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Nanci Griffith - The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

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The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

Nanci Griffith

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The standard line on Nanci Griffith's five-year sojourn at MCA Records is that Griffith, a Texas-born singer/songwriter, earned a major-label Nashville contract after four independent folkie releases on the basis of Kathy Mattea's Top Ten country recording of her song "Love at the Five and Dime," at a time when country music seemed more open to new sounds and MCA's Tony Brown was also signing such mavericks as Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. But after two albums, Lone Star State of Mind (1987) and Little Love Affairs (1988), met resistance, failing to produce a major country hit, Griffith was transferred to the label's pop division, where Storms (1989) showed promise but Late Night Grande Hotel (1991) turned out to be too much of a pop move and turned off her existing fan base without attracting a new one. Then MCA dropped her. After a sojourn at Elektra Records, Griffith returned to indie status with Rounder in 2002, which oddly landed her back at MCA, since the major had a distribution deal with Rounder. MCA has also reissued Griffith's early albums, which gives the label a considerable stake in her catalog. So, there is a full-priced one-disc compilation of her actual MCA recordings (From a Distance: The Very Best of Nanci Griffith), a discount-priced Millennium Collection best-of, and now this two-disc package combining all four MCA albums with a few rarities. And when you listen to it from beginning to end, the standard line no longer seems to hold. The first two albums are no more country than Griffith's early "folk" albums, and the last two are not so "pop." The distinctions have more to do with production approaches, which pale before the dominant aspects of the music -- Griffith's sweet and sour voice with its distinctive twang and the terrific songs. Maybe there was something to the notion that Griffith, who delighted in showing listeners what novel she was reading on her album covers, was a bit too erudite for a Nashville thrush, but the result is a set of songs, written by her and some well-chosen others, that stand up well a decade later and are likely to sound just as good many decades hence.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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The Complete MCA Studio Recordings

Nanci Griffith

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1
Tumble And Fall (Album Version)
00:02:41

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Lone Star State Of Mind (Album Version)
00:03:57

Fred Koller, ComposerLyricist - Pat Alger, ComposerLyricist - Gene Levine, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Cold Hearts / Closed Minds (Album Version)
00:02:41

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
From A Distance (Album Version)
00:04:12

Mark O'Connor, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, Fiddle, Mandola, AssociatedPerformer - Tony Brown, Producer - Julie Gold, ComposerLyricist - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Beacon Street (Album Version)
00:02:52

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Nickel Dreams (Album Version)
00:02:49

Donny Lowery, Composer - Tony Brown, Producer - MAC MCANALLY, ComposerLyricist - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Sing One For Sister (Album Version)
00:03:21

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Robert Earl Keen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Ford Econoline (Album Version)
00:02:12

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Trouble In The Fields (Album Version)
00:03:20

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Rick West, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Love In A Memory (Album Version)
00:03:18

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Let It Shine On Me (Album Version)
00:03:00

Paul Kennerley, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
There's A Light Beyond These Woods (Album Version)
00:04:23

Tony Brown, Producer - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Steve Tillisch, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Anyone Can Be Somebody's Fool (Album Version)
00:02:40

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
I Knew Love (Album Version)
00:03:17

ROGER BROWN, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Never Mind (Album Version)
00:03:42

Tony Brown, Producer - Harlan Howard, ComposerLyricist - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist

℗ 1987 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Love Wore A Halo (Back Before The War) (Album Version)
00:03:22

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

17
So Long Ago (Album Version)
00:04:08

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
Gulf Coast Highway (Duet with Mac McAnally)
00:03:06

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Danny Flowers, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - MAC MCANALLY, MainArtist - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
Little Love Affairs (Album Version)
00:03:08

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

20
I Wish It Would Rain (Album Version)
00:02:38

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

21
Outbound Plane (Album Version)
00:02:39

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Tom Russell, Author

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

22
I Would Change My Life (Album Version)
00:03:08

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist - Robert Earl Keen, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

23
Sweet Dreams Will Come (Duet with John Stewart)
00:04:25

Tony Brown, Producer - CHUCK AINLAY, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, Producer, MainArtist - John Stewart, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1988 UMG Recordings, Inc.

