LONG JOHN BALDRY It Ain’t Easy (Expanded 1971) – Co-Produced By Rod Stewart & Elton John

It Ain’t Easy (1971)
Bonus Track Edition

It Ain’t Easy features a British blues/rock lineup befitting the man behind the Long John Baldry moniker. This album returns Baldry to a decidedly edgier and hipper audience, with a literal cast of all-stars on some of the more adventurous material he had covered to date. This is no doubt due, at least in part, to the involvement of rock superstars Rod Stewart and Elton John. (In fact, John confesses to have taken the last name in his stage moniker from Baldry’s first.) Among their contributions to the project, Stewart and Elton divided the production tasks – each taking a side of the original album. Immediately, Baldry sheds the MOR blue-eyed pop soul image. The backing band on Stewart’s side include fellow Face and future Rolling Stone, Ron Wood, on electric guitar and acoustic guitarist Sam Mitchell, who appeared on many of Stewart’s early-’70s solo albums. His contributions to this side are numerous, including an especially potent solo on Leadbelly’s “Black Girl.” This authentic duet featuring Maggie Bell on co-lead vocals is a definite return to the Mississippi Delta for the song which is also known as the bluegrass standard “In the Pines.” Other highlights from Stewart’s sector include the humorous and self-biographical leadoff track “Conditional Discharge,” which is paired with the full-tilt boogie of “Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King of Rock & Roll.” Arguably the oddest cover version on this album is also among the best; “Morning Morning” from head Fug Tuli Kupferberg is given new and surprisingly fresh life by Baldry. Highlights from Elton John’s side include Randy Newman’s “Let’s Burn Down the Cornfield,” which would have fit perfectly on John’s Tumbleweed Connection album. Additionally, “Rock Me When He’s Gone” was actually recorded by John, although his version remained unissued until the 1992 odds and sods compilation Rare Masters. – Review From The All Music Guide

Conditional Discharge (Intro)(3:17)
Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll (3:26)
Black Girl (2:52)
It Ain’t Easy (4:54)
Morning Morning (2:37)
I’m Ready (4:15)
Let’s Burn Down The Cornfield (4:17)
Mr. Rubin (4:07)
Rock Me When He’s Gone (4:09)
Flying (7:01)
Going Down Slowly (3:12) (Bonus Track)
Blues (Cornbread, Meat And Molasses) (3:00) (Bonus Track)
Love In Vain (4:22) (Bonus Track)
Midnight Hour Blues (4:10) (Bonus Track)
Black Girl (3:36) (Bonus Track)
It Ain’t Easy (5:10) (Bonus Track)
I’m Ready (4:18) (Bonus Track)
Radio Spot (0:30) (Bonus Track)



  • Capt. Willard
    November 1, 2010 - 04:21 | Permalink

    Get it HERE.

  • August 20, 2013 - 22:14 | Permalink

    Don’t forget the title track, a Ziggy Stardust track written by Bowie!

  • skylark
    August 21, 2013 - 01:12 | Permalink

    Sorry Johnny B- It Ain’t Easy was written by Ron Davies for his first album in 1970. Also released by Three Dog Night the same year. Then Mitch Ryder and Baldry both in 1971. Then Dave Edmonds and Bowie in 1972.

    I’ll give this another try Willard. I have it on a record somewhere but can’t remember if I liked it that much. I’ll try again with an open mind and with the bonus tracks I’ve got nothing to lose. Thanks.

  • August 21, 2013 - 07:03 | Permalink

    D’oh! You’re absolutely right, skylark! Don’t know what I was thinking there.

  • Timmy
    August 21, 2013 - 11:40 | Permalink

    Gracious me! Thanx……………..~~~~~~~~~~

  • notBob
    August 21, 2013 - 13:39 | Permalink

    Conditional Discharge/Boogie Woogie used to be the #1 request on my favorite ol’ “underground radio” station in its day, but they had a policy that no song was repeated within 24 hours. Actually a great concept that prevented burn-out from over-playing the latest top 40 hit. It still rocks for me…

  • bumfluff
    August 21, 2013 - 14:20 | Permalink

    Thank you for this!

  • courtney
    August 21, 2013 - 17:49 | Permalink

    I wore the grooves off this one 40+ years ago, and enjoy it to this day in all its groovelessness. What a brilliant idea to have Stewart and John produce (and why didn’t more people persuade Elton to use those big piano hands on their sessions?). This lily got good and gilded. Can’t wait to hear the bonus tracks, and thanks for posting!

  • Supersonic75
    August 22, 2013 - 04:50 | Permalink


  • zappahead
    August 25, 2013 - 06:35 | Permalink

    Thanks for this one Willard…..was familiar with Long John in the sixtes with steampacket I believe but haven’t herd this before….thanks for the share…you’ve hit the spot….once again…much obliged.

  • max1major
    August 28, 2013 - 19:59 | Permalink

    One of the best days of my college life was spent with Long John Baldry. He was a very tall man who was so easy going. He played an acoustic set over the lunch hour in the college café. The afternoon and evening were spent at a local pub. John would tell stories about his life and times. He was a joy to know and a saint out of time. Just sayin…

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