Theme Switcher
Switch to:

Notes about GDM Themes
Click to learn more about GDM themes


Not a member yet?
Click here to register.

Forgotten your password?
Request a new one here.
Site Stats
Album Reviews: 6860
Comments: 16620
Ratings: 4879
Forum Posts: 22005
Articles Hierarchy
Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Pure Prairie League - 1979 Can't Hold Back
Pure Prairie League - 1979 Can't Hold Back

ARTIST: Pure Prairie League
ALBUM: Can't Hold Back
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1998, One Way Records, OW-34525


LINEUP: Vince Gill - vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro * Patrick Bolen - guitars, vocals * Michael Connor - keyboards, synthesizer * Michael Rielly - bass, vocals * Billy Hinds - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Can't Hold Back * 02 I Can't Believe * 03 Rude Rude Awakening * 04 White Line * 05 Misery Train * 06 Restless Woman * 07 I'm Goin' Away * 08 Jerene * 09 Livin' It Alone * 10 Fool Fool * 11 Goodbye So Long


Like Lynyrd Skynyrd's 'Freebird', Pure Prairie League's 'Amie' is one of the most overplayed tunes on classic rock radio bar none and it's always been that way for better or worse. Back in the day I can't recall hearing another League song on the radio up until 'Rude Rude Awakening' from 'Can't Hold Back' and that was late at night on a Canadian radio station I used to tune into. 'Amie' was to Pure Prairie League as 'Riding The Storm Out' was to REO Speedwagon; a one FM hit wonder that couldn't get the band a free meal outside their Midwest fan base despite touring like the dickens. After a handful of lackluster records, the addition of a then unknown Vince Gill on guitar and vocals as well as a move towards AOR rock, Pure Prairie League turned a new page with 'Can't Hold Back'.

The Songs
Five of the record's eleven songs were written by Gill, including the breezy title track and with the use of hot sax and latin rhythms, its clear Pure Prairie League had moved to new pastures with the addition of Gill. 'I Can't Believe', another Gill tune is nothing but radio friendly and a good example of just how 80's bands like Restless Heart owed a huge debt to these guys. The aforementioned 'Rude Rude Awakening' is the best cut on the record and comparing the song to the Atlanta Rhythm Section wouldn't be off the mark. 'Mystery Train', side one's closer is a favourite as well with banjo and an Allman Brothers feel, I'm reminded of walking along the train tracks and banks of the Mississippi River on a hot Minnesota summer afternoon - picture music at it's very best. Side two has its share of quality cuts as well and 'Restless Woman' will impress Player and Ambrosia fans. 'I'm Goin' Away' again is reminiscent of the Allman's and with Vince Gill's signature on the song writing credit, it's clear why he would be the dominating force in the Pure Prairie League sound into the early 1980's.

In Summary
As you might gather 'Can't Hold Back' is my favourite of all the League albums and was reissued on CD by Wounded Bird a few years ago with an altered cover although I have to ask - why the yellow border? Whatever. With a few exceptions I'm not a big country rock guy and when it comes down to Vince Gill's solo career or his marriage to former CCM babe Amy Grant, I couldn't give two hoots but this album earns my highest recommendation. Buy it!

All written content on this website is copyrighted.
Copying of material without permission is not permitted.

#1 | dangerzone on December 31 2008 13:07:06
Great album indeed!
#2 | gdazegod on February 06 2011 03:54:00
I think this was actually reissued by One Way Records in 1998 rather than Wounded Bird. I think WB only worked on one PPL album, and that was 1978's 'Just Fly' which was reissued in 2007. Regardless, the two LP's that Vince Gill played on are incredible! As Eric says.. BUY IT!
#3 | swazi on February 14 2011 11:08:44
Well, I'm holding the One Way Records CD reissue of this release in my hands right now, but I can't find the production date anywhere.
#4 | gdazegod on February 14 2011 12:07:27
I cross-checked RYM, Music Stack and, they advise a 1998 release for this. Though they might be reading off the same page, doesn't necessarily mean that it's true. They could just be cannibalising each others info. But I take them at their word until proven otherwise.
Post Comment
Please Login to Post a Comment.
Rating is available to Members only.

Please login or register to vote.

100% 100% 0% [No Votes]
95% 95% 0% [No Votes]
90% 90% 0% [No Votes]
85% 85% 100% [1 Vote]
80% 80% 0% [No Votes]
75% 75% 0% [No Votes]
70% 70% 0% [No Votes]
65% 65% 0% [No Votes]
60% 60% 0% [No Votes]
55% 55% 0% [No Votes]
50% 50% 0% [No Votes]
45% 45% 0% [No Votes]
40% 40% 0% [No Votes]
35% 35% 0% [No Votes]
30% 30% 0% [No Votes]
25% 25% 0% [No Votes]
20% 20% 0% [No Votes]
15% 15% 0% [No Votes]
10% 10% 0% [No Votes]
Search DDG