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Rickie Lee Jones

Once touted as the natural successor to Joni Mitchell, singer/songwriter Rickie Lee Jones proved no less idiosyncratic or mercurial; like Mitchell, Jones experienced significant commercial success at the outset of her career, but a restless creative spirit -- combined with a stubborn refusal to fit comfortably into any one musical niche -- sealed her ultimate destiny as that of a highly regarded cult heroine.

Jones was born on November 8, 1954, in Chicago, but the volatile relationship between her mother and father resulted in an upbringing that led her everywhere from Phoenix, Arizona, to Olympia, Washington, where an expulsion ended her school career. As a teen, Jones left home and began drifting up and down the West Coast before settling in Los Angeles in the mid-'70s. There she worked a series of waitressing jobs while occasionally performing in area clubs, where she sang and honed her unique, Beat-influenced spoken word monologues. She also began a relationship with fellow boho Tom Waits.

Her first measure of success was as a songwriter; after her friend Ivan Ulz sang Jones' composition "Easy Money" over the phone to Lowell George, the ex-Little Feat frontman included it on his album Thanks I'll Eat It Here. Then in 1978 Jones' four-song demo came to the attention of Warner Bros. executive Lenny Waronker, who enlisted Russ Titleman to co-produce her self-titled 1979 debut LP. Spurred by the success of the jazz-flavored hit single "Chuck E's in Love," Rickie Lee Jones became a smash both commercially and critically, earning praise for Jones' elastic vocals, vivid wordplay, and unique fusion of folk, jazz, and R&B.

With 1981's follow-up, Pirates, she gave early notice that her music would not sit still; employing longer and more complex song structures, her lyrics tackled themes of evolution, change, and death. Two years later, she returned with Girl at Her Volcano, an EP collection of live jazz standards and studio outtakes; with 1984's The Magazine, she made another left turn, teaming with composer James Newton Howard for her slickest, most synth-driven outing to date.

After taking a few years off from recording, she resurfaced with 1989's sterling Flying Cowboys, produced by Steely Dan's Walter Becker and recorded with the aid of the wonderful Scottish trio the Blue Nile. Don Was took over the production reins for 1991's Pop Pop, on which Jones covered ballads ranging in origin from Tin Pan Alley to the Haight-Ashbury while backed by jazz players including Charlie Haden and Joe Henderson. After 1993's Traffic from Paradise, she embarked on an acoustic tour; Naked Songs, a document of those unplugged shows, followed in 1995. Ghostyhead was released in 1997 and the standards record It's Like This appeared three years later.

She returned to original material in 2003 with The Evening of My Best Day, an album that expressed her anger with contemporary American politics. During the summer of 2005, Rhino released the three-CD anthology Duchess of Coolsville. Two years later, The Sermon on Exposition Boulevard, a stunning collection of songs based on friend Lee Cantelon's 1997 book The Words, came out. Balm in Gilead followed in 2009. In 2012, Jones returned with the Ben Harper-produced covers album, Devil You Know. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Have You Had Enough (Radio Single)

Comments

It's a protest song done in conjunction with SNZ members.

http://music r e m e d y . c o m / r / r i c k i e - l e e - j o n e s / s o n g s / h a v e - y o u - h a d - e n o u g h - 9 8 4 8 . h t m l
RLJ has always been the Queen of cool!!! just many fools didn't know it .
How nice of the Squirrel Nut Zippers to write this song for whomever the hell this person is.
To everyone who is asking about SNZ's Put A Lid On It vs. Rickie Lee Jones' Have You Had Enough:

Look at the dates. That should tell you which ripped the other. Basic researching skills, people.
Saw her last week in Salina, Kansas. She's still the Duchess of Coolsville.
How on earth did the Squirrel Nut Zippers get away with 'Put a Lid on it'? It's basically a rip off of Rickie Lee Jones 'Have you had enough'
mattanddonna
Flying Cowboys is a brilliant album. It's on constant rotation in my car!
That was a mistake on my previous post. Should have read. SNL...NOT ...SN. SORRY I think she did Coolsville and Chuckie if memory serves That was a long time ago and I never saw a repeat? I do not think her stuff was released on SNL music DVD box sets? Too bad, she was great.(as always) that night.
Nobody wants to be common by naming Chuckie's in Love, but what a great tune! So many to pick from! Weasel and White Boy Cool is my pick. Just like Ricki..., COOL is exactly what it is. The guitar riff (and tone) is so nice and horns are right on. Lyrics remind me of Springsteen tunes like Spirit in The Night, where you try and picture the characters. How about live duet she does w/l Lyle Lovett on a beautiful song, NORTH DAKOTA. Another fav is Night Train! I recall her on SN, so good!
C'mon Rickie Lee! This is a total ripoff of the SNZ of Put A Lid On It
A great singer/songw r i t e r . Guys dig her, chicks want to be her...or at least that's how I remember it...
jalepard
My fav RLJ song is Danny's All Star Joint
Been a Rickie Lee Jones fan since i was 14. She is not just jazz or RnB or Folk, she's a bonafide beatnik.
joekaminski
I'm amazed at the posters here who cite Company as their favorite RLJ song. I thought it was just me and one other person. She is an amazing talent and very under apreciated. I agree with those who treasure Girl and Her Volcano. Walk Away Renee and Under the Boardwalk are classics.
everettj4232
I still want to cry everytime I hear Company, it is just one of those song I can listen to over and over. After all these years it is still in my favorites rotation
Your comments are right on, folks... female Waits, Girl At Her Volcano, under-apprec i a t e d . . . on and on. Ricki was pivotal, no one sounds like Ricki. I'd love to sit with her, have a cigarette and just talk. And I don't smoke. Kerouac cool, Dean tragic (sort of), Van Gogh unique. I hope she understands what an impact her music has meant to people. Bravo.
Have you had enough sounds EXACTLY like 'Put a Lid On It' by Squirrel Nut Zippers. Which ones are the thieves?
I'll never forget hearing Danny's All Star Joint for the first time in May of '79, and saying Who the hell is this. I've got to know. It's the only time I ever wanted to find out if an artist had a fan club so I could join it. She's only grown better with time. If Girl At Her Volcano isn't one of the best albums of all time, I don't know what is. Rickie Lee has made all our lives so much richer.
suzanne003
I saw her play in '79. I fell in musical love. Her music has been such a soundtrack to my life. I spoke the words to Company at my mother's funeral. Thank you, Ms. Jones.
where is pop pop?
True Hollywood story; I used to pass Ricki playing to herself on the grass on the campus of Santa Monica Community College in the seventies. Got to see her play at a little place called the Taurus tavern in Venice Beach. Lucky. True artist. My fav's: From The Magazine, It Must Be Love, and her version of Gerry and Pacemakers sixties ballad Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying from the Flying Cowboys LP. That one is achingly sparse and wistful; the best version of the song I've heard.
thehiebertco
Shortly after her debut album went to number one, she was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. I believe it was the spring of 1979. I was on this funky weekend ski trip with this funky Denver ski club staying at this funky condo in the incredibly funky ski town of Crested Butte, CO where we watched funky Ricky Lee Jones perform her funky songs wearing her funky beret. I was smittened. She blew me away. I never forgot it. Way Coolsville!
Rickie leaves me speechless, what she has given the world at large and to me is priceless. As a lifelong musician, producer, engineer I am in awe os her vision, her precision, her obsessions. I think I have loved her forever
I saw Ricki at the Orpheum in Boston inthe 80's and she was so cocked, I swear she almost fell of the stage! I didn't matter, she was great! Very edgy...

