The Will To Live (Remaster) Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Album Info

Album Veröffentlichung:
1997

HRA-Veröffentlichung:
20.04.2016

Label: Capitol

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre:

Interpret: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals

Komponist: Ben Harper, Jean Pierre Plunier

Das Album enthält Albumcover

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  • 1Faded04:51
  • 2Homeless Child03:53
  • 3Number Three01:53
  • 4Roses From My Friends06:30
  • 5Jah Work04:58
  • 6I Want To Be Ready04:06
  • 7The Will To Live04:58
  • 8Ashes03:56
  • 9Widow Of A Living Man04:13
  • 10Glory And Consequence05:43
  • 11Mama's Trippin'03:47
  • 12I Shall Not Walk Alone05:14
  • Total Runtime54:02

Info zu The Will To Live (Remaster)

„Das Debüt dieses kalifornischen Songwriters und Ausnahmegitarristen, der schon Blues-Prominenz wie Taj Mahal oder Brownie McGhee begleitete, war stereoplay 1994 eine "Perfekte" wert. Daß Ben Harper seine historische Weissenborn-Steel-Guitar immer noch fest im Griff hat, bedarf kaum besonderer Erwähnung. Doch schlägt er auf "The Will To Live" gelegentlich eine härtere, sehr belebende Gangart an ("Faded"). Und überzeugender denn je reimt Harper in der Sprache der Woodstock-Generation gegen Rassismus und Unmenschlichkeit. Stimmungsvoll beschließt der leise Abgang "I Shall Not Walk Alone" ein exzellentes Album.“ (Stereoplay)

„Daß der 28jährige als Junge auch schon mal seine Slide-Gitarre beiseite gelegt hatte, um mit Freunden Skateboard zu fahren, mag man kaum glauben: Mit relaxter Sicherheit und bestechendem Können wandert er über sanft quietschende Saiten, daß dem Zuhörer leichte Schauer den Rücken runterrieseln. Die überwiegend ruhigen, sehr melodischen Stücke atmen ein akustisch-fragiles Flair. Doch der sanfte Verführer besticht ebenso in etlichen schrägrockigen Songs oder den knackigen, funkig-jazzigen "Mama's Trippin’“ (Audio)

„Es sollen eine Menge Leute auf BEN HARPERs Konzerten auftauchen, die noch nie jemanden eine akustische Slide-Gitarre haben spielen sehen. Schließlich ist es ja auch ungewöhnlich, daß einer des Jahrgangs '69, der sich als "old school skateboarder' bezeichnet, die akustische Gitarre mit ihren Abarten "Dobro' und "Weissenborn' ins Zentrum seiner Musik stellt.HARPERs '94er Debütalbum "Welcome To The Cruel World' wurde in Amerika begeistert aufgenommen und er als hoffnungsvolles Nachwuchstalent auf dem Singer/Songwriter-Sektor gehandelt. Auf "The Will To Live' steckt er sein musikalisches Terrain nun noch ein wenig großzügiger ab: die amerikanische Musikgeschichte als Evolutionsdrama, durchflutet von Licht, Wärme und intensiver, aber nie protziger Musikalität. Mit Leichtigkeit und Magie versteht er es, sich der verschiedensten Stile wie ihrer jeweils treffendsten Instrumentierung zu bedienen: mal nur Stimme und Saiten, mal mit Band und zusätzlichen Streichern, Dub-Effekten. Durch die Dominanz des Doppeldeutigen, die augenzwinkernde Paarung von ernsten und heiteren Elementen wirkt das Werk bei aller Kunstfertigkeit elastisch, locker und unbelastet von einer ehrgeizigen Produktion. Timbre und Charme ähneln den hohen Ansprüchen der LITTLE AXE-Scheiben, die ja aufregende Reisebeschreibungen durch die Zeit sind und verschiedene Wege schwarzer Musik schemenhaft skizzieren. Hier sind es die Verknüpfungen verschiedener Traditionen mit Beobachtungen gegenwärtiger cutting edge acts, die bei allen Schlichtheiten sehr zu beeindrucken wissen. Die Überraschung in einem Genre, das selten genug im Zenit der Gegenwart anzutreffen ist.“ (Bernhard Groha, Intro)

