John Prine - John Prine
John Prine's 1971 self-titled debut set the tone for the rest of his career. A critical smash and a commercial disappointment, the record contains many of his best known compositions. Proving himself capable of tackling folk balladry, country, and rock with ease, Prine seems to spring into being as a fully formed singer-songwriter at age 24. Lyrically diverse, Prine offers topical songs such as "Sam Stone," the tale of a drug addicted Vietnam vet, achingly sad songs, such as the oft-covered "Angel from Montgomery," and, of course, his trademark wit gets ample time in the spotlight. Produced by the legendary Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Hall and Oates), the record is understated, letting Prine's comfy voice drive things. When needed, the famous house band at American Recording Studios in Memphis kicks in tasteful backing.