John Hiatt portrait Gravel-voiced roots-rock auteur John Hiatt is perhaps best known as a songwriter, a favorite in the 1970s and early '80s of artists such as Bonnie Raitt and Rosanne Cash... Hiatt was also on the leading edge of the roots-rock movement, in the years before the "Americana" genre had a name. Early in his career he became a work-for-hire songwriter in Nashville, before breaking through when one of his songs became a Top 20 pop hit for the band Three Dog Night in 1974. This enabled Hiatt to record as a solo artist, although his performing career floundered amid low sales and corporate indifference, even as his stock as a songwriter exploded. Hiatt's crisp musical style and craftsmanlike composing led to a partnership with British rocker Nick Lowe, whose own music was a canny mix of bluesy pub-rock, country and new wave -- together they recorded some of Hiatt's most commercially successful albums in the late '80s. Shifting to smaller indie labels, Hiatt has become an elder of the Americana scene, and continues to be one of its most highly regarded songwriters. Here's a quick look at his work...

Discography - Best-Ofs

John Hiatt "Y'All Caught? The Ones That Got Away: 1979–1985 (Geffen, 1989)

John Hiatt "Greatest Hits: The A&M Years: '87-94" (A&M, 1998)

John Hiatt "The Best Of John Hiatt" (Capitol, 1998)

John Hiatt "Anthology" (Hip-O, 2001)

John Hiatt "Collected" (Universal, 2012)
A 3-CD set...

John Hiatt "The Definitive Collection: 1987-1994" (Universal, 2013)

John Hiatt "Here To Stay -- The Best Of: 2000-2012" (New West, 2013)

Discography - Albums

John Hiatt "Hangin' Around The Observatory" (Epic, 1974)

John Hiatt "Overcoats" (Epic, 1975)

John Hiatt "Slug Line" (MCA, 1979)

John Hiatt "Two Bit Monsters" (MCA, 1980)

John Hiatt "All Of A Sudden" (Geffen, 1982)

John Hiatt "Riding With The King" (Geffen, 1983)

John Hiatt "Warming Up To The Ice Age" (Geffen, 1985)

John Hiatt "Bring The Family" (A&M, 1987)

John Hiatt "Slow Turning" (A&M, 1988)

John Hiatt "Stolen Moments" (A&M, 1990)

John Hiatt "Alive At The Hiatt" (A&M/Hip-O, 1993/2006)

John Hiatt "Perfectly Good Guitar" (A&M, 1993)

John Hiatt "Hiatt Comes Alive At Budokan" (A&M, 1994)

John Hiatt "Walk On" (Capitol, 1995)

John Hiatt "Little Head" (Capitol, 1997)

John Hiatt "Crossing Muddy Waters" (Vanguard, 2000)

John Hiatt "The Tiki Bar Is Open" (Vanguard, 2001)

John Hiatt "Beneath This Gruff Exterior" (New West, 2003)

John Hiatt "Beneath This Gruff Exterior: Two-Track Demos" (EP) (New West, 2003)
A 3-song EP featuring rough cuts of some songs from Hiatt's album of the same year...

John Hiatt "Master Of Disaster" (New West, 2005)

John Hiatt "Live From Austin: Austin City Limits" (New West, 2005)

John Hiatt "Same Old Man" (New West, 2008)

John Hiatt "The Open Road" (New West, 2010)

John Hiatt "Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns" (New West, 2011)

John Hiatt "Dirty Jeans And Mudslide Hymns" (New West, 2011)
A rich, country-drenched set from one of roots-rock/Americana's true pioneers... One of the powerhouse songwriters of the 1970s, Hiatt is edging towards sixty years old, smoothly settling into the grizzled old-dude persona that so many roots musicians adopt... But even though he's earned his show-biz survivor stripes, Hiatt's still got a vigor and intensity that many a youngster would envy. This record opens with a couple of windswept, dusty Americana epics, but he soon shows himself ready to produce catchy toe-tappers as well (such as "I Love That Girl" and "Detroit Made") and slower, arresting ballads, like "Don't Wanna Leave You Now" and "Hold On For Your Love." An old pro at work, still going strong.

John Hiatt "Mystic Pinball" (New West, 2012)
(Produced by Kevin Shirley)

A rock-solid set from roots-rock auteur John Hiatt, who blends crunchy, gritty bar-band riffs with a crisp power-pop undertone. Hiatt is one of those guys who has grown into grizzled, old-geezer persona he adopted as a young man, and his world-weary lyrics ring truer now than they did in the 1970s... This album opens with the rugged but optimistic pop gem "We're Alright Now," followed by a series of rougher-hewn thumpy rock songs, tempered by a few sly, sweet acoustic ballads... All in all, a potent, compact album delivered with fierce efficiency, a record that'll dazzle old fans and newcomers alike.

John Hiatt "Mystic Pinball" (New West, 2012)

John Hiatt "Paper Thin: The Canadian Broadcast, 1989" (All Access, 2013)

Tribute Albums

Ilse DeLange "Dear John" (Warner, 1999)

Various Artists "LOVE GETS STRANGE: SONGS OF JOHN HIATT" (Warner-Rhino, 1993)

Various Artists "ROLLIN' INTO MEMPHIS: SONGS OF JOHN HIATT" (Telarc, 2000)

Various Artists "IT'LL COME TO YOU: THE SONGS OF JOHN HIATT" (Vanguard, 2003)


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