Personnel: John Prine (vocals, guitar, background vocals); Bonnie Raitt (vocals, gut-string guitar); Alan Hand (vocals, piano, keyboards, background vocals); Peter Bunetta (vocals, drums, background vocals); Jim Rothermel (vocals, wind); Gwen Edwards, Brooks Hunnicutt, Glenn Frey, Dan Cronin, Herb Pedersen, J.D. Souther, Jackson Browne, Pat Coulter (vocals, background vocals); Gregory Jackson (vocals); Steve Goodman (guitar, acoustic guitar, background vocals); Rick Vito (guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Paul Cannon (guitar, electric guitar); Leo LeBlanc (guitar, steel guitar); Dave Prine (guitar); Steve Cropper (electric guitar); Carl Marsh (strings); Chuck Findley, Jackie Kelso, James Mitchell , Jim Horn, Andrew Love, Wayne Jackson , Jack Hale, Lewis Collins (horns); James K. Brown (piano, keyboards); Larry Muhoberac (piano); Mailto Correa (congas, percussion); Greg Jackson, Al Bunetta (background vocals).
Audio Remixers: Ron Capone; Steve Cropper.
Recording information: Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN; Larabee Studios, Los Angeles, CA.
Unknown Contributor Roles: J.D. Souther; Jack Hale.
Folksinger John Prine sought to augment his spare accompaniment with his fourth release, COMMON SENSE. He reigned in the formidable Steve Cropper (of Stax-Volt fame) to sit in the producer's chair and the result was a noted departure from the minimal sound of his prior releases. Though the sweetened up sound offended more than a few purists at the time, any keen ear can detect that Prine has lost none of his flair.
The title carries all the clever turns of phrase and imaginative wordplay fans have come to expect from Prine. Very few writers could pull off a song about Americans' cynicism and indifference towards their own country without actually sounding cynical themselves. Prine does just that before launching into the freewheeling "Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard," a hilarious tale of a hippie's fruitless search for nirvana.