24
Wooden Heart (Album Version)
00:02:27

Ben Weisman, ComposerLyricist - Bert Kaempfert, ComposerLyricist - Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fred Wise, ComposerLyricist - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Kathleen G. Kay Twomey, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 MCA Nashville, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

DISC 2

1
I Don't Wanna Talk About Love (Album Version)
00:04:06

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Drive-In Movies And Dashboard Lights (Album Version)
00:03:13

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
You Made This Love A Teardrop (Album Version)
00:03:10

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Brave Companion Of The Road (Album Version)
00:03:19

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Storms (Album Version)
00:03:10

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Eric Taylor, ComposerLyricist - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Erick Taylor, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
It's A Hard Life Wherever You Go (Album Version)
00:04:01

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
If Wishes Were Changes (Album Version)
00:03:44

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Listen To The Radio (Album Version)
00:03:47

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Leaving The Harbor (Album Version)
00:03:27

Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
Radio Fragile (Album Version)
00:05:34

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Jack Joseph Puig, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - GLYN JOHNS, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
It's Just Another Morning Here (Album Version)
00:04:23

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

12
Late Night Grande Hotel (Album Version)
00:03:35

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
It's Too Late (Album Version)
00:02:17

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

14
Fields Of Summer (Album Version)
00:04:19

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Heaven (Album Version)
00:03:28

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Julie Gold, ComposerLyricist - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
The Power Lines (Album Version)
00:02:37

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Pat Alger, ComposerLyricist - Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

17
Hometown Streets (Album Version)
00:04:11

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
Down 'N' Outer (Album Version)
00:02:45

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

19
One Blade Shy Of A Sharp Edge (Album Version)
00:02:58

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

20
The Sun, Moon And Stars (Album Version)
00:04:24

Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist - Vince Bell, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

21
San Diego Serenade (Album Version)
00:03:27

Tom Waits, ComposerLyricist - Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist

℗ 1991 UMG Recordings, Inc.

22
Stand Your Ground (Album Version)
00:03:50

James Hooker, ComposerLyricist - Peter Van Hooke, Producer - Rod Argent, Producer - Simon Hurrell, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Ross, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - NANCI GRIFFITH, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2003 MCA Nashville, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

The standard line on Nanci Griffith's five-year sojourn at MCA Records is that Griffith, a Texas-born singer/songwriter, earned a major-label Nashville contract after four independent folkie releases on the basis of Kathy Mattea's Top Ten country recording of her song "Love at the Five and Dime," at a time when country music seemed more open to new sounds and MCA's Tony Brown was also signing such mavericks as Steve Earle and Lyle Lovett. But after two albums, Lone Star State of Mind (1987) and Little Love Affairs (1988), met resistance, failing to produce a major country hit, Griffith was transferred to the label's pop division, where Storms (1989) showed promise but Late Night Grande Hotel (1991) turned out to be too much of a pop move and turned off her existing fan base without attracting a new one. Then MCA dropped her. After a sojourn at Elektra Records, Griffith returned to indie status with Rounder in 2002, which oddly landed her back at MCA, since the major had a distribution deal with Rounder. MCA has also reissued Griffith's early albums, which gives the label a considerable stake in her catalog. So, there is a full-priced one-disc compilation of her actual MCA recordings (From a Distance: The Very Best of Nanci Griffith), a discount-priced Millennium Collection best-of, and now this two-disc package combining all four MCA albums with a few rarities. And when you listen to it from beginning to end, the standard line no longer seems to hold. The first two albums are no more country than Griffith's early "folk" albums, and the last two are not so "pop." The distinctions have more to do with production approaches, which pale before the dominant aspects of the music -- Griffith's sweet and sour voice with its distinctive twang and the terrific songs. Maybe there was something to the notion that Griffith, who delighted in showing listeners what novel she was reading on her album covers, was a bit too erudite for a Nashville thrush, but the result is a set of songs, written by her and some well-chosen others, that stand up well a decade later and are likely to sound just as good many decades hence.
© William Ruhlmann /TiVo

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