In Spite of Ourselves

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In Spite of Ourselves
In Spite of Ourselves.jpg
Studio album by
John Prine (with various accompanists)
ReleasedSeptember 28, 1999
RecordedJack's Track and The Cowboy Arts Hotel & Recording Spa, Nashville, TN
GenreFolk, alt-country, Americana
LabelOh Boy
ProducerJim Rooney, John Prine
John Prine chronology
Live on Tour
In Spite of Ourselves

In Spite of Ourselves is the 13th studio album of John Prine, featuring duets with various well-known female folk and alt-country vocalists, released in 1999.

The album was Prine’s first release since successfully battling throat cancer. The female duet partners include Iris DeMent, Connie Smith, Lucinda Williams, Trisha Yearwood, Melba Montgomery, Emmylou Harris, Dolores Keane, Patty Loveless, and his wife, Fiona Prine.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau(A) [2]
Freight Train Boogie4/5 stars [3]
No Depression(no rating)[4]

Writing for Allmusic, critic Michael B. Smith wrote the album "ranks as one of Prine's finest works, a scrapbook of country classics, interpreted by some of the genre's best female vocalists, in duet with one fine American singer and a great songwriter."[1] Music critic Bill Frater wrote "To begin with, long-time John Prine fans might be a little put off by this new release. There is only one Prine-penned song in the bunch, In Spite of Ourselves, the title track... I love this album, and I applaud Prine proclaiming his love for these kinds of songs."[3] Robert Christgau gave the album an A rating, and had particular praise for Iris DeMent, writing "... the costar is Iris DeMent, who kills on both the Bobby Braddock cornpone of "(We're Not) The Jet Set" (rhymes with "Chevro-let set") and the conflicted spouse-swapping of the impossible old George & Melba hit "Let's Invite Them Over"—as well as Prine's only new copyright, the title track, in which a husband and wife who love each other to death paint totally different pictures of their marriage. "[2]

Critic David Cantwell of No Depression specifically singled out the title track as the best duet on the album and wrote that the album "is a solid collection of country duets, and if nothing else, it proves that Prine has great taste in old country songs... not to mention great taste in what used to be called “girl singers."[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "(We're Not) The Jet Set" (w. Iris DeMent)
  2. "So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad)" (w. Connie Smith)
  3. "Wedding Bells/Let's Turn Back the Years" (w. Lucinda Williams)
  4. "When Two Worlds Collide" (w. Trisha Yearwood)
  5. "Milwaukee, Here I Come" (w. Melba Montgomery)
  6. "I Know One" (w. Emmylou Harris)
  7. "It's a Cheating Situation" (w. Dolores Keane)
  8. "Back Street Affair" (w. Patty Loveless)
  9. "Loose Talk" (w. Connie Smith)
  10. "Let's Invite Them Over" (w. Iris DeMent)
  11. "'Til a Tear Becomes a Rose" (w. Fiona Prine)
  12. "In A Town This Size" (w. Dolores Keane)
  13. "We Could" (w. Iris DeMent)
  14. "We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds" (w. Melba Montgomery)
  15. "In Spite Of Ourselves" (w. Iris DeMent)
  16. "Dear John (I Sent Your Saddle Home)"

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1999) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 21
U.S. Billboard 200 197


  1. ^ a b Smith, Michael B. "In Spite of Ourselves > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "In Spite of Ourselves > Review". Robert Christgau. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Frater, Bill. "In Spite of Ourselves > Review". Freight Train Boogie. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  4. ^ a b Cantwell, David (November–December 1999). "Review: In Spite of Ourselves". No Depression.