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Rubinations





One of the better phenomena in the last 20 years of rock has been a cluster of things I call rubinations:

  1. an over-the-hill musician
  2. is renewed, accrues critical acclaim
  3. from working with a young svengali producer,
  4. on an album containing covers (especially surprising ones).
  5. The festival circuit
  6. or very large sales follow.




On Spotify Here

Listen easily here. Or:

- Loretta Lynn (& Jack White) - on 2004's Van Lear Rose.
Satisfies 1, 2, 3, 4.




- Mavis Staples (& Jeff Tweedy) - 2010's You Are Not Alone. 1, 3, 4.



- Wanda Jackson (& Jack White) - on 2011's The Party Ain't Over.
Satisfies 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & perhaps soon 6.




- Shirley Bassey (& the world) - on 2008's The Performance. Satisfies 1,2,3,4,5, and of course 6.




- Johnny Cash (& Rick Rubin) - American Recordings (1994-2003).
Satisfies #1, 2, 3, 4, 6.




- Neil Diamond (& Rick Rubin)- on 2005's 12 Songs.
Satisfies 1,3,4,5 & 6.




- Vashti Bunyan (& Max Richter & Animal Collective!) - on 2005's Lookaftering.
1, 2, 3, 4, 6.




- Bettye Lavette (& Joe Henry) - on 2005's I've Got My Own Hell To Raise.
1,2,3,4,5.




- Willie Nelson (& Daniel Lanois) - on 1998's Teatro.
Satisfies 1,4,6.




- Willie Nelson (& Ryan Adams) - on 2004's Songbird.
Satisfies 1,2,4,5,6.




- Howlin Wolf (& Norman Dayron) - on 1971's The London Sessions.
Satisfies 1,2,3,4.




- Muddy Waters (& Johnny Winter) - on 1977's Hard Again.
1,2,3.
Embedding forbidden, but do click here. The best single blues session?





- Leonard Cohen (& Sharon Robinson) - on 2001's Ten New Songs.
2,3,6.




- RL Burnside (& Jon Spencer) - on 1996's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey and others.
1,3,4.




- John Fahey (& Jim O'Rourke) - on 1997's Womblife.
1,3,4.




- Glen Campbell - 2008's Meet Glen Campbell, cover dreck.
1,3,5.




- Gil Scott-Heron (& Richard Russell) - on 2010's I'm New Here.
1,2,3,4.



- Roky Erikson (& Will Sheff) - on 2010's True Love Will Cast Out All Evil.
Satisfies 1 and 3.




- Candi Staton (& Mark Nevers) - 2006's His Hands.
1,3,4,5.




- Robert Plant (& T-Bone Burnett) - on 2006's Raising Sand.
1,2,3,4,6.




Jimmy Cliff (with Tim Armstrong!) on Rebirth (2012)
1, 2, 3, 4




and even
- The Stooges (& Steve Albini) on The Weirdness.
1,3,6.
[No.]




Tom Jones continues to try, but he didn't rise anywhere in the first place, and so did not fall, and so cannot recur.




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