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Pop - Released January 1, 1988 | Polydor

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Richie Havens' finest recording, Mixed Bag captures the essence of his music and presents it in an attractive package that has held up well. A close listen to lyrics like "I Can't Make It Anymore" and "Morning, Morning" reveals sadness and loneliness, yet the music is so appealingly positive that a listener actually comes away feeling uplifted. In fact, on most of the songs on this album, it's the sound of Havens' distinctive voice coupled with his unusual open-E guitar tuning, rather than the specific lyrical content of the songs, that pulls the listener in. The six-and-a-half minute "Follow" is structured like a Dylan composition in the "Hard Rain" mode, with its memorable verse-ending refrain, "Don't mind me 'cause I ain't nothin' but a dream." Both "Sandy" and "San Francisco Bay Blues" have a jazzy feel, while the aforementioned "I Can't Make It Anymore" would not have been out of place in a movie soundtrack or pop radio playlist of the time. "Handsome Johnny," one of Havens' best known songs as a result of the Woodstock film, is a classic anti-war ballad, stoked by the singer's unmistakable thumb-chorded guitar strumming. Mixed Bag winds up with a soulful cover of Dylan's "Just Like a Woman" and an electric piano-propelled take on the Lennon-McCartney classic, "Eleanor Rigby." © Jim Newsom /TiVo

Rock - Released January 1, 2005 | Five Star Recordings


Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2004 | Hip-O Select

Richie Havens (guitar/harmonica/vocals) established himself as a formidable folkie during the 1960s Greenwich Village scene. This was prior to becoming a household name after a career-defining appearance at the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. After releasing seven acclaimed long-players on his own Stormy Forest label, a series of business maneuvers led to Havens' next two platters being issued on A&M Records. The contents of those discs, The End of the Beginning (1976) and Mirage (1977) make up the bulk of Dreaming as One: The A&M Years, a limited-edition anthology from Hip-O Select. Although his distinct musical vision remains, the artist has integrated new sonic textures to a matured style, expanding significantly upon the primarily acoustic instrumentation of Havens' earlier efforts. His trademark arrangements are as organic and emotive as ever, particularly notable on the updates of 10cc's noir "I'm Not in Love," the funky take of Steely Dan's "Do It Again," or the four-on-the-floor driving the remakes of the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" and Van Morrison's "Wild Night." Havens' electric ensemble was undeniably modern, yet the respective interpretations provide an uncomplicated backing. In that respect, The End of the Beginning featured Steve Cropper (guitar), Booker T. Jones (keyboards), Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass) and suitably Jeff Baxter (pedal steel/side guitar) , who was a one-time member of Steely Dan and the Doobies. Havens' capacity for lyrical and evocative balladry is likewise evident on the title composition to this compilation, "Dreaming as One," as well as "Shadows of the Past" and the upbeat and perhaps prophetic "Nobody Left to Crown." In addition to both albums the 'edited single version' of "I'm Not in Love" is included, wrapping up what is an exceptional anthology of Havens' short stint at A&M. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo

Folk/Americana - Released September 1, 2009 | Rhino

Guitarist/composer Richie Havens keeps making thought-provoking, poignant and intensely personal music, with few (if any) romantic songs and frank discussions of issues without violent or sexist rhetoric. This is Havens' first solo release in several years, and it contains only one original. But his covers of songs by Sting, Kris Kristofferson, Bob Lind and Marty Balin become his own memorable statements, while guitarist Billy Perry and guest guitarist Greg Chansky provide three new compositions. Although this doesn't have the same resonance as his great 1960s LPs, it's a worthy vehicle for the 1990s. © Ron Wynn /TiVo

Pop - Released July 29, 2008 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Richie Havens became an international star in 1969, when he opened the Woodstock Festival with a set that was three hours long and culminated with "Freedom," a song he improvised on the spot based on the traditional slave song "Motherless Children." Havens has been on the road ever since, known for his unique driving acoustic guitar style, soulful gravel-throated vocals, and freewheeling set lists. He has written plenty of his own songs over the years, but he's best known for his interpretations of other songwriters. On Nobody Left to Crown, his 30th album of new material, Havens interprets the Who, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Jackson Browne, but the majority of the tunes are his own, and they stand proudly alongside the covers. "The Key" opens things up with a meditation on the healing power of love. It's a gentle folk-rock tune with a hint of samba in the rhythm and Havens' smooth, timeless vocals offering solace to both his lover and the world. "Say It Isn't So" speaks about the troubles of the world with the disbelief of a child facing death for the first time. A cello adds its poignant voice to Havens' heartbreaking vocal. The title track is the kind of driving, rhythmic tune Havens is so good at -- a look at the clay feet of our leaders delivered with ironic humor instead of anger. He drops a quote from "Home on the Range" into the chorus, singing "where seldom is heard an encouraging word, and our leaders do nothing all day." He rages gently against the powers that be on "Fates," a blues that likens capitalism to slavery. The song builds slowly to a moaning coda with Havens wordlessly lamenting the mess the world is in, while Harry Manx adds stinging accents on slide guitar and mohan veena. Pete Townshend's "Won't Get Fooled Again" gets slowed down, with Havens' vocal more hopeless than angry. When he sings "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss," he sounds weary and defeated. Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance," written about the U.S.-supported war in El Salvador, still sounds unhappily timely, and Havens delivers the lyric with a searing intensity. Peter Yarrow's "The Great Mandala (The Wheel of Life)" appears near the end of the album, another prayer for sanity in a world that seems to be going mad once again. The music here is quiet, acoustic, and downbeat, with Havens sounding cautiously optimistic as he faces life and death. The album's not an upper, but even the darkest songs are suffused with Havens' gentle soulfulness. © j. poet /TiVo

