John Prine - Sweet Revenge

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Among the English language's premier phrase-turners with music relevant to any age, the late great John Prine was part of the Atlantic Records family for four albums - John Prine (1971), Diamonds in the Rough (1972), Sweet Revenge (1973) and Common Sense (1975) - before he jumped over to Asylum for another three records and eventually his own label Oh Boy.

Fittingly for a former mailman, Prine delivered songs that are both literate and personal. The skilled and compassionate storyteller enjoyed widespread critical acclaim in the wake of his groundbreaking eponymous debut and continued to write and perform songs that became central to our American musical heritage for nearly five decades. That debut featured a brace of songs that would make him a legend – tracks like "Angel from Montgomery," "Sam Stone," "Illegal Smile," "Paradise" and the immortal "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore" heralded a brave and literate songwriting voice. So good were those songs and so striking was that album, that Prine's second record, Diamonds in the Rough, is sometimes overlooked, though its best songs are equal to his best. 

Prine's third album Sweet Revenge is much more rooted in rock 'n' roll than its predecessors and the master storyteller's signature cynicism also takes over for good here. One of the toughest folk albums ever recorded with first rate songwriting throughout, highlights include "Please Don't Bury Me," "Christmas in Prison," "Dear Abbey," "Blue Umbrella," and "A Good Time."