Ain't Living Long Like This

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Ain't Living Long Like This
Aint Livin Long Like This.jpg
Studio album by Rodney Crowell
Released August 1978
Genre Country
Length 38:50
Label Warner Bros.
Producer Brian Ahern
Dave Nives (re-issue)
Rodney Crowell chronology
Ain't Living Long Like This
But What Will the Neighbors Think
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic - 5/5 stars[1]

Ain't Living Long Like This is the debut studio album by American country music singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell, released in 1978 by Warner Bros. Records. It failed to enter the Top Country Albums chart. The songs, "Elvira", "Baby Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down" and "(Now and Then, There's) A Fool Such as I" were released as singles but they all failed to chart within the top 40. Despite this, Ain't Living Long Like This is considered one Crowell's best and most influential albums. Brett Hartenbach of Allmusic says it "not only showcases his songwriting prowess, but also his ability to deliver a song, whether it's one of his own or the work of another writer".[2] Most of the songs on this album were later covered by other artists including The Oak Ridge Boys and Alan Jackson. When the album was re-released in 2002 the font on the cover was enlarged to make it more legible.


Three of the tracks are cover songs:

Many Crowell-penned songs have since been covered by other artists. "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" was covered by Emmylou Harris in 1978 and, a year later, by The Oak Ridge Boys from The Oak Ridge Boys Have Arrived. They released it as a single that reached Number One.

"Voila, An American Dream" was covered (as "An American Dream") by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and was the title track to their 1979 album. Released as a single, the record hit #13 on the U.S. pop charts and #3 in Canada.

"I Ain't Living Long Like This" was recorded in 1978 by Emmylou Harris for her album, Quarter Moon in a Ten Cent Town and in 1979 by Waylon Jennings for his album What Goes Around Comes Around. Brooks & Dunn recorded a version in 2003 as a tribute to Waylon. Gary Stewart and Jerry Jeff Walker also covered the song in the 1970s. Andy Griggs recorded a version for his 1999 first album, You Won't Ever Be Lonely.

"Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down" was covered by Emmylou Harris on her 1983 album White Shoes and by Rosanne Cash on her 1979 album Right or Wrong. "Song for the Life" was first covered in 1980 by John Denver and in 1982 by Waylon Jennings. Alan Jackson released his version as a single from his album Who I Am in 1994 where it became a top ten hit.

Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Emmylou Harris and Nicolette Larson sang background vocals on several of the tracks.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Rodney Crowell; except where indicated
Side 1

  1. "Elvira" (Dallas Frazier) – 4:26
  2. "(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I" (Bill Trader) – 3:14
  3. "Leaving Louisiana in the Broad Daylight" (Donivan Cowart, Rodney Crowell) – 3:26
  4. "Voilá, An American Dream" – 3:53
  5. "I Ain't Living Long Like This" – 5:04

Side 2

  1. "Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down" – 4:31
  2. "Song for the Life" – 4:43
  3. "I Thought I Heard You Callin' My Name" (Lee Emerson) – 3:13
  4. "California Earthquake (A Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On)" – 6:20


  • Rodney Crowell – vocals, acoustic guitar

Additional musicians[edit]


Year Single US
1978 "Elvira" 95
"Baby, Better Start Turnin' 'Em Down" 38
1979 "(Now and Then, There's) A Fool Such as I" 90


  1. ^ Allmusic - review
  2. ^ Allmusic review for "Ain't Livin' Long Like This" (see infobox)