World - Released January 1, 2004 | Hip-O Select

This two-disc collection gathers Richie Havens' (guitar/sitar/vocals) long-players Mixed Bag (1967), Something Else Again (1968) and Richard P. Havens, 1983 (1969), plus the single-only "I've Gotta Go," all of which hail from his brief stint with Verve\Forecast Records. Although Havens had already established himself as a formidable talent prior to participating in the Woodstock Music and Arts Fair, it was undeniably his extended opening set that solidified his stature as a folk icon. In addition to providing the seminal self-penned entries "Adam," "Inside of Him" and "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed," the artist co-wrote "Handsome Johnny" -- with help from burgeoning actor Lou Gossett Jr. -- "Something Else Again" and "New City" with producer John Court. He also penned "Indian Rope Man," "Putting Out the Vibrations and Hoping It Comes Home," as well as "The Parable of Ramon" and "Just Above My Hobby Horse's Head" alongside Mark Roth. Havens likewise draws upon an eclectic blend of folk and rock covers. His Greenwich Village roots were almost certainly the source for definitive versions of Tuli Kupferberg's "Morning, Morning," Leonard Cohen's "Priests," Gordon Lightfoot's "I Can't Make It Anymore" and the Bob Dylan titles "Just Like a Woman," "Maggie's Farm" and "I Pity the Poor Immigrant." Havens' affinity for the Beatles is evident within his interpretations of the social commentaries "Lady Madonna," "She's Leaving Home," "Eleanor Rigby" and "With a Little Help From My Friends." The digital remastering is especially brilliant on the live recordings from the Santa Monica Civic Center that were first included on Richard P. Havens, 1983 -- in particular the traditional reworkings of "Run Shaker Life," "Do You Feel Good?" and Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven." The accompanying 24-page liner booklet is full of photos, reproductions of the original LP art, an historical essay from Scott Schinder, and complete personnel as well as discographical annotations. © Lindsay Planer /TiVo

Folk/Americana - Released January 27, 2015 | Stormy Forest Productions, Inc


Folk/Americana - Released August 10, 1999 | Stormy Forest Productions, Inc


Pop - Released January 1, 2000 | Polydor

Another excellent entry in MCA's Millennium Collection, this features 12 of the singer/songwriter's best-known tunes. Havens' unique style moves effortlessly from standards like "San Francisco Bay Blues" to the bleakness of "The Klan" to very interesting covers of "Lady Madonna" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." A great little introductory set of Havens' best work. © Cub Koda /TiVo

Pop - Released October 29, 2013 | CEN


Rock - Released February 26, 2002 | Rhino - Elektra


Folk/Americana - Released September 6, 2019 | Douglas Music


Folk/Americana - Released February 15, 2011 | Stormy Forest Productions, Inc


Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1995 | Polydor

This 11-track collection includes Richie Havens favorites like "Eleanor Rigby," "Just Like a Woman," "Maggie's Farm" and "Handsome Johnny." © Keith Farley /TiVo

Educational - Released December 2, 2016 | CEN


Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1980 | Phoenix USA


Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2010 | SOFA - AV Catalog PS


Educational - Released November 20, 2015 | CEN


Folk/Americana - Released July 1, 2020 | SOFA - AV Catalog PS


Rock - Released April 28, 2000 | Ryko - Rhino

Richie Havens is probably the only '60s icon who could get away with an album like this without apology. But for the presence of the electric keyboards, synth bass, and '80s-style drums, these performances by Havens could easily have appeared 18 years earlier. His performances of "Here Comes the Sun," "If Not for You," "Strawberry Fields Forever," and "Lay Lady Lay" all display a satisfying intimacy, and "Rocky Raccoon" is just plain fun, but his cover of "The Long and Winding Road" is probably the best version of this song ever done, with "Let It Be" not far behind. Overall, they're more sophisticated than some of Havens' earlier work, a mix of soul and folk traditions with an overlay of rock, that any longtime fan will appreciate. © Bruce Eder /TiVo