1988's Lucinda Williams was her third album, but it was the first one to reveal the full depth of her gifts as a songwriter and vocalist, and the results were revelatory. The songs were artfully crafted but full of naked emotional honesty, Williams' vocals gave them the gravity they needed, and the band (led by guitarist and producer Gurf Morlix) was superb, sounding sweet and fiery. While many of the album's tunes would be covered to fine effect by other artists, no one has quite topped the versions on Lucinda Williams.
The entire band stole away to a remote seaside town to compose all of the 15 songs on this epic third album. Instead of bandleader Josh Hodges working as the primary songwriter as on prior LPs, every lyric, riff, and beat was created collectively, resulting in some of their most refined and focused songs.