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April 19, 2017

Ry Cooder – The Slight Area (1982)

by Record Facts

Ryland PeterRyCooder (born March 15, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, film score composer, and record producer. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his slide guitar work, his interest in roots music from the United States, and his collaborations with traditional musicians from many countries.












Artist:  Ry Cooder
Title:  The Slight Area
Year:  1982
Format:  LP
Label:  Warner Bros. Records
Catalog#  WB 56976

This album opens with an outrageous and exceedingly funky “UFO Has Landed in the Ghetto,” and which seems so out of place with the other material. Yes, it is a rhythm & blues, bordering at times on funk album, and rap is one direction R&B took, but…. Listen to the groove on “Which Came First,” and try to keep your body from bobbing to the strong rhythm laid down by Jim Keltner, Tim Drummond, and the background vocalists. While we are on the subject of vocals, this is one of Ry Cooder‘s best efforts, and his backup vocalists are key here and deserve special recognition: Bobby King, John Hiatt, Willie Greene, and Herman Johnson for most of the album. The two gems on this are the phenomenal treatments of both “Blue Suede Shoes” and Bob Dylan‘s “I Need a Woman.” Two songs as different in the original forms as pigs and gerbils are converted to R&B hit status. Both contain some memorable slide guitar work, but isn’t that what we expect from this master of the guitar family. The album is very good but those two songs make it a gem.


Side one
1.  UFO Has Landed In The Ghetto  (5:00)
2.  I Need A Woman  (4:34)
3.  Gypsy Woman  (4:20)
4.  Blue Suede Shoes  (5:18)

Side two
1.  Mama, Don’t Treat Your Daughter Mean  (5:55)
2.  I’m Drinking Again  (4:34)
3.  Which Came First  (3:44)
4.  That’s The Way Love Turned Out For Me  (5:46)

Read more from Ry Cooder

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