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Ryan Adams: HOF?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Dick Whitman, Jul 23, 2016.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    He's never been a chart topper. He can be kind of a dick. But his legacy, which he continues to add to, is as the genius singer-song writer of his time. "Faithless Street" is brilliant and beautiful. Discuss.
  2. Big Circus

    Big Circus Well-Known Member

    He's certainly got the counting stats. Think of all the odd genre exercises he's got sitting in his vaults, unreleased. I know he's got a hardcore punk album out there (although that may have gotten a release under a different name), and I think he's recorded death metal stuff as well.
  3. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

    I hope DD sees this thread. I know he has a few thoughts.
  4. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Would have my vote. The guy's brilliant. Went through a phase when he could have self-edited a bit more, but even his weakest stuff is pretty damn good.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I'm one of the better RA fans on this board, obviously. (Couple users probably lap me, but I'm up there.)

    It's hard for me to view this objectively. Some of his stuff with Whiskeytown is some of my favorite stuff ever. Heartbreaker and Gold are almost modern classics, though I think both probably fall a little short of that distinction. As Dick said, Faithless Street is one of the quintessential alt-country records. I don't know where they'd end up, but I think these 11 Ryan Adams songs would be in my Top 100 songs of all time.

    -Houses on The Hill
    -Jacksonville Skyline
    -Bar Lights
    -To Be Young
    -Oh My Sweet Caroline
    -Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart
    -Don't Wanna Know Why
    -Dear Chicago
    -Come Pick Me Up
    -Firecracker (The Suicide Handbook version)
    -Dance All Night

    All that said, I think there is something missing that would make him worthy of a true music HOF. (I don't think we should factor in the Rock and Roll HOF because we all know it's a joke.) I admire Adams interest in taking risks, in goofing around with genres and with never doing exactly what people want him to be doing. The Taylor Swift thing was funny because he was actually sincere about it, and his cover of Welcome to New York and Wish You Would are genuinely great.

    But... in truth, I miss the Adams who who wrote fucking amazing songs in his 20s that were backed by a harmonica and a fiddle. I miss what Caitlin Cary helped him become when he was a degenerate high school drop out with so much poetry in his head, he would write five songs a day. Yes, maybe he was a heroin addict and a raging asshole, but my god, could he string words together back then.

    Stephen Hyden highlighted a few of the unreleased songs that are on YouTube.

    The Ryan Adams Conundrum: How Many Incredible Unreleased Albums Does He Have, and Does That Hurt the Ones That Do Come Out?

    Frankly, a lot of his more recent stuff leaves me cold. I literally don't give a shit about any of the stuff he did with The Cardinals. Nor do I care for Halloweenhead, or even a lot of Ashes and Fire (although it was an improvement).

    More than anything, I'm grateful that Adams essentially saved Jason Isbell's life and got him sober, because he's truly the best songwriter of his generation, and while Adams had the talent to claim that throne, Isbell had the attention span to actually hold onto it.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016
    I Should Coco and Mr. Sunshine like this.
  6. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    Fiona Apple might have something to say about that.
  7. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Trying to resist a Summer of '69 joke... can't ...
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Todd Snider is.
  9. Mr. Sunshine

    Mr. Sunshine Well-Known Member

  10. justgladtobehere

    justgladtobehere Active Member

    Ryan Adams with the Cardinals in Dublin is a great show. It's somewhere on the Internet.
  11. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

  12. swingline

    swingline Well-Known Member

    I would rate Strangers Almanac as the best of Adams, maybe because it was my introduction to him the late '90s when I was deep into the weeds with all things alt-country. With Whiskeytown, he produced a special brand of music that he hasn't been able to, or tried to, capture since then.

    Of his solo work, Rock N Roll, Gold and Heartbreaker come the closest to Adams realizing his potential, with Gold being my favorite of the bunch.

    I think the problem with Adams is, if anything, he's too much into his own head, too absorbed with writing and making music and that too much of it seems recording for recording's sake. Being prolific is one thing, but being overly prolific means he releases a lot of music that's, basically, one listen and done.
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