Lyle Lovett (album)

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Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett debut.jpg
Studio album by Lyle Lovett
Released 1986
Recorded Chaton Recordings, Scottsdale, Arizona
Genre country, folk, singer-songwriter
Length 32:30
Label MCA/Curb
Producer Tony Brown, Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett chronology
Lyle Lovett
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau B+[2]
Music Hound 4/5 bones[3]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[4]
Spin 7/10[5]
Virgin 4/5 stars[6]

Lyle Lovett is Lovett's 1986 eponymous debut album. By the mid-1980s Lovett had already distinguished himself in the burgeoning Texas singer-songwriter scene. He had performed in the New Folk competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1980 and returned to win in 1982.[7] In 1984 Lovett recorded a four song demo with the help of the Phoenix band, J. David Sloan and the Rogues.[8] His music had begun to be distributed by the Fast Folk Musical Magazine[9]

Nanci Griffith had previously recorded Lovett's "If I Were the Man You Wanted" as "If I Were the Woman You Wanted" for her 1984 album, Once in a Very Blue Moon. Lovett appears on the album as a vocalist and even appears on the cover of her Last of the True Believers album.

Chart performance[edit]

Lovett's debut reached number 14 on Billboard's chart for Top Country Albums.

Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums 14

Critical acclaim[edit]

Lyle Lovett was ranked #91 in Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of the 1980s.[10] and both Velvet[11] and the Italian magazine Il Mucchio Selvaggio also cited it as one of the top 100 albums of the decade.[12] Allmusic compares the album to Steve Earle's Guitar Town, calling it, "one of the most promising and exciting debut albums to come out of Nashville in the 1980s."[1] Robert Christgau described Lovett's debut as "Writes like Guy Clark, only plainer, sings like Jesse Winchester only countrier."[2]

Track listing[edit]

All songs by Lyle Lovett, except "This Old Porch" by Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen.

  1. "Cowboy Man" – 2:48
  2. "God Will" – 2:13
  3. "Farther Down the Line" – 3:05
  4. "This Old Porch" – 4:16
  5. "Why I Don't Know" – 2:41
  6. "If I Were the Man You Wanted" – 3:57
  7. "You Can't Resist It" – 3:08
  8. "The Waltzing Fool" – 3:49
  9. "An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy (The Wedding Song)" – 3:30
  10. "Closing Time" – 3:43




  • Producers – Tony Brown and Lyle Lovett
  • Associate Producer – Billy Williams
  • Recorded at Chaton Recordings, Scottsdale, Arizona
    • Engineer – Steven Moore
    • Second Engineer – Andy Seagle
  • Overdubs and Remix at Teasure Isle Recorders, Nashville, Tennessee
    • Remixed – Gene Eichelberger
    • Second Engineers – Tom Der and Tom Harding
  • Mastered at Mastertonics using the JVC Audio Digital Mastering System
    • Mastering – Glen Meadows
  • Digital editing – Milan Bogdan
  • Compact Disc master tap prepared by Glen Meadows and Milan Bogdan


  • Simon Levy – art direction
  • Peter Nash – photography
  • Mickey Braithwaite – design
  • Kate Gillon & Sherri Halford – CD coordination
  • Guy Clark – liner notes


  1. ^ a b Mark Deming, Allmusic (link)
  2. ^ a b Robert Christgau, Consumer Guide (link)
  3. ^ Music Hound, USA, 1988-89 (4 "bones", scale 0-5), according to
  4. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide, USA, 1992, 2004
  5. ^ Spin's Book of Alternative Albums, USA, 1995 (according to
  6. ^ Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, UK, 2002 (according to
  7. ^ "Kerrville Folk Festival Finalist History", compiled by Doug Coppock (link)
  8. ^ Lyle Lovett profile, from the Richard De La Font Agency, Inc. (link)
  9. ^ "Fast Folk and Coop Database", compiled by Steven Alexander, 2002 (link)
  10. ^ The Editors (1989-11-16). "The 100 Best Albums of the 1980's". Rolling Stone (565). 
  11. ^ Velvet, 1990 (according to (link)
  12. ^ Il Mucchio Selvaggio, 2002 (according to link)