John Hiatt, 'Bring the Family' (1987)
Hiatt's eighth album may very well have been his last chance in the music industry. He'd been dropped from various record labels thanks, in part, to his struggles with alcoholism, and had to deal with the tragic suicides of his older brother when he was a child, and his second wife in 1985. Luckily, he was given a small budget by England's Demon Records and enlisted some talented friends – guitar virtuoso Ry Cooder, singer-songwriter Nick Lowe, and drummer Jim Keltner – to back him on an album. Recorded over eight days, Bring the Family melded Hiatt's gorgeous ballads like "Have a Little Faith in Me" and "Lipstick Sunset" with his love of roots music and cheeky lyricism on "Your Dad Did" and "Thing Called Love," which later became a hit for Bonnie Raitt. A modest success, Bring the Family marked Hiatt's first appearance on the charts in a year better remembered for the likes of "Livin' on a Prayer" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
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