10 Songs, 32 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written and recorded on the precipice of his divorce from Rita Coolidge, Shake Hands With the Devil bears witness to Kris Kristofferson’s weariness and desperation. Musically, the album borrows from the mix of roots rock and area-born melodrama that made Bruce Springsteen the era’s rising star. Lyrically, the album is miles from Springsteen’s tales of romance and optimism. “Whiskey, Whiskey” is a classic barroom lament: “Now I find that I've been blinded by the cold and winter wind / She disguised behind her eyes oh what a fool I've been / So whiskey whiskey, my old friend / I’ve come to talk to you again.” “Come Sundown,” “Lucky In Love” and “Prove It to You One More Time” specifically address the dissolution of a marriage, but the album has its share of curveballs. “Seadream” and “Killer Barracuda” are bizarre fantasies of ocean imagery, while the title song is a rollicking anthem with sinister intentions. The cover photograph shows Kristofferson as a haggard, overblown rock god. Despite the unsympathetic nature of that character, his broken emotions are vivid on the grievous blues of “Once More With Feeling.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Written and recorded on the precipice of his divorce from Rita Coolidge, Shake Hands With the Devil bears witness to Kris Kristofferson’s weariness and desperation. Musically, the album borrows from the mix of roots rock and area-born melodrama that made Bruce Springsteen the era’s rising star. Lyrically, the album is miles from Springsteen’s tales of romance and optimism. “Whiskey, Whiskey” is a classic barroom lament: “Now I find that I've been blinded by the cold and winter wind / She disguised behind her eyes oh what a fool I've been / So whiskey whiskey, my old friend / I’ve come to talk to you again.” “Come Sundown,” “Lucky In Love” and “Prove It to You One More Time” specifically address the dissolution of a marriage, but the album has its share of curveballs. “Seadream” and “Killer Barracuda” are bizarre fantasies of ocean imagery, while the title song is a rollicking anthem with sinister intentions. The cover photograph shows Kristofferson as a haggard, overblown rock god. Despite the unsympathetic nature of that character, his broken emotions are vivid on the grievous blues of “Once More With Feeling.”

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