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Friday, March 1, 2013


1. Born Yesterday
2. Dreaming's Free
3. The Poison and the Pain
4. No Disguise
5. Rainy Days
6. Statuettes with Wounds (Ryan Adams/Van Alston)
7. String and the Wire
8. Hey There Mrs. Lovely
9. Nighttime Gals
10. In My Time of Need
11. Bartering Lines (Ryan Adams/Van Alston)
12. Memories of You (Ryan Adams/Van Alston)
13. Time (The Revelator) (Gillian Welch/David Rawlings)

Produced and Engineered by Merle Chornuk and Will Schillinger

Recorded at Pilot Studios in New York City

The Background

In the fall of 99', Ryan Adams went on his first tour as a solo artist. Playing small venues by himself with only an acoustic guitar, he performed most of the songs that can be found on Destroyer. Following this tour, Ryan moved back to New York City and soon went through a rough break-up with his long time girlfriend. This led him to leave New York and move to Nashville, where he tenaciously pursued a career as a solo artist. While in Nashville, he became good friends with respected roots musicians - David Rawlings and Gillian Welch. Together they recorded and co-wrote some of Ryan's most timeless songs

Destroyer was recorded at Pilot Studios in New York City, sometime prior to the sessions for Heartbreaker which took place in June of 2000. The record was intended be Ryan's first solo album, and features two songs that would later end up on Heartbreaker ("In My Time of Need" and "Bartering Lines"). David Rawlings played a very integral part in the recording of these 13 songs, providing lead guitar, harmony vocals, drums, and more.

Unfortunately at some point during the sessions, Adams discovered that Interscope Records had claimed the rights to release Destroyer. Ryan didn't approve of this and brought the sessions to a screeching halt. He went on to write more songs, find a new label, and record what would become Heartbreaker.

My Review

Among the many unofficial bootleg recordings from throughout Ryan's career, this is one of the best! Destroyer showcases his tremendous songwriting ability, and features some of Ryan's most folky and stripped down recordings. Overall, the tracks sound like unfinished, very loose demo recordings. A couple of the songs feature Ryan playing solo acoustic with no accompaniment. Others songs feature tracks that sound slightly out of rhythm. And other tracks like "Bartering Lines" go a little heavy on the experimentation. Still, the album is worth checking out, and fits perfectly alongside a Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt, or other traditional acoustic folk/blues record.

Essential! Although I didn't appreciate this album as much when I was younger, it has grown on me a lot over the years.

Key Tracks: "Born Yesterday", "Dreaming's Free", "The Poison and the Pain", "Statuettes with Wounds", "Hey There Mrs Lovely", "Nighttime Gals", "Bartering Lines", and "Time (The Revelator)"

Song Info

"Hey There Mrs. Lovely" was re-recorded with new lyrics as "These Girls", for the 2007 album - Easy Tiger. Then on Valentines Day, 2009, the original version from Destroyer was released
as a "secret song" on the Extra Cheese EP.

"In My Time of Need" was originally written for Johnny Cash to record for his American Recordings series. It was also recorded with Whiskeytown as part of the unreleased Fucker Demos. Eventually the song was re-recorded and released on Heartbreaker. Yet another excellent alternate version of the song featuring drums can be found on the soundtrack to the film - The Rookie. Solo acoustic live versions can also be found on the compilation Live After Deaf.

"Bartering Lines" were re-recorded and released on Heartbreaker.

"Born Yesterday" can also be found on the unreleased album 48 Hours, recorded in 2001.

"Statuettes with Wounds" was originally written for a Caitlin Cary solo album

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