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Lone Justice: Lone Justice (Japanese ''Target'' Pressing) CD Track Listing

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Lone Justice Lone Justice (Japanese ''Target'' Pressing) (1985)
Lone Justice (Japanese ''Target'' Pressing)\n1985 Geffen Records, Inc.\n\nOriginally Released July 1, 1985\nCD Edition Released \n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: Maria McKee has one of those aching, little-girl voices (not unlike Stevie Nicks'), and it's heard to great effect on these country-rock tunes, especially Tom Petty and Mike Campbell's "Ways to Be Wicked." -- William Ruhlmann\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: Few new bands receive the kind of critical buzz that Lone Justice generated prior to the release of their first album in 1985, and one senses the band (not to mention producer Jimmy Iovine and Geffen Records) wanted to deliver something special to merit the hype. Which was not necessarily a good thing; Lone Justice is an album that tries so hard to be great that it sometimes ends up tripping over its own ambitions. The record leaves no doubt that the first edition of Lone Justice was a very good band; on the best cuts, Maria McKee's voice sounds like a force of nature, bassist Marvin Etzioni and bassist Don Heffington are a strong and imaginative rhythm section whether they were playing souped-up country shuffles or fifth-gear rock & roll, and if guitarist Ryan Hedgecock isn't quite a virtuoso, he's solid and inspired when he gets to step to the forefront. But guest keyboardist Benmont Tench and the other high-priced help (including Little Steven, Mike Campbell, and an uncredited Annie Lennox) often overwhelm the group's personality, and while McKee's songs celebrating the heart and soul of rural America are unquestionably sincere, they don't always ring true ("After the Flood" and "Pass It On" sound more like writing exercises than narratives centered around believable characters), and they also seem to inspire Iovine's most bombastic production decisions. Where Lone Justice succeeds is on straight-ahead rockers like "East of Eden" and "Working Late," the C&W weeper "Don't Toss Us Away," and the tough "love gone bad" number "Way to Be Wicked," all of which prove that this band really did have the goods. In the wake of the 1990s alt-country movement, in which dozens of bands mined similar musical territory with more satisfying results, Lone Justice sounds like an example of too many cooks spoiling the soup; there's enough good stuff to make it worth hearing, but its hard not to wish Lone Justice had gotten the sort of sympathetic but hands-off production that allowed Wilco and the Jayhawks to do their best work. -- Mark Deming\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nThe Apex of Maria McKee's Recordings, July 29, 2005\nReviewer: James Cantrell (Tennessee)\nI was on the east coast and so had no direct access to the early-mid 1980s 'cowpunk' wave that provided real music worth hearing to Southern California cl?b audiences. At the time, both commercially backed Country and rock 'n' roll were going downhill at an alarming speed. But prospects for a brighter future were on the horizon.\n\nI first heard Lone Justice on one of the then few surviving 1970s-style FM stations: the ones that focused all energy on discovering great music, whether newly recorded or overlooked from the past. Maria's voice knocked me over; it struck me then as like a cross between Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette that was then revved up to the fastest rockabilly speed and energy level. When I finally got to see Lone Justice in concert, I was not disappointed: Maria was all in person that she seemed to be on record.\n\nThe self-titled Lone Justice debut is a classic of Country Rock. Not a single song is a throw away. Perhaps the best way to understand how great the album is, and how powerfully evocative Maria's voice is, is to listen to 'Don't Toss Us Away' (which was written by Maria's half-brother Bryan MacLean). When I first heard it, I declared that it should be a #1 Country hit, and later it was for Patty Loveless. I like Patty Loveless a great deal, but I have no hesitance in asserting that the Lone Justice version of 'Don't Toss Us Away' is superior to the Country hit. That a slip of a young girl pulled it off is simply amazing.\n\nPerhaps my favorite song on the album is 'After the Flood,' which Maria wrote. It is a California version of agrarianism in song, one that rocks. 'Soap, Soup, and Salvation' shows Maria as writer to have a keen sense of humor and eye for detail. On bassist Marvin Etzioni's 'Working Late,' Maria also shows her comic chops as a frustrated young wife who sounds as if she is about to hunt bear when he does get home from the alleged working late. 'Sweet, Sweet Baby,'which Maria co-wrote with Heartbreaker Benmont Tench (who plays keyboards on the album) and E Street Band member Little Steven VanZandt, shows her ability to belt blue-eyed soul in the mold of a Linda Ronstadt. Etzioni's 'You Are the Light' is an ideal album closer.\n\nThis album should be owned by anyone with anything more than a passing interest in Country rock or rockabilly or the 1980s Country revival, which featured Maria's friend Dwight Yoakam (she sings on his debut album) and Steve Earle. The dirt-cheap price means you can purchase several copies to give as gifts.