Robbie Robertson – Broken Arrow

“Who else is gonna bring you a broken arrow…
who else is gonna bring you a bottle of rain?
There he goes moving across the water…
there he goes turning my whole world around.”

While most casual listeners know this song as a 1991 top twenty hit for Rod Stewart, it is logical to find out that it was written by Band maestro Robbie Robertson who has a Native American background.  After many years as the guitar player and songwriter for The Band, Robbie spent a few years doing film scores for pal Martin Scorcese and acting as well.  In 1987 he returned to pop music for his solo debut on Geffen Records.  The songwriting was top notch, but his singing was a true surprise.  His only previous lead singing credit came on the Band’s Last Waltz album with the song ‘Out of the Blue’.  He also recruited fellow canadian Daniel Lanois (of u2 and Peter Gabriel production fame) to create a new sonic landscape.   The abum also featured a cavalcade of top notch guest stars including u2, Peter Gabriel, the Neville Brothers, The Band’s Rick Danko and Garth Hudson, as well as studio vets Tony Levin, Terry Bozzio and Larry Klein.

“I gotta hold you in these arms of steel”

The Native American imagery in this song abounds, in a much more personal way than on Then Band releases.  In describing romance from a Native American standpoint, Robertson mines territory previously unexplored by the Rock N Roll community.   His impassioned vocal and unique delivery bring the images to life in a more realistic way than any cover version.  You truly believe that he has lived these experiences and seen the images with his own eyes.  

One response to “Robbie Robertson – Broken Arrow

  1. I’ve heard this one, too. I have this album, and didn’t even know Rod Stewart had ever done this song.

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