitive portrait of one of America's most talented, respected, and eclectic songwriters.

AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz