All the People Are Talkin'

John Anderson

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All the People Are Talkin' Review

by AllMusic

John Anderson was just coming off his monster hit "Swingin'" when this set came out in 1983, perhaps giving him the courage to record a couple of bluesy rock & roll tunes, although most of the material is cut from the hardcore cloth Anderson had become famous for. "Black Sheep" is a growling rocker about hard luck and hard times written by Hollywood writer Danny Darst and director Robert Altman, who knew a thing or two about Nashville. It was a number one single. "Haunted House" is a novelty hit that gets trotted out every Halloween. Anderson's version is as much honky tonk as rock, with snappy solos from Mike Jordan's piano and Vern Pilder's twangy guitar. "Let Somebody Else Drive" became a signature tune for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but Anderson's growling vocal implies more than a passing knowledge of boozy good times. Anderson's own "Things Ain't Been the Same Around the Farm" sounds like the boy moved a rockin' R&B band into the spread after baby split. Fiddles keep it country, but the female backing vocals suggest Memphis soul music. The title track sports a bit of easy listening sax and a chooglin' backbeat as well as pedal steel supporting Anderson's vocal, as much soul as country. The country tracks mine several traditional styles. "Blue Lights and Bubbles" is a drinking song delivered with a bit of Texas swing, "Look What Followed Me Home" and Anderson's "Call on Me" are lovesick waltzes, the latter one of Anderson's best love ballads. "An Occasional Eagle" is a moving love song to the wildlife of Alaska and our national bird, while "Old Mexico" combines R&B, country, and a bit of Tejano funk to tip its cowboy hat to drinking and good times. This is another great Anderson album without a weak track.

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