Riding with the King

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This article is about the John Hiatt album. For the King/Clapton album, see Riding with the King (B. B. King and Eric Clapton album).
Riding With The King
Hiatt King.jpg
Studio album by John Hiatt
Released 1983
Recorded The Pen, San Francisco
Eden Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 42:05
Label Geffen
Producer Scott Mathews, Ron Nagle, Nick Lowe
John Hiatt chronology
All of a Sudden
Riding With the King
Warming Up to the Ice Age
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau A− [2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [3]

Riding with the King was singer-songwriter John Hiatt's sixth album, released in 1983. It was his second of three albums with Geffen Records. Ron Nagle and Scott Mathews (credited as "Scott Matthews") produced side one of the album at The Pen in San Francisco, with Mathews himself playing all instruments (except guitar) and providing all the background vocals. The second side of the album was produced by Nick Lowe at Eden Studios in London with a group of crack pub rock musicians backing Hiatt.

"I always kind of look at 'Riding with the King' as the first album where I really put it altogether. I finally figured out what I was all about and found three or four styles I liked to work in", Hiatt observed about the album.[4] Although the album failed to chart in the US, it received considerable critical acclaim with Robert Christgau observing "...this is his best album because the songs are so much his catchiest and pithiest. Most of them reflect smashed hopes." [5]

The album's title track was taken from an odd dream Scott Mathews had, although he was never credited as a co-writer. It was later covered by B.B. King and Eric Clapton on their album of the same name. Hiatt reworked the lyrics for the King and Clapton collaboration.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by John Hiatt, except as indicated

Side one[edit]

  1. "I Don't Even Try" – 3:25
  2. "Death by Misadventure" – 3:29 (Hiatt, John Hadley)
  3. "Girl on a String" – 3:11
  4. "Lovers Will" – 4:00
  5. "She Loves the Jerk" – 3:38
  6. "Say It with Flowers" – 3:06

Side two[edit]

  1. "Riding with the King" – 4:18
  2. "You May Already Be a Winner" – 3:35
  3. "Love Like Blood" – 3:55
  4. "The Love that Harms" – 2:49
  5. "Book Lovers" – 3:04 (Isabella Wood, Hiatt)
  6. "Falling Up" – 3:35



  1. ^ Deming, Mark. Riding with the King at AllMusic. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ "Consumer Guide, John Hiatt reviews". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 12 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "Rolling Stone review". Rolling Stone. [dead link]
  4. ^ Scott Schinder, 2001 liner notes for 'John Hiatt Anthology', Hip-O,
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2011-08-12.