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Less Than the Song / Life Machine

Album: Less Than the Song / Life Machine
# Song Title   Time
1)    Sweet Misery
2)    Less Than the Song
3)    Sweet Fantasy
4)    Days Are Short
5)    Mary Makes Magic
6)    Peacemaker
7)    Nothin' to Lose
8)    Oklahoma Song
9)    Mexico City Hangover
10)    Hungry Man
11)    Somebody Turned on the Light
12)    Blue Prelude
13)    Maybelline
14)    Life Machine
15)    That's All Right
16)    Geronimo's Cadillac
17)    When the Morning Comes
18)    Good Lookin' Child
19)    I Dream of Highways
20)    Pet Parade
21)    Telephone Booth
22)    Boney Fingers
23)    Billie's Theme
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Hoyt Axton (vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, background vocals); Hoyt Axton; Ralph Mooney, Red Rhodes (pedal steel guitar); Dick Hyde, Michael J. Barone, Michael Barone (horns); Bob Wilson & His Orchestra, Bob Wilson (piano, organ); David Jackson (bass guitar, background vocals); Emory Gordy, Leland Sklar, Tim Drummond (bass guitar); Sammy Lee Creason (drums); Dana Brady, Dana Brady, David P. Jackson (background vocals); Renee Armand, Linda Ronstadt (vocals, background vocals); Bob Lind (acoustic guitar, background vocals); James Burton (electric guitar, dobro); Terry Reid, Ron Cornelius (electric guitar); Dr. Eric Hord, Mac Gayden (slide guitar); Doug Dillard (banjo, background vocals); Mark Dawson (harp, background vocals); Stephen Pace (fiddle); Ann Goodman (cello); Ed Kollis (harmonica); Gene Cipriano, Vincent DeRosa, Paul Hubinon (horns); Loren Newkirk (piano, celesta); Michael Utley (piano); Milt Holland (vibraphone, percussion); Jim Keltner (drums); Karl Himmel (percussion); Sherlie Matthews, Lee Montgomery, Skitchy Washburn, Donna Weiss, Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Merry Clayton, Ronee Blakley, Claudia Lennear, Denny Brooks, Donna Washburn (background vocals).
  • Liner Note Author: Ian McFarlane.
  • Arrangers: Clydie King; Tom Scott.
  • Raven's 2007 release Less Than the Song/Life Machine is a straight-up two-fer of Hoyt Axton's first two albums for A&M Records, containing no bonus tracks. Although they were released just a year apart -- Less Than the Song came out in 1973, Life Machine in 1974 -- they're very different records, with the former being a spare, rather haunting slice of singer/songwriter introspection and the latter being a good-time boogie record, highlighted by Axton's big breakthrough hit, "Boney Fingers." Despite their differences in tone, they make for good companion pieces, not just because they date from the same era but, when taken together, they give a fairly good indication of the scope of Axton's talents as a songwriter and a performer (his re-workings of "Maybelline" and "That's All Right" on Life Machine are inventive and fun). This is a good disc but be forewarned: if you already own the 1998 two-disc compilation The A&M Years you already have this material -- in the same running order, no less (both discs, after all, merely feature the two albums paired up as a two-fer) -- as the entire first disc of that set. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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