Monday, January 11, 1988

Lyle Lovett released Pontiac

First posted 3/12/2011; updated 1/5/2020.


Lyle Lovett

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Released: January 11, 1988

Charted: February 20, 1988

Peak: 117 US, 12 CW

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: alt country

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. If I Had a Boat [3:06] (9/17/88, #66 CW)
  2. Give Back My Heart [3:00] (10/3/87, #13 CW)
  3. I Loved You Yesterday [2:56] (5/21/88, #24 CW)
  4. Walk Through the Bottomland [4:11]
  5. L.A. County [3:17]
  6. She’s No Lady [3:13] (1/30/88, #17 CW)
  7. M-O-N-E-Y [3:15]
  8. Black and Blue [3:58]
  9. Simple Song [3:17]
  10. Pontiac [2:24]
  11. She’s Hot to Go [2:30]
All songs written by Lyle Lovett.

Total Running Time: 35:07


4.341 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Quotable: “Lyle Lovett’s finest album” – David Cantwell, Amazon


About the Album:

“While Lyle Lovett’s self-titled debut album made it clear he was one the most gifted and idiosyncratic talents to emerge in country music in the 1980s, his follow-up, 1987’s Pontiac, took the strengths of his first disc and refined them.” AMG “If Lyle Lovett left any doubts at all about this man’s gifts as a performer and songwriter, Pontiac proved that he had even more tricks up his sleeve than he’d let on first time out, and it’s the first of several masterpieces in Lovett’s career” AMG and can even be consider “Lyle Lovett’s finest album.” AZ

“Crack playing, keen observations and clever lyrics, and a neo-traditionalist aesthetic that pulls in everything from Texas folk, honky-tonk and Western swing to old-school pop all shine brightly here.” AZ The “sound and feel more accurately reflected Lovett’s musical personality. While much of Pontiac favors the country side…, the bouncy swing of Give Back My Heart and the weepy stroll of Walk Through the Bottomland have a lighter touch that suits them noticeably better than the stiffer production and arrangements of the first album.” AMG There’s also “the breezy snap of L.A. CountyAMG in which “Lovett convincingly stalks an old lover.” AZ

“The second half of the album gives Lovett a chance to indulge his fondness for jazz and blues flavors on the cynical She’s No LadyAMG (“take my wife, please”) AZ as well as “M-O-N-E-Y, and She’s Hot to Go, and if Lovett would follow this path with great musical success on his next few albums, he was already traveling in the right direction and the songs and the arrangements are aces.” AMG

And it’s all but impossible to imagine anyone being given a big push by a major label in Nashville who could get away with the fanciful whimsy of If I Had a Boat and the stark and unsettling character sketch of Pontiac on the same album.” AMG

On the downside, some of the songs are “dulled by an ironic distance and a bitterness toward women that approaches misogyny. On Pontiac, the strengths generally win out.” AZ

The album ranked in the German edition of Rolling Stone’s “500 Best Albums of All Time” and is one of 300 albums listed in the book, 50 Years of Great Recordings. WK It was also cited as one of the top 100 albums of the 1980s by Italian magazines Il Mucchio Selvaggio and Velvet. WK

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