master series


1996, A&M Polygram

CD. 540 503-2



Real fine love

(from stolen moments)

4:21 30 seconds preview

Stolen moments

(from stolen moments)

4:12 30 seconds preview

Something wild

(from perfectly good guitar)

4:31 30 seconds preview

One kiss

(from stolen moments)

4:22 30 seconds preview

Cross my fingers

(from perfectly good guitar)

4:02 30 seconds preview

Slow turning

(From Slow Turning)

3:36 30 seconds preview

Feels like rain

(From Slow Turning)

4:51 30 seconds preview

Bring back your love to me

(from stolen moments)

4:04 30 seconds preview

Back of my mind

(from stolen moments)

4:04 30 seconds preview

I'll never get over you

(from perfectly good guitar)

4:36 30 seconds preview

Drive south

(From Slow Turning)

3:55 30 seconds preview

Georgia Rae

(From Slow Turning)

4:26 30 seconds preview

Perfectly good guitar

(from perfectly good guitar)

4:38 30 seconds preview

Ride along

(From Slow Turning)

3:31 30 seconds preview

Memphis in the meantime

(From Bring The Family)

4:00 30 seconds preview

Have a little faith in me

(From Bring The Family)

4:03 30 seconds preview

Thing called love

(From Bring The Family)

4:13 30 seconds preview

Thank you girl

(From Bring The Family)

4:11 30 seconds preview

Total running time:


this album has been released by polygram international, IM/O catalogue department: matthieu lauriot prévost, jackie stansfield, faye haulkhory.

special thanks to
jay durgan, joe maddern, TPC, george kwiatkiewiez, david lascelles, gary moore, john tobler.

Sleeve designed by the whole hog design co. ltd.

All songs written by John Hiatt


Liner notes

John Hiatt is well known among those who enjoy the work of the maverick, the artist who has never quite made the big time, yet whose career has included extraordinary highlights. Record labels also obviously adore Hiatt, because since his 1974 debut LP, he has been signed to a lot of big labels - Epic, MCA, Geffen, A&M, and more. However, he only achieved his first US chart album in 1987, when he signed with A&M, and while he has always been a favourite with critics, many record buyers may be unaware of him, unless they read songwriting credits on country albums, where Hiatt's name occurs frequently. For example, he wrote the title track of Willie Nelson's acclaimed 1993 album, 'Across The Borderline', and many more great Hiatt songs have appeared on albums by notable country (and less often, folk or rock) names in recent times. His purple period in chart terms as an artist began when he was with A&M from 1987 to 1993, and this collection is culled from his four albums released in that period.

Hiatt was born in Indianapolis in 1952, started playing the guitar at the age of 11 and joined local garage bands as a teenager. His first influence was Elvis Presley, whom he heard during the 1960s because his sisters were fans - he once said that after hearing Presley's 'I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine', he decided to play the guitar. While The Beatles captured his imagination, he heard black soul music as well, and also enjoyed that. He moved to Nashville in 1970, spending four years there writing songs for Tree Music, a well-known music publisher, and also made two albums for Epic, which were critical hits. His debut album included the first of Hiatt's songs to be covered by a well-known act, 'Sure As I'm Sitting Here', which in 1974 became Three Dog Night's last US Top 20 hit, but it didn't help, Hiatt's own LPs, and he left Nashville, working as a solo performer on the US folk circuit. .

Signing with MCA, he released albums in both 1979 and 1980 without chart success, but his luck improved in 1981 when Ry Cooder was recommended to Hiatt's songs, and not only recorded several but also invited Hiatt to join his band as a second singer/guitarist. Hiatt played on Cooder's 1982 album, 'Borderline', and also on the Cooder-supervised soundtrack of the feature film, 'The .Border'. Then Hiatt signed to Geffen, for whom he made three albums between 1982 and 1985. after which he was once again on the street.

Still less successful in chart terms than he deserved, Hiatt spent some time without a deal before signing to Demon Records in Britain and to ARM for the rest of the world in 1987, when he released 'Bring The Family', his first US chart album. This remains superb, as can be judged by the tracks from it included here: 'Have A Little Faith In Me', 'Memphis In The Meantime', 'Thing Called Love' (which was covered by Bonnie Raitt on her 1989 breakthrough album, 'Nick Of Time') and 'Thank You Girl'. What made 'Bring The Family' a talking point was the all-star band which Hiatt (vocals, guitar) fronted; it was completed by guitarist Ry Cooder, English bass player Nick Lowe (who had produced Hiatt for Geffen) and famed drummer Jim Keltner.

Hiatt's 1988 album, 'Slow Turning', became his first US Top 100 album, and included 'Georgia Rae', 'Drive South', 'Feels Like Rain' and 'Ride Along', as well as the title track. Produced by British studio legend. Glyn Johns, the album featured a backing band known as The Goners, including noted guitarist Sonny Landreth, and with Litlle Feat members Bill Payne (piano) and Ritchie Hayward (drums) guesting. In 1990, 'Stolen Moments' (again produced by johns) peaked just outside the US Top 50, and included 'Bring Back Your Love To Me', 'Real Fine Love', 'One Kiss', 'Back Of y Mind' and the title track (all included here). Among the musicians were Hayward and Payne again, as well as Chuck Leavell (from The Allman Brothers Band) and. Bobby King R Willie Green, who had worked as backing vocalists with Cooder.
Hiatt was poised to finally go into orbit commercially, but what seems in retrospect to have been a misguided decision lost him much of the advantage he had gained over the previous 15 years; the quartet Which had recorded 'Bring The Family' decided to form a group known as Little Village, whose only album was regarded as disappointing (although it made the Top 100 of the US chart). After that, Hiatt returned to A&M for 'Pretty Good Guitar', an album which restored him to the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Included here from that album are 'Cross My Fingers', I’ll Never Get Over You', 'Something Wild' and the title track. The musicians on this album, which was produced by guitarist Matt wallace were not familiar names (apart from the obviously pseudonymous Ravi Oli on electric sitar).

Ry Cooder paid tribute to his friend and lieutenant: "John Hiatt's great songs, his meat-on-the-bone guitar playing and his fuel-injector voice. He's the real thing, and I've met a few - but only a few". If this your first experience of John Hiatt, you have a pleasant surprise in store...

John Tobler, 1996