Guitar Town is the debut album from singer-songwriter Steve Earle, released on March 5, 1986. It topped the Billboard country album charts, and the title song reached #7 on the country singles charts. Earle was also nominated for two 1987 Grammy Awards, Best Male Country Vocalist and Best Country Song, for the title track.Wikipedia
Good ol country rock shit. My type of vibe on a nice spring day with the wind in your hair. Prob good for a road trip or riding ur motorcycle to clear your head
I was hoping for some Copperhead Road. But still enjoyed this immensely. Amazingly consistent all the way through, probably close to as good as it gets for newer country music (and this is from the '80's). Added bonus: the songs Spotify played after the album ended were mainly gems, including some Steve Earle (and yes, the first song played was Copperhead Road, so it was almost like it was on the album). Double Bonus: great live cover of Springsteen's "State Trooper". Went on a Steve Earle deep dive after this. Enjoy!
Well after these 3 amazing records in a row I’m totally expecting Kid Rock next.
Top-notch country rock, at turns tender and loud. Always sincere, with the icons of the genre at the fore.
well, it certainly doesn't sound like anything i remember from 1985. i really like how out-of-time it is, in fact.
If all country was like this, you could count me as a country fan.
Maybe not more than the sum of its cliches, but Earle rides the peak of the Springsteenism wave with such warmth and range that the sum is pretty decent on its own.
Love Steve, sad about JT still
better than I thought, never heard of him before - he is country, but not pop nor is it willie nelson - I was pleasantly surprised
If the first 10 seconds are any indication of what this is (overproduced cornball country music) I am in for a very long 40 minutes. He's already said "Hey Pretty Baby" as I typed that last sentence. This is only the third album to make me regret my personal rule that I listen to EVERY song*. Hillbilly Highway? Seriously. Do you want more tassels on your sleeves you line dance cliche knobend? There are a couple of more tolerable songs towards the end - a ballad about his kid and an old style rock and roller - but this is relative to the otherwise dreadful stuff either side of it. Avoid * Only broken once, for post 2000 U2. That was for my own mental health.
Right on the cusp of alt-folk and alt-country. Love it.
LOVE Steve Earle
A god damn classic. "I got a 2-pack habit and a motel tan" is one of the greatest lines in a song.
I’ve always liked Steve Earle, although haven’t listened to a lot of his music. Time to remedy that a bit… I’ve always been a big fan of truckin’ songs. “Guitar Town” is a really fine specimen of this genre. Steel belts, truck stops, boots and motels? All to a rockin’ country arrangement? Count me in! We’re off to a great start. Clearly Steve Earle knows his hay around a good hook. “Goodbye’s All We Got Left” is such a great sounding song it makes me wish he was breaking up with me. Spoiler alert: at this point I hit add to add this album to my library. It’ll take a real surprising disaster to derail this. “Hillbilly Highway” is a simple but very compelling seemingly autobiographical song about a musician and the choices we make in life. just a straightforward great song. “Good Ol’ Boy (Gettin’ Tough)” has lyrics as compelling today as in 1986. We are seeing what 35 years of where exacerbating inequality in the land of plenty gets us. Maybe this song should have been a little angrier and more demanding back then... Loved “My Old Friend The Blues.” This song would have come in handy over the last few years. I’m sure it will again soon. “Someday” is another great song about not getting by in America. Again, a perfect sentiment in 1986 that sadly makes me wonder if we will ever progress… “Think It Over” is a sweet little breakup song that you can dance to. “Fearless Heart” is a really sweet love song with very clever lyrics and a great arrangement. Couldn’t ask for more… “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” is a touching song. Full of those hopes and promises that likely will never quite come true. Sort of a country “Cats in the Cradle”. I’m fine with a little too much sap these days. “Down The Road” is that classic ‘keep on keeping on’ advice to those who can’t find love. A classic ending to a classic country album. What a great debut album! Definitely see why it’s on this list. Listened to it 3 times already and expect it to be in heavy rotation for a while.
