Sparklers: “Lipstick Sunset” by John Hiatt, featuring Ry Cooder

This is the fifth installment of this category featuring recordings of outstanding performances by noteworthy guitarists – or outstanding guitarists giving noteworthy performances. It is inspired by whatever god oversees the shuffle mode of my iPod classic during my morning walks.

So, without further ado, let me introduce to you…

“Lipstick Sunset” by John Hiatt, featuring Ry Cooder on electric slide guitar.

Give a listen. (Headphones highly recommended!)

Ry Cooder’s guitar slips into the mix in the left channel at the 54 second mark, right at the start of the second verse. His first solo starts at 1:34.


“Lipstick Sunset” was written by John Hiatt. It is from Bring The Family, Hiatt’s eighth album, released on A&M Records in May, 1987. The ten tracks on this superb album were recorded over the course of four days – February 17-20, 1987 – in Studio 2 of Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, California. John Chelew was the producer.

The musicians on that track are:

  • John Hiatt – Acoustic Guitar & Vocals
  • Ry Cooder – Electric Slide Guitar
  • Nick Lowe – Bass Guitar
  • Jim Keltner – Drums

In the All Music Guide to Rock (2002, Third Edition), Mark Deming writes that Bring The Family is “a rich and satisfying slice of grown-up Rock & Roll” and that “Ry Cooder’s guitar work is especially impressive, leaving no doubt of his singular gifts without ever overstepping its boundaries.”

I say that Ry Cooder’s contribution to “Lipstick Sunset” is among the most masterful electric slide guitar playing you will ever hear.

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