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nStands the test of time...., March 8, 2004\nReviewer: D. Casto "Tweety" (St. Petersburg, FL USA) \nIt's an old album I used to have on vinyl and played over and over and over again. Many years later I get the CD and have the same reaction. Every song is excellent, every song highlights one of the most unappreciated voices in modern mucic. Why Maria McKee and Lone Justice weren't superstars I'll never know.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nThe lone great Maria McKee CD, December 22, 2003\nReviewer: A music fan\nIf you're wondering where to start with Maria McKee or Lone Justice, this is the place. If you're interested in one of the best recordings of the 1980's, this is it. If you're thinking of replacing your old vinyl or cassette with a CD, yes, it still sounds as good as it did back then. This is the definitive and essential Lone Justice CD, and in my opinion the only consistently great recording the band or their vocalist ever made. I'll probably keep buying everything Maria records, and I remain a fan, but this is what grabbed my attention long, long ago and far, far away.\n\nThis is not just a Maria McKee recording with a back-up band, which is how the second and final Lone Justice CD, "Shelter" often sounds. Lone Justice is a unit as a band, shares the songwriting on this one (thankfully - McKee is a better singer than songwriter, not that she isn't competent at both), and the sound here is simple, clear, clean, and as passionate as any of the punk bands that preceded them by a few years.\n\nMcKee is, however, the reason you're here reading about Lone Justice, and her vocals grab you by the throat from the opening moments of "East of Eden" and don't let go. She is in absolutely amazing form here, and while I agree with the reviewer who said they were a great band live, I think this CD (again, unlike "Shelter") captures their raw energy well. It's a bit misleading to read about cowpunk and alt-country here - there are all of three songs that fit that category ("Don't Toss Us Away", "Working Late", "Soap, Soup And Salvation"), and the rest of the CD is clean, simple two-guitars-bass-and-drums rock, with keyboards here and there (the Heartbreakers influence is obvious well beyond the Petty-Campbell-penned "Ways To Be Wicked"). McKee's country phrasings on the slow "Don't Toss Us Away" seem forced, and she sounds more at home with the faster country-ish numbers, gospel-tinged tunes or just plain rocking. When I first heard Lone Justice doing "Ways To Be Wicked" on the radio (my introduction to the band), I thought it was a new Stevie Nicks song and went looking for the (non-existent) new album. Their voices have similarities, but nothing Nicks has ever done sounded remotely this turbocharged.\n\nThere is a great deal of biblical imagery here, which I thought at the time was simply a sign of the songwriters being literate. I listen to songs on their own, without worrying about the private lives of the musicians. When Lone Justice disappeared, though, I read something somewhere that left me with a vague impression the precipitating event had been Maria McKee becoming a born-again Christian and leaving the rock world. I'm probably wrong, and maybe she had that faith even back in the Lone Justice days, but except for the final track, there is not even a hint of anything religious here, much less obnoxiously so, and "Soap, Soup And Salvation" is an excellent rollicking send-up of the way the homeless have been forced to endure preaching before being fed by the Salvation Army and their ilk.\n\nThe rest has been said here. This was a great band live, these are their best songs, save one or two from the second album, and they were a great break from most of the overproduced junk of the mid-80's. In addition to perhaps being Maria McKee's best work, this is one of the best and most overlooked recordings of that era. Its merits are its simplicity and power, above and beyond its superb vocalist.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nWhy did this not sell?, July 6, 2001\nReviewer: A music fan\nI was blown away by their performance on SNL back in the '80s. As frequently happened, I had SNL to thank for turning me on to some great new music I had never heard previously. (Who were those guys named Squeeze?) Listening to this band reminds me how hard it must be to be successful in the music biz. This is great stuff and no one seemed to notice. The vocals are addicting. The title track from the followup album "Shelter" is one of my all-time favs.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nThink Back...Look forward-LONE JUSTICE stands up!, June 21, 2001\nReviewer: Ian C. Cunningham "MaximumAlt" (OZ, United States) \nThis Cd was in 1985 the most powerful new band I had heard in the mid-80's. A period I consider very dry for real melody, voice and twang without Synths. Even my favorites, Dylan, Petty,and Springsteen to name a few. Were in a place of over production. This is the only really great Lone Justice release. Short lived in their originality, LONE JUSTICE the band and Disc were one of the best soon to be titled, Alt-Country items around. Los Lobos'"By the Light of The Moon" runs a close second but the fact that Maria McKee was so young (19) and this band was so raw and real, and just as good in concert. Made them a hopeful antithesis to the digital soundscape that was saturating radio at the time. I think this is timeless.