John Prine "Bruised Orange"

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#139 in The Series) is John Prine, Bruised Orange.

John Prine’s debut album, called simply John Prine is considered his masterpiece, and rightly so.

It’s quite the feat when you think that he wrote Sam Stone, Illegal Smile, Donald and Lydia, Angel From Montgomery, Paradise, Six O’Clock News, You’re Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore and of course, Hello in There ALL before he was 25.

Looking at that track list you can see why that album is held in such high regard.  I am, however, going to feature Bruised Orange.

I’m not sure why this album was always so high on my list of Prine classics.  Part of it might be that it was new when I got my first guitar and I learned how to play many basic chords strumming to what’s here.

The songs here that I enjoyed attacking and killing on that old Ovation were Fish and Whistle, Aw Heck, Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone and of course, That’s the Way That the World Goes ‘Round.

Some great players made their way to the great Chicago Recording Company studio in 1978 to help with the sound.  Jethro Burns (Homer and Jethro), John Burns (Flyer), Tom Radtke (Bill Quateman), Corky Siegel (Siegel-Schwall), Mike Utley (Coral Reefer Band), Jackson Browne, Bonnie Koloc, and many, many more.

It was produced by Steve Goodman.

It reached #116 on the Billboard Album Charts.

Here’s a great version of That’s the Way That the World Goes Down (aka Happy Enchilada).  By John, at his kitchen table.

Fish and Whistle is followed up with a song not on Bruised Orange, but a great song none the less. It’s just something I want you to hear.  It’s called In Spite of Ourselves.  It’s hilarious!!  Please check it out. It begins with John telling a story about a movie he made where he and Billy Bob Thorton played brothers.  Their father was Andy Griffith. How ’bout that!

Then there’s Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone and finally, the title cut, Bruised Orange featuring John Burns on guitar.

Check out John Prine’s first written review. It was by Roger Ebert in 1970. Read it by clicking HERE.


  • John Prine – vocals, background vocals, guitar
  • Jethro Burns – mandolin
  • John Burns – guitar, background vocals
  • Sam Bush – guitar, background vocals
  • Bob Hoban – piano
  • Bob Horne – keyboards, background vocals
  • Leo LeBlanc – dobro, guitar, pedal steel guitar
  • Howard Levy – piano, accordion, keyboards, saxophone
  • Steve Goodman – guitar, background vocals, harmony vocals
  • Tom Radtke – drums, percussion
  • Steve Rodby – bass
  • Jim Rothermel – clarinet, saxophone, recorder, penny whistle
  • Corky Siegel – harmonica, piano
  • Mike Utley – organ, piano

Track listing

All tracks composed by John Prine; except where indicated.

  1. “Fish And Whistle” – 3:14
  2. “There She Goes” – 3:24
  3. “If You Don’t Want My Love” (Prine, Phil Spector) – 3:05
  4. “That’s The Way That The World Goes ‘Round” – 3:20
  5. “Bruised Orange (Chain Of Sorrow)” – 5:21
  6. “Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone” – 2:53
  7. “Aw Heck” – 2:20
  8. “Crooked Piece of Time” – 2:52
  9. “Iron Ore Betty” – 2:42
  10. “The Hobo Song” – 3:31

Posted by Larry Carta

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