Harbor Lights (album)

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Harbor Lights
Studio album by Bruce Hornsby
Released April 6, 1993
Genre Rock
Jazz
Label RCA
Producer Bruce Hornsby
Bruce Hornsby chronology
A Night On The Town
(1990)
Harbor Lights
(1993)
Hot House
(1995)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Harbor Lights was the fourth album by Bruce Hornsby and was released in 1993. It was the first album credited solely to Hornsby, without his previous backing band, The Range.

The record showcased Hornsby in a more jazz-oriented setting and featured an all-star lineup, including Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Jerry Garcia, Phil Collins and Bonnie Raitt. Unlike earlier albums, Harbor Lights allowed more space for Hornsby's and guest-players' "extended instrumental" solos to "flow naturally" out of the songs.[2] The tone was set by the opening title track, which after 50 seconds of expansive solo piano lurches into an up-tempo jazz number, ending with Metheny's guitar runs. The album closes in a similar fashion with "Pastures of Plenty", this time with an extended guitar solo from Garcia intertwined with Hornsby's piano. Hornsby also quotes the main musical phrase from the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star" as the jazz head to his song about tensions surrounding a biracial relationship, "Talk of the Town".[3]

The mid-tempo "Fields of Gray", written for Hornsby's recently born twin boys, received some modest radio airplay. Harbor Lights was well received by critics and fans, who praised it for its "cooler, jazzier sound" and its "affinity for sincere portraits of American life, love, and heartache."[2] Hornsby would also secure his third Grammy in 1993 for Best Pop Instrumental for "Barcelona Mona" (composed with Branford Marsalis for the Barcelona Olympics).

The album cover uses Edward Hopper's 1951 painting Rooms By the Sea.

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Bruce Hornsby, except where noted.

  1. "Harbor Lights" – 7:11
  2. "Talk of the Town" – 5:11
  3. "Long Tall Cool One" – 4:59
  4. "China Doll" – 5:16
  5. "Fields of Gray" – 4:52
  6. "Rainbow's Cadillac" – 4:37
  7. "Passing Through" – 5:58
  8. "The Tide Will Rise" (Bruce Hornsby, John Hornsby) – 3:55
  9. "What a Time" (Bruce Hornsby, John Hornsby) – 4:03
  10. "Pastures of Plenty" – 6:37

Personnel (on all tracks)[edit]

Additional personnel, by track[edit]

Harbor Lights

Talk Of The Town

Long Tall Cool One

China Doll

Fields Of Grey

Rainbow's Cadillac

Passing Through

The Tide Will Rise

  • Pat Metheny - guitar
  • Bonnie Raitt - backing vocals
  • Debbie Henry - vocals
  • Laura Creamer-Dunville - vocals
  • Jean McClain - vocals
  • John D'earth - trumpet
  • Glenn Wilson - horns
  • George Gailes III - horns
  • Roy Muth - horns
  • Tim Streagle - horns
  • George Harple - French horn
  • Philip Koslow - French horn
  • Adam Lesnick - French horn
  • Alan Peterson - French horn

What A Time

  • Debbie Henry - vocals
  • John D'earth - trumpet
  • Glenn Wilson - horns
  • George Gailes III - horns
  • Roy Muth - horns
  • Tim Streagle - horns

Pastures Of Plenty;

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harbor Lights (album) at AllMusic
  2. ^ a b Miller, Skyler. "Harbor Lights: Overview". All Media Guide, LLC. Retrieved 2007-05-04. 
  3. ^ Heisler, Brett I. (2000-10-09). "Grateful Family and Friend: Bruce Hornsby". philzone.com. Retrieved 2007-05-04.