As of 1995 Emmylou Harris had forged a glorious career in country music over a period of twenty-plus years. At this point, however, she must have felt the need for some kind of renewal. She sought out producer Daniel Lanois for her 1995 album, and Lanois not only imposed his trademark sound, he also contributed to the songwriting. The result was “Wrecking Ball,” a departure and another triumph in an already distinguished career.
It’s a remarkable recording. Songs that echo in my mind long after hearing them are Lanois’s “Where Will I Be?” and Neil Young’s “Wrecking Ball.” Norm Geras has been wending his way through Emmylou’s career for the past few years. He has a different set of favorites from “Wrecking Ball,” all terrific. In anticipation of Emmylou’s upcoming performance in Manchester, Norm picks up the thread of his reviews with his take on “Wrecking Ball”: “Emmylou Review #9.” Also of interest is this 1997 interview with Emmylou about “Wrecking Ball”: “A chat with a legend.”
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