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John Hiatt: Slug Line

Album Reviews:

Q (11/93, p.145) - 3 Stars - Good - "...As critically acclaimed and unsuccessful as the rest of [John Hiatt's releases]....some of the best songs are nothing short of curmudgeonly..."

Album Notes

Personnel: John Hiatt (vocals, guitar); Jon Paris (guitar, bass); Doug Yankus (guitar); Etan McElroy (keyboards, background vocals); Todd Cochran (keyboards); Veyler Hildebrand (bass); Bruce Gary, B.J. Wilson, Jerry Conway, Thom Mooney (drums).

Conventional wisdom at the time was that MCA Records had signed John Hiatt (who had languished without a record contract for four years) with the idea that he would be their Elvis Costello -- a singer/songwriter in the fashionable punk/new wave style. Certainly, Hiatt has stripped down and roughed up from his Epic records here, fronting a straight-ahead guitar rock band (that was capable, of course, of playing the obligatory reggae number), eschewing the stylistic diversity he reveled in before, and throwing out snappy, aphoristic lyrics in a highly processed voice. None of this quite turns him into Elvis Costello, although the mean streak he reveals would serve him well later. ~ William Ruhlmann


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