This is good songwriting, and not pandering BS. Music and hooks are catchy. Lyrics are hard hitting, but still are down to earth and relatable. Highlight tracks: 2, 3, 4, 6
Just a great album. Great vocals, lyrics and who doesn't love pedal steel guitar
A great countryrock album. I had not listened to it for quite a couple of years. It is still perfect in every sense.
Guitar town Hillbilly highway Good old friend the blues
Love it. I'm not a huge C&W fan but great songwriting is great songwriting.
Maybe it's because I hadn't had a country album after 70 albums on this site. Maybe it's because it's barely half an hour of music and I could start a new album. Maybe it's because it's genuinely good. Maybe - definitely - it's all three. Added.
Good ole boy country I can properly get behind. Sincerely written, masterfully played, limited references to his beer cans and maximum references to his highway chewing 8 cylinder and gheetar.
As primeiras músicas do disco todas são boas de ouvir. Goog Ol' Boy é muito boa! My Old Friend também.
Unfairly categorized as country, but this is straight Americana - equal parts folk, country, and rock & roll. One of the best albums of its kind, and Steve is one of the great songwriters of the American experience. Amazing songs. Great record.
This is a stunning debut album.
This is such a good album every song is rife with hooks and melodies and singable lyrics. Stories that are relateable with interesting, colourful characters. Themes are familiar; loneliness, boredom, hope, the myth of the American dream. The songs are delivered with simplicity and a rock and roll toughness that shows us what's to come. One of my favorite country albums and deserving of a 5 star rating.
Goldschool country. One of the best country albums ive heard
we do enjoy Steve Earle
Really good album
Pretty solid country album! Obviously in love with the first track, and most of them are about on par for Steve. Some slower and less interesting songs, but a good time overall.
I’d never listened to 80s country, but I liked this. I also liked the stuff that came on afterwards on Spotify.
Wasn't as familiar with this as the albums that followed, but liked it a lot. That dude lived hard.
Sad, real world
Just solid working class country
Scratches that exact type of country music I like. More rock than country but still a solid country twang
Good stuff. I knew Guitar Town but had not listened to the entire album before.
Good country music. I enjoyed it. First half was a bit better.
I really liked this one. This is real country to me. My one criticism is I can barely hear the bass. Some songs you can’t hear it at all.
Loved it. Just what I needed.
Wow surprising. I like the songs and his voice.... it gets a little too twangy at times, but this is solid from start to finish. Really enjoyed Fearless Heart.
I'm a SE big fan but like his folkier stuff more. I'm guessing a brother like Steve will not have multiple offerings on the 1001 list so feel I better give my overall SE ranking to this one.
I'm sure Steve Earle wishes that he had the same mop of hair today, that he had 35 years ago, when he recorded his breakthrough record. At the time, he was being compared to Dwight Yoakam,for having the crossover appeal to a mainstream pop and alternative market. Some radio DJs at the time referred to him as the “Redneck Springsteen”, and his blue collar rage holds a fair amount of water here. Cars, guitars, hillbilly fun, smoking a lot of cigarettes, breaking girls hearts and living in motels are the palate in Earle's world. The title track and Someday are my two favourite tracks on the record, but the rest of the songs are all fine. My biggest complaint is the production: his fine band, the Dukes, sound thin and too far in the background for me. Still this is as fine a country record as has been made since the 60's, and well worth a spin on the Victrola.
This was very good. I wouldn't go out of my way to listen again, but it was really well done.
Already knew this well. Not my very favourite of SE, but perhaps pips others to the list because of its greater significance. Nevertheless a really strong album.
Really good country music. Nothing more, nothing less
Solid alt country rock album. Not a huge fan of Earle's vocals, but it has the heart and intensity required for this kind of music.
This is probably the first country album I've listened to that I actually enjoyed. I was dismissive of the first few seconds because I'm generally not a big fan of the southern twang vocals. But as the drums, lead guitar and background keyboards rolled in, I got hooked lined and sinkered and soon embraced the twang. It's by no means perfect or consistent, but it did capture my interest and brought a few bangers along the way.
