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Atlantic Records' futile attempt to make John Prine a star came to a head with the appearance in 1975 of this bewildering 11-song collection. Stax vet Steve Cropper stepped into the producer's seat with Common Sense, replacing Arif Mardin, who'd helmed Prine's first three releases. Cropper opted for a fuller sound, making liberal use of horns and vocal choruses (Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne are among the backup singers). Prine, for his part, responded by penning some of his most obscure lyrics. "Forbidden Jimmy" paints a Cubist portrait of a fellow who "got a mighty sore tooth / From biting too many dimes / In a telephone booth." "Saddle in the Rain" finds the singer imagining God waiting in ambush for him so he can "drink my wine and eat me like a sacrament." Ultimately, even old fans found the likes of "Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard" impenetrable. On the other hand, this might be the Prine album fans of crossword puzzles enjoy the most. --Steven Stolder
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.