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Harbor Lights was the fourth album by Bruce Hornsby and was released by RCA Records in 1993. It was the first album credited solely to Hornsby, without his previous backing band, the Range.
The record showcased Hornsby in a more jazz-oriented setting and featured an all-star lineup, including Pat Metheny, Branford Marsalis, Jerry Garcia, Phil Collins and Bonnie Raitt. Unlike earlier albums, Harbor Lights allowed more space for Hornsby's and guest-players' "extended instrumental" solos to "flow naturally" out of the songs. The tone was set by the opening title track, which after 50 seconds of expansive solo piano lurches into an up-tempo jazz number, ending with Metheny's guitar runs. The album closes in a similar fashion with "Pastures of Plenty", this time with an extended guitar solo from Garcia intertwined with Hornsby's piano. Hornsby also quotes the main musical phrase from the Grateful Dead's "Dark Star" as the jazz head to his song about tensions surrounding a biracial relationship, "Talk of the Town".
The mid-tempo "Fields of Gray", written for Hornsby's recently born twin sons, received some modest radio airplay, peaking at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100. Harbor Lights was well received by critics and fans, who praised it for its "cooler, jazzier sound" and its "affinity for sincere portraits of American life, love, and heartache."
The album cover uses Edward Hopper's 1951 painting Rooms By the Sea.
|2||Talk Of The Town||5:11|
|3||Long Tall Cool One||4:59|
|5||Fields Of Grey||4:52|
|8||The Tide Will Rise||3:55|
|9||What A Time||4:03|
|10||Pastures Of Plenty||6:37|