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nA great lost album of the 80's., August 1, 2000\nReviewer: William J. Eichelberger "Here come da judge!" (Ft. Thomas, KY)\nI caught a clip of the band doing Sweet, Sweet Baby on late night tv back in 1985. I picked up the cassette the next day and loved it. We left for Daytuna Beach the next day and I took it along, sure that everyone would be as fired up about it as I was. Unfortunately, none of my friends liked it so much as a little bit. From my experience, this has always been the reaction to Lone Justice/Maria McKee. There is no middle ground when dealing with this band, but this is an excellent album and deserves at least a listen. One way or another, Maria McKee's vocal performance will leave you with your mouth hanging open wondering how you managed to miss this almost twenty years back.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nRugged as Wild Turkey, March 9, 2000\nReviewer: dev1 (Baltimore) \nThis intense debut is as novel today as it was when first released 15 years ago. Maria McKee is an electric hillbilly fronting the Patti Smith Group. Produced by Jimmy Iovine, Lone Justice suggests Tom Petty, The Pretenders and U-2 ( all also produced by Iovine).\n\nMcKee was wise to open the disc with "East Of Eden." The rollicking introduction is a warning to new listeners: Don't go any father unless you're prepared for more sonic assault. The straight-up rock (East of Eden, Sweet Sweet Baby and Wait `Til Dark) is as rugged as Wild Turkey. Guest Little Steven (E-Street Band) provides the dazzling guitar licks on "Sweet Sweet Baby" and "Wait "Til We Get Home." Eat your heart out Keith Richard.\n\nAnother surprise is the way Lone Justice approaches country songs (After The Flood, Ways To Be Wicked and Working Late) with an untamed rock attitude. You've never heard country like this. McKee belts out every line with the self-confidence of a seasoned veteran. Who else but she would have the audacity to end a rock adventure praising Jesus Christ (yes, the Son of God). Perhaps that's the best way to summarize Lone Justice's debut. Spirited.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nOver a decade later, this one still amazes, September 24, 1999\nReviewer: A music fan\nThe first sound when one hits the play button is the startling voice of a woman asking the question, "Well should I go north?" From that moment on this album is nothing short of captivating. I first bought it back in 1985 and to this day it remains one of the most impressive debuts of a decade still best know for its catchy, but inconsequential synth pop, and its cheesy and embarrassing hair metal bands.\n\nThis probably has everything to do with why this album was not a huge seller, and it is a shame. The songs reflect struggles with faith, love, and life in general without ever getting excessively preachy (lead singer Maria McKee is a Christian).\n\n"After the Flood" tells the tale of perseverance and resilience in the face of disaster. "Ways to be Wicked" (co-written for the band by Tom Petty) has a snarly country-rock (emphasis on the later) hook that won't stop, "Pass It One" both celebrates and questions tradition, "You Are The Light" celebrates the spiritual that will do more to contemplate God and faith than any of the self righteous musing of those firmly in the "contemporary Christian" camp.\n\nIn short, this album is a must, an all too unheard classic that belongs in your collection TODAY!\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nOne of the half-dozen best cd's of the 80's, January 29, 1999\nReviewer: A music fan\nThe measure of how good this disc is, is in how disappointing Maria McKee's output has been since its release. At various times, she seemed to have decided to "be" Bruce Springsteen, U2 or to have adopted similarly ill-advised musical role models. The irony is that, with "Lone Justice" she broke on the scene with a fully-developed musical identity of her own, based on great songwriting, top-flight production and a voice like a Force of Nature. This album screamed out "Maria McKee has ARRIVED". In a perfect world, every song here would have been a #1 single. Years later, none of that original power is diminished. It's a shame that none of the discs she's made since have retained this kind of focus.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nDon?t toss this one away, December 28, 1998\nReviewer: A music fan\nThe best cow-punk CD there is. It's my favorite of all of Maria Mckee's work. This CD has a freshness that is not apparent in her later work that in my opinion suffers from too much rum and rodeo.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nunique sound & lyrics - voice of a girl warrior, August 20, 1998\nReviewer: A music fan\nThis has been a favorite of mine forever. Unfortunately, the group has never gotten much play. From the stand up straight, pay attention message of "Wait till we get home" to the dingy street crowd anthem "Soap, Soup and Salvation" This is one to vicariously exert yourself through.\n\nTower.com Product Notes:\nOriginal release year: 1985\nProducer: Jimmy Iovine
This misc cd contains 10 tracks and runs 36min 9sec.
Freedb: 8f08770a
Buy: from Amazon.com

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  1. Lone Justice - East Of Eden (02:37)
  2. Lone Justice - After The Flood (03:40)
  3. Lone Justice - Ways To Be Wicked (03:28)
  4. Lone Justice - Don't Toss Us Away (04:19)
  5. Lone Justice - Working Late (02:45)
  6. Lone Justice - Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Falling) (04:12)
  7. Lone Justice - Pass It On (03:40)
  8. Lone Justice - Wait 'Til We Get Home (03:18)
  9. Lone Justice - Soap, Soup And Salvation (04:04)
  10. Lone Justice - You Are The Light (03:59)


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