Recorded at the Chicago Recording Company, Chicago, Illinois from January to March 1978. Includes original liner notes and artwork.
Personnel: John Prine (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); John Burns (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Sam Bush (vocals, guitar, electric guitar); Jethro Burns (vocals, mandolin); Bob Horne (vocals, keyboards); Harry Waller, Mike Jordan (vocals, hand claps); Diane Holmes, Don Shelton , Bob Bowker, Vicki Hubley, Len Dresslar, Kitty Haywood, Bonnie Herman (vocals, background vocals); Earl Poinke, Fred Holstein, Tyler Wilson, Aldo Bottalla, Mike Urschel, Tom Hanson, Ed Holdstein, Dan Cronin, Hank Neuberger, Sid Sims, Jackson Browne, James Talley, James McNamara, John Cowan, Al Bunetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Bonnie Koloc, Bryan Bowers (vocals); Steve Goodman (guitar, acoustic guitar, hand claps, background vocals); Leo LeBlanc (guitar, steel guitar, dobro); Jim Rothermel (pennywhistle, soprano recorder, tenor recorder, clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Corky Siegel (harmonica, piano); Howard Levy (accordion, saxophone, piano, keyboards); Mike Utley (piano, organ, keyboards); Bob Hoban (piano); Steve Rodby (acoustic bass); Tom Radtke (drums, finger cymbals, tambourine, hand claps, percussion); Tom Ratdtke (drums, percussion).
Recording information: Chicago recording Company (01/1978-03/1978).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dave Prine; Tom Hanson; Ramblin' Jack Elliott.
Prine rode out the '70s by merely allowing his deceptively simple songs speak for themselves. After being heralded as the Second Coming, the new Dylan, and the prince of all folk singers great and small, he got back to basics with longtime buddy and fellow songwriter-producer Steve Goodman. BRUISED ORANGE sweeps away every particle of unnecessary debris, resulting in Prine's most affecting release since his auspicious debut. The secret is in the simplicity. "Fish and Whistle" illuminates the everyday affairs of car washes, shoveling snow, and chasing women with economical humor.
There's nary a wasted word or guitar line in the song, or the entire album, for that matter. Prine is a writer devoid of cynicism, preferring the more rewarding road of wry observation and embracing the absurdity of existing in a topsy-turvy world. It's summed up perfectly with "Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone," in which the famed elephant boy embarks on a disastrous tour of the mid-west in hopes of reviving his flagging movie career. Instead of bleating over his own middling commercial recognition, Prine turns the fickle business of entertainment on its head and leaves self-pity and sour grapes in the dust.