Steve Earle is everything the critics think about Dwight Yoakam, only his voice is pleasant to listen to and he writes a hell of a lyric. Long live Waylon. Best track: Guitar Town
All I could think about during this was Wheeler Walker Jr. Pretty interesting to see where he got his whole fucking sound from. A lot less references to sucking dicks and tits. So I guess that's okay? Little Rock n' Roller got some emotion out of me. It's a solid album.
You know, this is an album that grows on you as you listen to it over time, kind of like a comfortable pair of old jeans. I've heard it before a few times here and there, but enjoyed it more this time around. I also enjoyed the album more as the songs progressed. It's a classic sound of stripped down, rock-tinged country. The songs are warm and catchy with some really earnest and engaging songwriting. It's a sound that doesn't really get old, even 30-odd years after it came out. Fave Songs: Think It Over, Someday, Goodbye's All We've Got Left, Fearless Heart, Down the Road, Little Rock 'n' Roller, My Old Friend the Blues
I love this stuff unironically. 4
Steve Earle's debut album and considered one of the first in the alt-country genre. I actually consider Earle's next few albums more alt-country. This one has more of a traditional country feel to it and even towards the dreaded pop-country. Each song tells a story with classic country themes: I'm down and out, a breakup song, not living up to expectations and living on the road. Two songs really stand out to me: "Guitar Town" with its great rhyming lyrics and twangy guitar and "Little Rock "N" Roller", a tear- jerker about calling up his son, Justin Townes Earle (RIP) while on the road just to talk and don't tell Mom. I can't say this is my favorite Steve Earle (that would come in a few albums) but there are some outstanding songs and overall, it is a good liste.
Great country rock.
I love Steve Earle. I don't love every song on this album but it's still a phenomenal debut.
Deeply cool, thogh there would be better records later, especially Transcendental Blues, as I recall. The production is tinny and a case can be made that SE over-sings (overtwangs?) on some cuts. Still, lots of lovely moments and authenticity to spare, which more than overcomes the '80s effect. This is an obvous template of more than half (and definitely the better half) of the Americana to come.
Really great stuff on here. I know a lot about his work with Lucinda Williams, so I expected greatness from the start, and greatness is what I got! Good stuff all around.
3.5-4 stars - it was good, i enjoyed it more than I thought I would
Fills the gap between Springsteen and Johnny Cash, which is a pleasant place to be. Musically and lyrically great, and really fun.
Really enjoyed this, upbeat easy listening. Country but not annoyingly so.
I don't really listen to country all that much but I quite enjoyed this
Quite surprised to know that this was Steve's debut album, for this feels and sounds as worn and lived out as many lives. A sign of things to come, as the saying goes. Short, sweet and solid. Favorites: Guitar Town, Goodbye's All We've Got Left, Hillbilly Highway, My Old Friend the Blues, Someday, Fearless Heart, Little Rock 'n' Roller.
Very solid country rock Favorites: Guitar Town, Hillbilly Hoghway, Down The Road
Good country rock.
Excellent country rock. Great, clean production. I’m picking up Bruce vibes on a lot of these songs. “Little Rock ‘n’ Roller” is such a sweet, heartbreaking song!
favorite tracks - hillbilly highway, good ol boy, fearless heart, down the road least favorite tracks - goodbyes all we got left
Fantastic twangy country music
Steve Earle is cool. I’d consider him “real” country music. The twang ain’t faked. The drawl is real. The reverb is awesome. There’s a clear influence on artist like Dwight Yokam and others who I’d consider the last real country artists. Great album.
I like this. Sounds like unashamed American confidence of the 80s. Reminded me of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. I enjoyed the instrumentals and harmonies on Down The Road.
I liked it. Nice country album. 4/5
Not a huge country fan but this is the sort of thing I can tap my foot to for half an hour or so. It's kinda cruisy, rocks enough, doesn't overstay its welcome. I'd never heard Earle apart from Copperhead Road, this sounds about the same. 3/5.
Not a country fan
Classic 70's american rock. is okay.
Less dopey than much new country but not really my thing.
Should have called it “Git-tar Town.” Some of the vocal affectations drive me crazy, but that’s country. I liked the slower stuff... but not “Little Rock n Roller.” No no no.
