John Hartford

Life, Love & Music: 5 Essential Albums 1966-1969

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Raven's generous 2014 double-disc set, Life, Love & Music, contains no less than five albums from folk iconoclast John Hartford: John Hartford Looks at Life, Earthwords & Music, The Love Album, Housing Project, and John Hartford, all released between 1966 and 1969. During this era, Hartford's "Gentle on My Mind" turned into a standard due to Glen Campbell's cover, and Hartford's original is here on Earthwords & Music. Its success allowed an already eccentric singer/songwriter to get even stranger; by the time this stint wrapped up, he was writing mock fugues and cramming his song titles with five-dollar words. The records after Earthwords also displayed a slight influence from Campbell's Hollywood Cowboy, finding plenty of room for strings and other wide-screen flair. Unlike, say, Mickey Newbury, Hartford did have a bit of show biz flair to him, something that arose on these later records, and that's what makes this all interesting: it's a testament to how progressive an era it was, with the definition of folk and country expanding along with the sound.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:20
2 3:16
3 2:03
4 2:03
5 2:53
6 1:51
7 2:26
8 2:00
9 1:49
10 3:51
11 2:36
12 2:57
13 2:09
14 2:08
15 1:38
16 5:22
17 1:52
18 4:30
19 1:43
20 3:05
21 3:09
22 2:05
23 3:21
24 1:39
25 1:29
26 2:29
27 2:41
28 2:12
29 2:20
30 2:35
31 2:18

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:48
2 2:20
3 2:55
4 2:30
5 1:29
6 2:49
7 1:21
8 2:50
9 3:08
10 2:31
11 4:12
12 1:39
13 2:15
14 3:05
15 2:18
16 2:56
17 2:50
18 2:12
19 2:10
20 3:45
21 3:23
22 1:08
23 2:44
24 2:29
25 2:50
26 2:42
27 0:56
28 2:18
29 0:44
30 2:41
31 1:47
32 3:48
blue highlight denotes track pick