SD 5055 John David Souther
Produced by John David Souther and Fred Catero
Released on 1972
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
SD 5055 cover
[high resolution scan]

A cleanly produced, well executed country-rock record from the hardly known, newly signed J.D. Souther. He has a handsome voice, a good ear for sweetly salted harmonies and the sense not to overplay his hand. The ten short songs on John David Souther range from country to country-rock, move along swiftly, sometimes sadly, often prettily, and it doesn’t take much to see Souther as the Eagles’ country cousin. That last observation should hardly come as a surprise; Souther and Glenn Frey had recorded as the little-known Longbranch Pennywhistle one year earlier, and the pair would continue to collaborate throughout their careers. Here, Frey plays guitar on a few tracks, while Souther receives principal support from Ned Doheny, Bryan Garofalo and someday Steve Miller sideman Gary Mallaber (that trio would also appear on Doheny’s debut the following year). Future Flying Burrito Gib Guilbeau kicks in a fiddle solo on “The Fast One,” and Jefferson Airplane/Starship drummer John Barbata appears on the album’s longest track, “Out To Sea.” Although it didn’t chart or produce any hits—the single “How Long” was later covered live by the Eagles—John David Souther’s debut is a likeable record from end to end. There’s a higher country quotient at work than you’d find with Eagles or Jackson Browne (a similar singer and one-time neighbor of Souther and Frey); what constitutes rock on the one would be considered country on the other. Souther’s lyrics lack the sharp double entendres of some country songwriters, but he compensates with earnestness. He keeps things at a high, professional level throughout; the moments of human weakness—a low howl for Angeline on “It’s The Same,” an intentionally dissonant harmony on “”White Wing”—are few but keenly felt. Black Rose, which followed his high-profile performance in the Souther-Hillman-Furay band, spreads its wings wider, but this debut sails smoother.


  1. THE FAST ONE    3:10
  2. RUN LIKE A THIEF    3:15
  3. JESUS IN 3/4 TIME    3:38
  4. KITE WOMAN    3:06
  6. WHITE WING    4:21
  7. IT'S THE SAME    3:32
  8. HOW LONG    3:22
  9. OUT TO SEA    5:03
  10. LULLABY    1:35

    All songs written by John David Souther


JOHN DAVID SOUTHER -- vocals, guitar, piano, bass
NED DOHENY -- guitar
GARY MALLABER -- drums, piano, vibes
John Barbata -- drums (9)
Mike Bowden -- bass (4)
Glenn Frey -- guitar
Gib Guilbeau -- fiddle (1)
David Jackson -- piano and bass (3)
Mickey McGee -- drums (4)
Wayne Perkins -- bottleneck guitar (9)
Joel Tepp -- harp (6)
Fred Catero -- engineer
Larry Cox -- engineer
Peter Granet -- engineer
Anthony Hudson -- art direction/design
Alexa Smith -- design assistant
Frank Laffitte -- photography

US 1972 Asylum LP SD 5055  
UK/AUSL 1972 Asylum LP SYL-9003  
JPN 1972 Warner Pioneer LP P-10245Y  
UK   Asylum LP K-53026  
US   Elektra CD 5055  
UK 2008 Rhino Encore CD 79906  


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