I suppose a yee haw is in order. Pretty inoffensive country album
Not bad fair play
Generally enjoyable in an easy-to-listen-to-country way. Had high hopes after the opening track, 'Guitar Town', and enjoyed 'Someday', but generally pretty standard other than those, especially the end of the album. Overall, would be a 'bang average' 3/6 tents in the (superior) Roskilde scoring system.
Copperhead road is not on this album.
Wel erg country, maar een fijne stem
Country rock. You can almost see Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams in the distance. BT: Goodbye's All We've Got Left, Good Ol' Boy (Gettin' Tough), Someday
Not my type of album but hell, here’s a 3. It helped me to discover “big cheeseburgers and good French fries” by blaze foley.
Good solid Country album
This album had its charms but was a little too something (maybe kitschy?) for me.
Good example of "classic" country / country rock. Easy listening, but not super captivating.
Old style country, dece, but not super good
Quite enjoyed this 3*
I don’t much like country but listened through this. It was fine, I’m sure it has more meaning and significance to fans on the genre. Just sorta seems like generic country to me though.
Kolejny albumik z gatunku tych countrowych. a jak polowa takich pickow na tej liscie, nagrywany nigdzie indziej, jak tylko w nashville, coraz bardziej utwierdzam sie w przekonnaniu, ze jest to jakiegos rodzaju mekka tego gatunku, przed pojawiniem sie go na liscie nie mialem stycznosci z nazwiskiem pana Earle, a po przesluchu jestem w stanie stwierdzic, ze z muzyka takze nie mialem do czynienia, albo przynajmniej nie mam uczucia deja vu sluchajac plyty, co do samego krazka to jest to debiutancki album pana steva, chociaz to nie byl jego poczatek kariery muzycznej, bo jak przystalo na country muzyka prowadzil ciezkie zycie w ktorym staral sie pogodzic nieglodowanie z graniem muzyki, co slychac na tym materiale, w ktorym mozna sie doszukac autobiograficznych watkow, jak porzucenie domu w mlodym wieku, zeby udac sie do mekki countrowej i tam szukac szczescia po barach dajac koncerty dla kazdego chcacego sluchac, taki zywot prowadzil przez 14 lat, po nagraniu guitar town, dobre okreslenie na nashville, jego kariera wystrzelila i do dzisiaj ma na swoim koncie 21 albumow studyjnych, wiec polaczenie klasycznego rocka i elementow country zrobilo komercyjny sukces, nie wiem w ktora strone poszla dalsza czesc jego dyskografii, ale mam nadzieje ze byl to honky town jak na tytulowym traku guitar town, ktory chyba nie tylko dla mnie, bo wedlug spotifaja jest to najbardziej sluchany trak tego artysty, zrobil najwieksze wrazenie, jego upbeatowosc i liryka walki o lepsze jutro w smutnym dzisiaj stanowi cos co najbardziej mnie urzeklo na tej plycie, wiec pierwsza czesc albumu idealnie wpisuje sie w ten koncept, druga natomiast jest bardziej tradycyjnie rokowa, pan Earle i jego gitarka jest wspierana przez bande zwana the dukes, ktora raczej stanowila wsparcie dla solowych tworcow, jak to czesto jest w muzyce rokowo countrowej, ciekawe jest takze ze jest to jeden z pierwszych albumow nagrywanych cyfrowo przy uzyciu mitsubishi X-800, wykorzystanie 32 tejpowego sprzetu dalo pole do popisu jesli chodzi o produkcje i overdubowanie, bo jest ono mocno wyczuwalne, 34 minuty nagrania jest podzielone na 10 kawalkow, ale wersja spotifajowa to ultra super deluksix na 30 lecie plyty, wiec zawiera takze nagranie koncertu chicago z roku 86, ktory jest dobrze nagranym livem, ktory dodatkowo pokazuje, ze banda potrafi grac, a nie tylko nagrywac przy pomocy overdubowania czego sie obawialem podczas odluchu pierwszego cdka, uspokojony tym faktem wrzucam na plejke good ol boya, no i oczywiscie tytulowy guitar town
A good album, I’m not a fan of live stuff though. Cheap Trick is good for their hits, but I don’t love much more than that.