April 13, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Resumes
Resume: The Best of Richie Havens: Richie Havens: Music
Richie Havens in his prime possessed an uncanny knack for inhabiting familiar songs as if they were his hometown. He practically hijacked "Here Comes the Sun" out from under George Harrison, turning his 1971 version of the Abby Road tune into a rhythmic statement all his own and, in the process, charting for the one and only time in his career. That's true to a lesser degree with Lennon-McCartney's "Rocky Raccoon," Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman," and Fred Neil's "Dolphins," all of which are found on this 17-track anthology culled from the New York City singer-guitarist's late 1960s and early 1970s records. Havens penned a few songs of his own, notably the antiwar song "Handsome Johnny" (cowritten with actor Lou Gossett), and adapted others in his own inimitable style ("Run Shaker Life," "Freedom," his Woodstock-inspired variation on "Motherless Child"). But he made his mark as an interpreter–one whose work holds up admirably, judging by this focused retrospective. –Steven Stolder
- Audio CD: (April 6, 1993)
- Original Release Date: April 6, 1993
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Rhino / Wea
- ASIN: B0000032YW
- Also Available in: Audio Cassette
He’s got the job;whatever job he wants.
He’s got the job; whatever job he wants.
Richie Haven’s “Resume” is simply a masterpiece.
He may be the foremost interpreter of song of our lifetime.
On this recording, Havens covers everyone from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan to Fred Neil to Dino Valenti. And he does so with relish.
He also demonstrates himself a fine songwriter in his own right with songs like “Freedom” (spontaneously written at Woodstock), “Handsome Johnny”, “Younger Men Grow Older” and “Minstrel from the Gault”. Havens co-wrote “Handsome Johnny” with Louis Gossett, Jr. Yes, that Louis Gossett, Jr. The latter two songs were co-written with Mark Roth.
I bought this in cassette form in Edmonton while visiting my younger brother. I had seen Havens a month earlier in Toronto and would seem him perform again in Ottawa a month later. After his set at the Ottawa Bluesfest, Havens signed autographs for over two hours including this cassette.
What amazed me were the number of young teenagers who had never heard of him before that day stand in line and patiently wait for him to sign their autographs. Never an easy crowd to impress.
A friend of mine told me that songs like “Freedom” and “Handsome Johnny” (and for that matter “Minstrel from the Gault”) should become regular fare at dance clubs. My friend explained the combination of his unique voice, message of peace and his open fret rhythmic guitar stylings would be a winning combination and would flood people to the dance floor. Don’t need to dancify it. It’s ready to dance, now.
My favourite song on this recording, is “God Bless the Child”. The version of this Billie Holiday classic with which I am most familiar is that done by Blood, Sweat and Tears off their 1969 Grammy winning album titled,”Blood, Sweat and Tears”.
Their version, like most of their other songs, is heavily orchestrated and arranged with the progressive jazz and rock in vogue at the time. When hearing BST’s version you get the sense the narrator has taken a beating but is ready to go on fighting another day.
Havens’ version is the complete antithesis of BST and I say “Bravo”. Unlike, BST, Havens is completely on his own with only his voice and his rhythm guitar. Yet his minimalist approach works. Less is more. Indeed, Havens’ version is much more powerful than BST’s. The clarity of his voice and guitar convey a heartbreaking sense of
defeat and desperation for the narrator but with the faintest sense of hope, but hope nonetheless, for the coming generation.
It is a shame that Richie Havens’ material is not more widely available. If it were people would buy it. Resume (and all of his other material) should be in every record store in the world.
This is a heck of an investment: 17 songs by one of the most powerful voices in music. Richie Havens has more force in his voice and accompanying guitar than most full bands. He’s lightly-backed, if at all – usually just a bass or conga drums, anything more would be pushing it for most of the songs. Plus, that makes it all the better to hear his emotion and raw power. He has the amazing ability to take other’s songs and strip them down into works that are undeniably his. Ovewrall, a very well-produced CD – clear sound, good liner notes, and an excellent selection of songs. Check it out!
Give it a chance
I bought this CD a few years ago because I really wanted to get a live recording of Freedom, the opening music from Woodstock. When I first listened to the CD I was struck by Havens’ great guitar work, but it took a while for the songs to grow on me.
This is a CD of protest – antiwar (Handsome Johnny), environmental degradation (What About Me), racism (The Klan). These were issues in the 60′s, when this music was recorded, and they are still issues today.
Richie Havens is not for fans of heavy metal or dance music. His music and rich voice make you think and, occassionally, get enraged at how little has been done to solve the world’s problems. If this sounds interesting to you, get this album, give it a few listens, and enjoy.
What an interpreter! Not many musicians can tell a story better than Richie Havens; his style is completely unique. The Klan is incredibly haunting; Morning, Morning delicately beautiful. Handsome Johnny and Just Like a Woman are exquisite. A must-have for anyone’s music collection.
Amazing rhythmic guitar
I love this album! The guitar work is phenomenal, especially on “Dolphin” and “The Klan”. He demontrates such passion and it’s contagious! The song “Freedom” is an American classic. Richie Havens is truly a master musician and a socially conscious one at that! His music is such a gift from the soul. This album shows some of his finest work. Thanks, Richie!
Richie Havens knows the meaning of WOrds&Music.He has alot of Feeling on this Set.His VOice has a Straight Honest Feel To it.Here COmes The Sun he TUrns out.The Klan is Right on Time.This material on here is what Real Music is all about check it out.A True Artist.
some terrific performances on this CD
Richie Havens has a unique and lovely way with the songs of his era. His cover of Fred Neil’s “Dolphins” is incredibly strong. It’s sung live, as are several of the other takes on this CD. What’s especially impressive is his ability to project dramatic songs like “The Klan” and “Minstrel from Gault”, which many folk singers would shrink from. And “Handsome Johnny” is a fine protest song composed by Havens and actor Lou Gossett.
A great voice!
Richie Havens has an all time great voice. His works will go down in history as some of the greatest. His smoky voice is entransing. I would recommend this album to anyone as a must have.
Beautiful Album, but give the live one a try.
This collection of greatest hits offers a brilliant selection of R. Havens’ music. It is colorful, inspirational, and powerful. “High Flyin’ Bird” is both uplifting and soulful. Havens’ best performance of this track, however, can be experienced live. Give it a try. The other songs on the album warrant respect and admiration. From his classic “Freedom” to covers like “Rocky Racoon”, Havens manages to transcend the barriers between conventional music and poetry. His is truly an awe-inspiring album and is destined to be a favorite of anyone with a taste for 60′s and 70′s spirit and energy. A must buy.
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