32 Songs, 1 Hour 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is considered Lucinda Williams’ commercial break-through record, this 1988 self-titled album—her third studio release—was where she fully found her voice and sound and firmly established her songwriting as among the best in any genre. This 2014 reissue includes the original album in sterling sound, plus 20 bonus tracks that include a 14-song concert from the Netherlands in 1989, as well as three songs recorded at KPFK, two at KCRW, and one from NOISE. While casual fans may recognize “Passionate Kisses” from its hit country version by Mary Chapin Carpenter (or even “Changed the Locks” from Tom Petty’s cover), it’s evident from these recordings that Williams owned these songs from the start. Her sweet, tremulous voice brings out the emotional truths in these tales of difficult love and lonesome, even vengeful, hearts. Any album with a lineup like “I Just Wanted to See You So Bad,” “The Night’s Too Long,” “Am I Too Blue,” “Side of the Road," and Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Asked for Water (He Gave Me Gasoline)” is a classic. Toss in the bonus performances, and Williams has improved upon perfection. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

While Car Wheels on a Gravel Road is considered Lucinda Williams’ commercial break-through record, this 1988 self-titled album—her third studio release—was where she fully found her voice and sound and firmly established her songwriting as among the best in any genre. This 2014 reissue includes the original album in sterling sound, plus 20 bonus tracks that include a 14-song concert from the Netherlands in 1989, as well as three songs recorded at KPFK, two at KCRW, and one from NOISE. While casual fans may recognize “Passionate Kisses” from its hit country version by Mary Chapin Carpenter (or even “Changed the Locks” from Tom Petty’s cover), it’s evident from these recordings that Williams owned these songs from the start. Her sweet, tremulous voice brings out the emotional truths in these tales of difficult love and lonesome, even vengeful, hearts. Any album with a lineup like “I Just Wanted to See You So Bad,” “The Night’s Too Long,” “Am I Too Blue,” “Side of the Road," and Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Asked for Water (He Gave Me Gasoline)” is a classic. Toss in the bonus performances, and Williams has improved upon perfection. 

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