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John Simon: John Simon's Album

[cover art]

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John Simon's Album arrived in 1970, and like the music of The Band is hard to put under any given banner or title. From the opening psychedelic nursery rhyme of The Song Of The Elves, which features Leon Russell and Jean Millington, to dream-like confessionals on Nobody Knows and Rain Song. Three of the strongest songs on the album hit you one after the other: Tannenbaum is all energy with Garth Hudson's soprano sax singing along with John Hall's wonderful dancing guitar lines; Davy's On The Road Again (later a semi-hit for Manfred Mann's Earth Band from their Watch album) was co-written with Robbie Robertson and is the sad tale of a man who has been abandoned and cannot return home to his loved one, with forlorn backup from Muscle Shoals sidemen Barry Beckett and Roger Hawkins; Motorcycle Man is the story of Frilly Fay watching her life slip away in a little roadside cafe. So many characters and too many lost dreams. Rick Danko and Richard Manuel play on this number with tenor from Bobby Keys. The remaining numbers all contain strong lyrics and characters that Simon really seems to understand in his songs, including Don't Forget What I Told You, Annie Looks Down and Did You See? Railroad Train Runnin' Up My Back has friends Rita Coolidge, Bobby Whitlock, Delany Bramlett and Carl Radle along for the ride.
--Lee Gabites

Levon Helm claims in his autobiography that he also contributed to John Simon's Album in the studio, but he is not listed among the musicians on the album cover.


  1. The Song of the Elves
  2. Nobody Knows
  3. Tannenbaum
  4. Davy's On The Road Again (J.Simon/J.R. Robertson)
  5. Motorcycle Man
  6. Rain Song
  7. Don't Forget What I Told You
  8. The Fool Dressed In Velvet
  9. Annie Looks Down
  10. Did You See?
  11. Railroad Train Runnin' Up My Back


  • Barry Beckett, organ
  • Delaney Bramlett, tambourine
  • Harvey Brooks, bass
  • Merry Clayton, vocals
  • Rita Coolidge, vocals
  • Rick Danko, bass
  • Jim Gordon, drums
  • John Hall, guitar
  • Paul Harris, organ
  • Roger Hawkins, drums
  • Levon Helm (?)
  • Eddie Hinton, guitar
  • Garth Hudson, soprano sax
  • Wells Kelly, drums
  • Bobby Keys, tenor sax
  • Richard Manuel, drums
  • Sherlie Mathews, vocals
  • June Millington, bass
  • Paul Prestopino, dobro
  • Jim Price, trumpet
  • Carl Radle, bass
  • Leon Russell, guitar
  • John Simon, lead vocals/piano/mandola/horns
  • Grady Tate, drums
  • Bobby Whitlock, vocals

John Simon - John Simon's Album - approx. 45 min. - 1971 - Warner Brothers Records WS 1849
Compact Disc: Warner Bros WPCP-4914, Japan.

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