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Townes Van Zandt (album) by Townes Van Zandt

This album At A Glance
Townes Van Zandt
Townes Van Zandt by Townes Van Zandt (1969)
Overall rank: 1,149th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
81/100 (from 168 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution
Accolades: Award Top albums of 1969 (33rd)
Award Top albums of the 1960s (113th)
Award Best albums of all time (1,149th)

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Townes Van Zandt - For The Sake Of The Song (Vinyl Used Very Good)
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Townes Van Zandt-At My Window (UK IMPORT) CD NEW
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Townes Van Zandt bestography

Townes Van Zandt is ranked as the best album by Townes Van Zandt.

Townes Van Zandt album bestography « Higher ranked This album (1,149th) Lower ranked (2,000th) »
-Townes Van ZandtLive At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas

Members who like this album also like: Astral Weeks by Van Morrison, Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys and Pink Moon by Nick Drake.

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Townes Van Zandt rankings

Townes Van Zandt ratings

Average Rating: 
81/100 (from 168 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution  Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
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Showing latest 5 ratings for this album. | Show all 168 ratings for this album.

Rating
Date logged
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No. album ratings
Avg. album rating
 
80/100
06/01/2019 00:08
79/100
 
85/100
05/31/2019 04:44
79/100
 
85/100
05/16/2019 18:33
84/100
 
100/100
05/13/2019 00:33
84/100
 
80/100
04/15/2019 20:16
75/100

Related links: top albums of the 1960s, top albums of 1969.

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Townes Van Zandt comments

Showing all 5 comments | Most Helpful First | Newest First
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Rating:  
85/100
From Graeme2
After 3 or 4 tracks it feels like one of the best of the decade.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
95/100
From Mercury
Okay, and here we are. His 3rd album, and his second of 1969. Townes output in 69 was better than anyone else. It was bonkers. And the production here is nearly perfect! Its so bare and breezy and simple and this gives TVZ's songs room to breathe, to float into your ears and heart and make you weep. The lyrics and the actual songs, THE SONGS!!!! are even better here than on Our Mother The Mountain. TVZ had really turned the corner in the intervening few months and turned on his next gear. To keep that sports analogy going just a bit more (I hear your groans, I'm sorry, just one second) This album represents the age 27 season of that star QB, when he is still putting up the big numbers, still scrambling aorund and showing off his gifts, still throwing it deep, but now he's throwing less interceptions, he's reading the game next level, and he goes to the championship! But he loses... and its not close. In this case cuz of a couple 30 somethings who just act as killjoys to his glory and poke holes in his schemes. But he moves onto the next season to regroup and hopefully break through. With Townes, he just continues honing his craft and makes 3 or 4 more classics and wins a couple championships.

Okay, and I am done with that. Thank gawd.

What I think is amazing about this Self titled Townes album is how effortless it feels. Right from the jump you are treated with one of the breeziest and subtly morunful and confused songwriting feats ever. "For The Sake of the Song" features a gorgeous guitar line from Townes (who much like Joni, is an underrated guitarist). There's a very subdued little bass line. Some pretty percussion. And over the top of this beautiful and again Breezy sound, Townes just seems to be talking to a friend about his predicament with a relationship. The internal rhyme pattern is detailed but not over the top. And you are just sitting there as the audience marvelling at how deeply thought out and intricate the observations are and how quickly the5+ minute song goes by.

And this is true of the whole album. You go through this subtle, shimmering, at times deeply emotional, at other times just comfortably familiar, journey with TVZ, and you enjoy every second being in its presence.

The songs here don't jump out at me. When I look at the tracklist for Our Mother The Mountain or his debut, or even Delta Momma Blues, The Late Great Townes Van Zandt or even High Low and In Between, I am struck by 3 or 4 absolute stand outs, totally memorable and singular Townes moments. With this album though, the whole album coalesces and plays just right, one song to the next, that I just know when I finish the album there is not a less than stellar track here, and I wanna push play again, and again.

That is probably due to just how warm and simple the production is. There are some more flashy parts, like the groove of the bass on "Waitin' Round To Die" (oh and I suppose this song does stick out on the tracklist, so there is a correction from last paragraph). But those more fl;ashy moments are rare, and they are all in beautiful service to the songs. They make sense. The harmonica and bass groove, so dark and ominous, absolutely pushes this song over the top. It seems like Townes and his producer at the time finally realized the earthy genius of Townes, and that you didn't need bells and whistles to make these songs move mountains. The lone voice and guitar and minimal other things alone can just overcome a listener. This album is proof of that.

Other examples of the extra ornamentation working beautfully here is the strangely timed bass drum rhythm on the stunning blues reimagining of "Lungs". And the gorgeous violin backing, and tambourine fun of "(Quicksilver Daydreams of) Maria".

Songs like "Don't Take It Too Bad", "Colorado Girl", "None But The Rain", "I'll Be Here In the Morning" and "For The sake of the Song" seem to me like perfect examples of that distinctly Townes way of just being the most inviting, sensitive, singer/songwriter of the folk/country field.

Anyway, this album is damn near perfect. And if you wanna know where to get started with becoming a huge Townes fan, here it is your best bet methinks.

This album is proof that you can do a TVZ album without added stuff, and it proved that all by himself, Townes Can Zandt! (I'm sorry...)

"All the mountains and the rivers
And the valleys can't compare
To your blue lit dancin' eyes
And yellow shining hair
I could never hit the open road
And leave you layin' there

Lay your head back easy, love,
Close your cryin' eyes
I'll be layin' here beside you
When the sun comes on the rise
I'll stay as long as the cuckoo wails
And the lonesome blue jay cries" -Townes

Rating: 9.7/10
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
100/100
From Tilly
These songs spill blood. They shed tears. Simple, unadorned. Often just vocals and a picking guitar, these songs dig deep into your soul. And bring out the loneliness and pain. The loneliness and heartbreak you thought you had buried. From that girl. From this life. There’s a romance to the loneliness of these songs. Of the love that had to end. Had to die.

Grade: A+. One of the greatest singer-songwriter albums of all time. The lyrics are second to none. But it’s the feeling of the songs that make it something special. Songs that make you reach for that whiskey jar to dull the pain and make you forget that special love you once had. Few albums bare your soul like this one, and it vaults all the way to number one.
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From jhuik
A classic singer-songwriter, one of the best I've ever heard.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
Rating:  
90/100
From jeraffe
This album is a new favorite of mine. Must've listened to it about a hundred times this year, no joke. Waiting Around to Die and Lungs are both stunning.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +3 votes (3 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
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Best Albums of 1969
1. Abbey Road by The Beatles
2. In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson
3. Led Zeppelin II by Led Zeppelin
4. Let It Bleed by The Rolling Stones
5. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin
6. The Velvet Underground by The Velvet Underground
7. Tommy by The Who
8. Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band
9. Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake
10. The Band by The Band
11. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young And Crazy Horse
12. Hot Rats by Frank Zappa
13. In A Silent Way by Miles Davis
14. Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire) by The Kinks
15. Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash
16. The Stooges by The Stooges
17. Green River by Creedence Clearwater Revival
18. Willy And The Poor Boys by Creedence Clearwater Revival
19. Stand! by Sly & The Family Stone
20. Dusty In Memphis by Dusty Springfield



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