Ultimate Collection

Ultimate Collection

by Nils LofgrenNils Lofgren




As of 2002 this generous, 20-track, multi-label career overview was the only Nils Lofgren compilation -- and one of his few albums -- in print. Although it's not bad and hits many of the singer/songwriter/guitarist's career highlights, there are glaring omissions, such as excluding anything from his band Grin (especially odd since their last A&M album is owned by Universal), which will frustrate fans and newcomers. Almost half the songs are pulled from Lofgren's first few solo releases, making this a lopsided retrospective at best. While these may be his finest overall works, tunes such as "Like Rain," "Back It Up," and Grin's "Beggar's Day" are absolutely essential to any Lofgren collection, yet are MIA here. Instead listeners get "Two by Two," "Can't Get Closer (WCGC)," and "Mud in Your Eye," all fine songs, but few fans would choose them over the missing cuts. Additionally, entire albums like 1985's Flip and the live Night After Night are ignored, and the studio version of "No Mercy" -- undoubtedly one of his best overall productions -- is replaced by an adequate live acoustic version that doesn't shimmer with the rawness of the original. Since Lofgren had input in choosing the selections, this is a representation of what he wanted as opposed to what a knowledgeable fan might have constructed. That said, there's lots of great music here. A few obscure gems -- like "Empty Heart," "Across the Tracks," the sublime "Girl in Motion," and the Lou Reed collaboration "Life," one of his jazziest songs which features sax from Branford Marsalis -- get much-needed exposure. The melodic rock from his earliest solo albums remains crucial and invigorating in a timeless fashion. It's an adequate place to start a Lofgren collection and, barring a major reissue of his individual discs, the only way to obtain most of these songs on CD. But it's nowhere near as ultimate as the title states.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/09/1999
Label: Interscope Records
UPC: 0606949049522
catalogNumber: 490495

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Nils Lofgren   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Dobro,Guitar,Piano,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Vibes
William Eaton   Background Vocals
Patti Austin   Background Vocals
Kooper   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Buddy Miles   Background Vocals
Neil Young   Harmonica,Vocals
Chuck Rainey   Bass
Louise Goffin   Background Vocals
Nicky Hopkins   Piano,fender rhodes
Claudia Lennear   Background Vocals
Jimmy Maelen   Percussion
Eric Ambel   Electric Guitar
Jim Gordon   Drums
Aynsley Dunbar   Drums
Wornell Jones   Bass
P.P. Arnold   Background Vocals
Bob Babbitt   Bass
Johnny Badanjek   Drums
Scott Ball   Upright Bass
Rubens Bassini   Percussion,Conga
Jeff Baxter   Guitar,Synthesizer Guitar
Paul Bell   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Bob Ezrin   Background Vocals
Stu Gardner   Background Vocals
Roger Greenawalt   Bass
Ed Greene   Drums
Lani Groves   Background Vocals
Richie Hayward   Drums
Rev. Patrick Henderson   Piano
Ron Hicklin   Background Vocals
Neil Jason   Bass
Robbie Kondor   Keyboards
Jody Linscott   Percussion
Tom Lofgren   Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Branford Marsalis   Saxophone
Kevin McCormick   Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar
Kim Miller   Violin
Andy Newmark   Percussion,Drums
Holden Raphael   Percussion
Emil Richards   Percussion
Zachary Sanders   Background Vocals
Allan Schwartzberg   Drums
Paul Stallworth   Bass
Andy York   Bass
Patricia Smith   Viola
Frank Floyd   Background Vocals
Marco Botelho   Cello
Teri Lazar   Violin
Michael Lofgren   Vocals,Guitar (12 String Acoustic)

Technical Credits

William Eaton   Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Kooper   Producer,Orchestral Arrangements
Nils Lofgren   Producer
Dominic Frontiere   Orchestral Arrangements
David Briggs   Producer
Eric Ambel   Producer
Edgar Winter   Duet
Bob Ezrin   Producer
Roger Greenawalt   Drum Samples
Kevin McCormick   Producer
Andy Newmark   Producer
Dave Marsh   Liner Notes
Vartan   Art Direction
Ilene Weingard   Art Direction
MacMilan   Orchestration

Customer Reviews