LOVE IS HELL includes the EPs LOVE IS HELL PART 1 and PART 2, available together on 1 CD.
Personnel: Ryan Adams (guitar, piano); Ryan Adams (vocals); Jon Cleary (guitar, 10-string guitar, piano, Wurlitzer piano, Wurlitzer organ); Johnny McNabb, Johnny McNabb (guitar); Ruth Gottlieb, Ruth Gotlieb (violin); Ian McLagan (Wurlitzer piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ); Johnny "Shoes" Pisano, James "Hutch" Hutchinson (bass guitar); Debra Parson, Debra Parson (background vocals); Greg Leisz (guitar); Sara Wilson (cello); Joe McGinty (piano); Ricky Fataar, Paul Garisto (drums); Marianne Faithfull, Julie Delgado (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: John Porter; Joe McGrath.
Recording information: Cello Studios, Hollywood, CA; Globe Studios, New York, NY; Piety Street Studios, New Orleans, LA.
Photographers: Bob Gruen; Andy West ; Erik Dreyer.
The confusing, complex saga of LOVE IS HELL--initially rejected by the label, then begrudgingly issued as two EPs before it finally saw the light of day as a full album--would be just an interesting footnote if not for the shockingly high quality of the material itself. In between his incarnations as alt-country troubadour and Strokes-friendly garage-rocker, Ryan Adams turned out what just might be the best record of his career. A beautiful, bittersweet journey through heartbreak, it's a ballad-heavy album that bears echoes of Jeff Buckley and Britpop acts from the Smiths to Coldplay. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Smiths producer John Porter is on hand to assist the formerly earthy Americana artist in his transition to fragile, melodic, Anglo-adoring balladeer. While the original EPs were weighty documents in and of themselves, LOVE IS HELL's full-length version bears an even greater emotional impact, as the mood is allowed to establish itself gradually and dramatically, pulling the listener into a very personal world of gorgeously observed romantic tragedy.
Adams darkest album upon release, . Although it seems to be a productive point in Adams life, it also seems to be a very dark and dismal one, which bleeds itself into the tracks. I never knew Oasis's "Wonderwall' could sound so depressing. The best songs on this album would have to be 'World War 24', 'Please don't Let Me Go', 'I See Monsters' and 'English Girls Approximately'.
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