With Heartbreaker blowing the door open - critically, not commercially - for Ryan's solo career, he was able to step out of the Alt-country world he had been living in since Whiskeytown and make the rockin' blues record he had been wanting to.
In 2001, emerging record label, Lost Highway, picked up on the genius that was Heartbreaker, and signed Ryan. Their first order of business was to pluck Whiskeytown's Pneumonia off the shelf it had been collecting dust on due to legal troubles with other labels. They released it in March of '01.
So, Ryan put together 16 stellar tracks that literally span from coast to coast. Gold begins with New York, New York, and song that, in the wake of 9/11, became Ryan's biggest hit to date. The video received considerable airplay on MTV in the weeks following the disaster. Other obvious standouts include Answering Bell (with vocal help from Adam Duritz of Counting Crows), The Rescue Blues, Touch Feel & Lose, and When The Stars Go Blue. To the surprise of many, Tim McGraw covered Stars Go Blue recently (i don't feel the need to look up anything on McGraw). At a live show, after playing the song, Ryan said "that's right, i wrote that song. i got a pool made out of unicorn bones because of that fucking song." My favorite obscure track off the album is Gonna Make You Love Me More - one of many that evoke The Stones - check it out. Like every other Ryan Adams album (with the exception of Rock N Roll) the disc closes with his signature melancholy piano ballad. Goodnight Hollywood Blvd brings an amazing record full circle - geographically and stylistically.
Gold brought Ryan into the Rock/Pop spotlight (that he soon after shot out and hid from) with 2 Grammy Nominations: Best Rock Album and Best Male Rock Vocal for New York, New York.
Notable Liner Note Shout Outs:
Elton John - you sweet sweet man
Mexico for being Mexico
Mike Fuckin Daly
Rhett Miller and the 97's
Converse and cowboy boots
the Harlem Globetrotters
MEG WHITE - for saving Rock 'n' Roll
Alanis Morrisette (4 times)
and Winona Ryder..... damn girl
But the fun doesn't stop there, folks. As usual, Ryan rounded up a disc of B-sides for Gold. i've said before, i don't want to post any album cuts from Ryan, as i think you should you do yourself a favor and buy them. But for your listening pleasure, here is side D from the album:
1. mp3: Rosalie Come and Go
2. mp3: The Fools We Are As Men
3. mp3: Sweet Black Magic
4. mp3: The Bar Is a Beautiful Place
5. mp3: Cannonball Days
The bonus disc contains a little bit of everything: timeless rockers, contemplative ballads, and even a hint of bluegrass.
In addition to the B-sides, i've gotten my hands on a couple tracks that came with the New York, New York single released in November of 2001.
mp3: Mara Lisa
mp3: From You To Me