Personnel: John Prine (vocals, guitar); Steve Goodman (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, gut-string guitar); Dave Prine (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro, banjo, fiddle); Grady Martin (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, dobro); Raun MacKinnon (vocals, gut-string guitar); Cissy Houston, Deirdre Tuck Corley (vocals, background vocals); Steve Burgh (guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Johnny Christopher (guitar, acoustic guitar); Reggie Young (guitar, electric guitar); Leo LeBlanc (guitar, steel guitar); Judy Clay (steel guitar, background vocals); Doyle Grisham (steel guitar); Jerry Shook (harmonica); David Briggs (piano, organ, keyboards); Bobby Woods (piano); Kenny Ascher (electric piano, keyboards); Bobby Wood (keyboards); Mike Leech (upright bass); Kenny Malone (drums, tambourine); Steve Mosley (drums); Bill Slater, Ralph MacDonald, Hugh McDonald (percussion); Deidre Tuck (background vocals).
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY; Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, NY; Quadrafonic Sound Studios, Nashville, TN; Regent Sound STudios, New York, NY; State University of New York, New Paltz, NY.
Photographer: Wendi Lombardi.
Folk singer John Prine's third release, SWEET REVENGE, found the singer with a newfound confidence and determination. After receiving both plaudits and barbs from the critics for his previous two albums, Prine responded with a decidedly more aggressive stance. To this day, SWEET REVENGE stands as his most defiant-sounding album. By toughening up his folk and country roots palette with rock's harder edges, Prine proves he can scrap with the best of the heartland rockers.
Like Springsteen and Mellencamp, Prine is an everyman songwriter, albeit one with a more economical sense of song structure and wordplay. Whereas Springsteen favors over-the-top epics by way of bombast, Prine zeroes in on the heart of the matter with a few simple masterstrokes. The rebellious title track plunges towards the fickle hearts of critics with a snap of the fingers. The driving "Often Is A Word I Seldom Use" punctuates his sardonic attack with pumping horns. Ironically, the album's green thumb, a live acoustic-only "Dear Abby," became the breakaway single.