Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch
Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch
Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch
Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch

Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch

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Ry Cooder - guitar, mandoline, bass, vocal [click here to see more vinyl featuring Ry Cooder]

Earl Hines - piano

Milt Holland - drums, percussions

Ronnie Barron (p, org); Plas Johnson (as); Oscar Brashear (crt); Red Callender, John Duke (b); Russ Titelman, Chris Ethridge (el-b); Jim Keltner (dr)

Written by Russ Titelman (A2), Ry Cooder (A2), Washington Phillips (A2), Willie McTell (A3), Bobby Womack (A5), Shirley Womack (A5), J.B. Lenoir (B1), Jim Dickinson (B1), Sidney Bailey (B1), Bobby Miller (B2), Bacharach (B3), Hilliard (B3), Arthur Blake (B4). A1 and A4 are traditional songs


1 LP, standard sleeve

Original analog Master tape : YES

Heavy Press : 180g

Record color : black

Record color : black

Speed : 33 RPM

Size : 12'’



Record Press : Pallas

Label : Speakers Corner

Original Label : Reprise

Recording: 1974 at the Warner Brothers Studios in North Hollywood and Burbank (USA), by Lee Herschberg

Production: Lenny Waronker & Russ Titelman

Originally released in 1974

Reissued in 2016



Side A :

1. Tamp 'Em Up Solid
2. Tattler
3. Married Man's A Fool
4. Jesus On The Mainline
5. It's All Over Now

Side B :

1. I'm A Fool For A Cigarette / Feelin' Good
2. If Walls Could Talk
3. Mexican Divorce
4. Ditty Wa Ditty



Stereophile Records to Die For - 2013


Reviews :

« Ry Cooder understands that a great song is a great song, whether it was written before the Depression or last week. Still, at the same time he isn't afraid to explore new avenues and possibilities for the material. Like his three previous records, Paradise and Lunch is filled with treasures which become part of a world where eras and styles converge without ever sounding forced or contrived. One may think that an album that contains a traditional railroad song, tunes by assorted blues greats, and a Negro spiritual alongside selections by the likes of Bobby Womack, Burt Bacharach, and Little Milton may lack cohesiveness or merely come across as a history lesson, but to Cooder this music is all part of the same fabric and is as relevant and accessible as anything else that may be happening at the time. No matter when it was written or how it may have been done in the past, the tracks, led by Cooder's brilliant guitar, are taken to new territory where they can coexist. It's as if Washington Phillips' "Tattler" could have shared a place on the charts with Womack's "It's All Over Now" or Little Milton's "If Walls Could Talk." That he's successful on these, as well as the Salvation Army march of "Jesus on the Mainline" or the funky, gospel feel of Blind Willie McTell's "Married Man's a Fool," is not only a credit to Cooder's talent and ingenuity as an arranger and bandleader, but also to the songs themselves. The album closes with its most stripped-down track, an acoustic guitar and piano duet with jazz legend Earl "Fatha" Hines on the Blind Blake classic "Ditty Wah Ditty." Here both musicians are given plenty of room to showcase their instrumental prowess, and the results are nothing short of stunning. Eclectic, intelligent, and thoroughly entertaining, Paradise and Lunch remains Ry Cooder's masterpiece. » AllMusic Review by Brett Hartenbach

« Ry Cooder’s Paradise And Lunch was released in 1974 to critical acclaim. Backed by a stellar ensemble of jazz (with no less than Earl Hines one one track) and rock musicians, it represented the stylized, modern blues contexts that imbue Cooder’s music. Speakers Corner has re-mastered this classic album to 180-gram vinyl and it is terrific! Side One opens with an update of “Tamp ‘Em Up Solid”. The jaunty laid-back grooves are framed by exquisite acoustic guitar picking. The ever-present “Sunday” undertones  bask in gospel backup vocals and the gentle roll of a train cadence. Washington Phillip’s “Tattler”is revisited by infectious island rhythms and playful ambiance. The switch to electric maintains the low-keyed elegance. Within the rock community, there is a genuine respect for the roots of blues music. Cooder is among the most supportive in this endeavor.

The homage continues with a country-based cover of Blind Willie McTell’s “Married Man’s A Fool”. The amalgam of roots and gospel (and there is an “Amen Brother!”) is reminiscent of the time period with groups like The Band. Cooder’s guitar solo is fluid and dynamic. Drilling down to pure gospel, “Jesus On The Mainline” is nothing short of inspired testimony. There are New Orleans-like horns for additional texture and Cooder’s slide work is steeped in blues integrity. In a change of pace,“It’s All Over Now” steals the show. The mixture of funky country and Caribbean nuances has the feel of a 2nd line celebration, but with cool restraint. Ronnie Barron shines on piano and organ. This Bobby Womack song has seen many translations, and they are all noteworthy.

Side Two is equally prominent in establishing authenticity and musical vision. A medley (“I’m A Fool For Cigarettes/Feelin’ Good”) feels like traditional blues homage (J.B. Lenoir, Sydney bailey, Jim Dickinson) with foot stomping Delta resonance. Cooder puts on a virtuosic display with acoustic guitar and mandolin. His idiosyncratic vocal intonation fits the musical arrangements. There is a winsome quality that permeates this upbeat translation. Bobby Miller’s “If Walls Could Talk” (first recorded by Little Milton) is a joyful 12-bar romp with counter vocals and a potent slide solo. Another pleasant surprise is the evocative Drifters hit, “Mexican Divorce” (an early Bury Bacharach tune). The tight-knit arrangement features Cooder’s winsome, heartfelt vocals, marimba and violin. It creates a cinematic “border town” mood with  festive agility. The versatility of Cooder is always on display. The finale, “Ditty Wa Ditty” is a brilliant duet with “trumpet style” jazz piano legend Earl Hines. This iconic slice of Americana was written by Willie Dixon and recorded by Bo Diddley in 1956 for Checker Records. The mythical town alluded to in the title was part of the African-American songwriting culture. Hines’ signature rolls and Cooder’s punctuated riffs elevate the anecdotal song. It is an appropriate close to an unforgettable album.

Speakers Corner has done a superb job in re-mastering Paradise And Lunch to audiophile vinyl. The subtlety of analog mixing is captured with the right amount of vibrancy. The guitars and mandolin are crisp, warm and devoid of unnecessarily augmented studio effects. Hines’ piano sounds like a vintage recording. The percussion and bass are dialed back. Horns blend in effortlessly without any shrillness. Like any great recording, it gets better with each additional play. » Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition, Jun 27, 2018

The LP "Paradise And Lunch" begins with gospel-like grooves that smell of native soil. The faint smell of a wooden church from pioneering days wafts out of the processional antiphonal song "Jesus On The Mainline" and a healthy 12-bar blues paints a picture of what silent witnesses could tell if they could ("If Walls Could Talk"). Cooder and his sidemen felt themselves perfectly at home when adventuring further afield and this is testified to in the laid-back calypso rhythm of "It’s All Over Now" and the clip-clop of "Mexican Divorce".

This wonderful album is highly recommended for each and every number, but if you want a tip for a very special track, then just listen to the ragtime piano rolls in Bo Diddley’s "Ditty Wah Ditty".


Ratings :

AllMusic : 4.5 / 5  , Discogs  4,00 / 5  , Rate Your Music  3,73 / 5

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