John Prine Talks New Songbook Beyond Words

In 1972, Atlantic Records released a sampler LP in the UK that eventually found its way into record stores in America, a recording that today is a pretty desirable commodity to vintage vinyl collectors. Called The New Age Of Atlantic, the album featured then-unreleased tracks by Led Zeppelin and Yes, as well as cuts from other Atlantic acts like Buffalo Springfield and John Prine.

John Prine. Who the heck was John Prine.

Well, John Prine was a former Chicago mailman and folksinger type championed by pop icon Paul Anka, whose first album had been released on Atlantic the year before. His eponymously-titled LP did well enough to keep Prine signed, and anyone who knew anything about songwriting soon was hip to the work of this wry, insightful artist whose initial release contained some real gems. The question then was, what else has he got.

For over four decades now, the answer has consistently been outstanding, high-quality songs.

Prine went on to co-found his own label, Oh Boy Records, so he could continue to write ‘em as he heard ‘em, and he’s become a legend of sorts. His new book, Beyond Words, is a must-have for any serious fan of Prine or clever wordplay in general. The book contains the words and chords to 65 of his songs, and in many instances also includes Prine’s original handwritten lyrics, giving some insight into how the mind of a great writer works. “Dear Abby,” “Paradise,” “Fish And Whistle,” “In Spite Of Ourselves,” and dozens of other Prine originals are in the book, as well as the lyrics and changes to co-writes... Sign In to Keep Reading

To view this content,

Join Today

or Sign In

The Benefits of Membership:

  • Limited-time FREE Feature Magazine Content
  • Exclusive access to members-only contests and giveaways
Click to Join

We've started a free American Songwriter membership. Click here to learn more.