Ben Harper, guitar, saz, vocals, weissenborn
Louis Allen, bass
Alan Anderson, guitar
Agnes Baddoo, background vocals
Brett Banduci, viola
Patrick Brayer, fiddle
Dean Butterworth, drums
Danielle Charles, violin
Juan Nelson, bass, background vocals
Eric Person, saxophone
Amy Piatt, background vocals
Emily Wright, cello

Engineered by Todd Burke
Produced by Jean-Pierre Plunier

Digitally remastered


Ben Harper
Combining funky, groove-laden soul with handcrafted acoustic folk-rock, Ben Harper enjoyed cult status during the course of the '90s before gaining wider attention toward the decade's end. As a young artist, he drew his influences from classic singer/songwriters, blues revivalists, guitar slingers, and jam bands like Blues Traveler and Phish, which meant he was embraced by critics and college kids alike. Despite finding commercial success with the radio single "Steal My Kisses" in 2000, Harper continued to explore different (and often challenging) musical textures during the 21st century, enjoying a solid fan base at home and a considerable amount of fame in Europe, where was named 2003's Artist of the Year by the French branch of Rolling Stone.

A native of California, Harper grew up listening to blues, folk, soul, R&B, and reggae. He started playing guitar as a child and began to perform regularly as a preteen. During his adolescence, he focused heavily on the acoustic slide guitar, which eventually became his signature instrument. Harper scored a deal with Virgin Records in 1992 after maintaining steady schedule of shows in the L.A. area; two years later, he released his debut album, Welcome to the Cruel World, to positive reviews.

Released in 1995, the politically heavy Fight for Your Mind made for a strong sophomore effort, an obvious growth in musical experimentation and individual declamation. It was also the songwriter's first record to later reach gold status. Harper's third album, 1997's The Will to Live, pushed his blues-oriented alternative folk into the middle mainstream, becoming a mainstay at college radio and making inroads at adult alternative radio. Recorded over two years of touring in support of Fight for Your Mind, The Will to Live also introduced the Innocent Criminals, Harper's longstanding backup band. The Innocent Criminals — bassist Juan Nelson, drummer Dean Butterworth, and percussionist David Leach — helped solidify Harper's musical rhythms and emotional diversity over the years to come.

Harper's career gained momentum during 1998 and 1999. One of his most successful albums to date, 1999's Burn to Shine, blended his fondness of '20s jazz compositions with urban beatboxing, resulting in a clever and passionate collection of songs. "Steal My Kisses" and "Suzie Blue" were radio favorites, landing him two headlining world tours and an opening spot on the Dave Matthews Band's annual summer trek in 2000. The following spring, Harper issued Live from Mars, a double disc of live electric and acoustic material spanning the previous year's tour and including covers of material by Led Zeppelin, the Verve, and Marvin Gaye.

Harper dove into worldbeat on his fifth studio effort, Diamonds on the Inside, which appeared in March 2003. He toured through Europe the following year with the Blind Boys of Alabama, and the two acts entered Capitol Records' basement studios after the tour's commencement to lay down ten tracks together. The resulting collaborative album (issued under the names of both Harper and the Blind Boys of Alabama), There Will Be a Light, was released in September 2004, followed by the concert CD/DVD package Live at the Apollo in 2005.

Eager to release more material, Harper reconvened with the Innocent Criminals and issued the double album Both Sides of the Gun in March 2006. The album reached number seven on the Billboard album charts and rose to number one in Australia. While touring in support of the record, Harper and company began playing a new slew of songs during their evening soundchecks, eventually decamping to Paris and recording the new material within one week. This resulted in two records — Lifeline and Live at Twist and Shout Records — both of which were issued in 2007. For his 2009 album White Lies for Dark Times, Harper recorded with the band Relentless7, the members of whom had previously worked with Harper on the track "Serve Your Soul" from Both Sides of the Gun. Harper and the Relentless7 recorded Live from the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 2009 and released the album early the following year. Afterwards, Harper began working on his first solo album in years, using Jackson Browne's basement as a recording studio and collaborating with Ringo Starr on two tracks. The album's first single, "Rock n' Roll Is Free," was released during the early spring of 2011, followed two months later by the full-length Give Till It's Gone and in 2012 by the career retrospective By My Side. Harper moved over to Stax and teamed with blues legend Charlie Musselwhite for 2013's collaboratively released Get Up!

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