Haha, I saw her in LA in the early 80s, a bottle of whiskey on the piano. It was, by far, one of the best concerts of my life!
jrossi89
Looking forward to seeing Rickie Lee at the Egg in Albany ny. Been a big Fan, ever sense I heard that beautiful voice :) Ditto Todd! Thx u Heaven

josephs coat on when a man loves a woman great flick!!!!
toddeilts5
rickie lee jones presents an amazing body of work. I have had all of her albums from her first self entitled to Gilead. I've lived my life listening to her, glad God gave her to us.
I love Rickie Lee Jones and have ever since I bought her first album. Listening to Pirates changed my life. She is truly an original to be cherished.
pjillie88
Looked it up - title of her song played at the end of the movie "When A Man Loves A Woman" is Running From Mercy.....
pjillie88
The first I ever heard of Rickie Lee Jones, I was watching a movie and LOVED the song that was playing in the background so much that I rented the movie so I could watch the credits roll in slo-mo and found it was one of her songs/ballad s - I believe the movie was 'When A Man Loves A Woman' with Meg Ryan but I can't remember the name of the song anymore.
kittie0807
Love Rickie Lee Jones!
I think "Company" is the song I like most, so far. It might change, since I haven't heard all of her songs. I have been listening to her for a long time and it's unusual to find somebody who knows who you are talking about when you ask them if they know who she is. I think she is one of the all time great singers and I'm a better person having listened to her. She really knows how to make you feel the music.
does anyone know when the song have you had enough was written and produced? cuz the squirrel nut zippers play the same exact music but the words are different as the song is called put a lid on it. any answers? who was first?
Im looking for the song she sings with ben harper anyone ever hear it ?
She lived in Tacoma, WA in the early 00s, as her daughter, (they say) was attending school-- totaly flew under the radar,, would of been cool if she would have played a few of the clubs in town once in a while-- no one knew she was here-
I have always loved the sound of Rickie lee jones She has a very unique quality aside from joni mitchell who was my true first love in 60's music They are both pivitol performers for my life time I am rickie lee's age she and joni I adore them both
I wish that somehow I could magically acquire all of these discs. She's truly amazing! And a HUGE inspiration for me and my music :) http://www.m y s p a c e . c o m / s a r a h b l a c k e r
"Have you had enough" is a great song.
She's a favorite of mine. Her music to me is very powerful. My favorite album of hers is "Pirates." Amazing album.
mcseanachie
Here at my office we think Joss Stone sounds more like Ricky Lee Jones than Norah Jones does...
1983 It was a cool grey damp fall day in Buckhead, a part of Atlanta, and I heard while shopping for used lps the Pirates record. It blew me away! That style, with the dreary background day we were experiencing , was tops. I use that lp to put me in the mood to write my poetry - I love her voice! as though she may start to shed a tear. jpr
guadagni3
I saw Ricki at the Orpheum in Boston inthe 80's and she was so cocked, I swear she almost fell of the stage! I didn't matter, she was great! Very edgy...
I saw Ricki live in concert...sh e was a bit wild. Drinking Jack Daniels straight from the bottle on stage. None the less a great concert, a great talent.
intheskye
I've always felt that Rickie Lee was sort of underappreci a t e d . She had an edge that I don't remember hearing in Joni's voice or music. She is coolsville, personified.
hammondde
The first time I heard of her was when her song was played on the jerry mcguire soundtrack. After I warped that cd i decided to go find her recording. It was the best decision I've made in a long time...
"comfortable in her own skin-" "original recordings?" boy! this girl represents originality! Rickie is the queen of a stratosphere i want to live on.
Her rare record "Girl at her volcano" changed my life. She's the female Tom Waits. She's just one of the rare badass artists you don't hear about as much as you should people!
I enjoy her phrasing and for the most part her composition. I wish she would do more original recordings And hopefully get comfortable in her own skin. The beatniks always seem to fade away or die while their causes rage on...
jenna9894
DIVA DIVA DIVA.......

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