When I chose my Top 10 Americana Albums of the 21st Century, back in May of this year, I put Ryan Adams’ ‘Heartbreaker’ at number 1, so I’m delighted it’s made the AUK writers’ overall list – in at number 8. Released in 2000, it was his debut solo album and it’s still his best – although 2020’s ‘Wednesdays’ – a return to his country roots – gives it a run for its money.
‘Heartbreaker’ is one of the records that kickstarted my love of americana and alt-country, when I was 26 and going through a difficult and dark time in my life. ‘Come Pick Me Up’ is one of the greatest songs ever written. All together now: “Take me out, f*** me up, steal my records, screw all my friends. They’re all full of shit.” When he’s doing country, Adams is brilliant – when he’s doing ’80s soft rock, metal and power ballads, he’s best avoided.
I’m going to raise a glass of whiskey to ‘Heartbreaker’ – on my own, and late at night, obviously…
Freelance journalist, editor and presenter. Digs retro specs,The Smiths,Dylan,Cash,Richard Hawley, Scott Walker, Lee Hazlewood, country / Americana and ’50s/’60s pop.