Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If It's Tuesday, It Must Be Street Date: 6/28/11


It's been 8 years since Gillian Welch released a record, and with each passing year since 2003's "Soul Journey," my faith in actually seeing another record grew smaller and smaller. She teased us back then by debuting a new song in concert, "Throw Me A Rope," a song that is as powerful as anything written by anyone prior. It became an instant classic for me, and planted a seed that I expected to see grow soon after, into the best record of her career. For eight years, nothing came. I thought to myself, "Throw Me A Rope" was so perfect, she must have written herself dry.

It is now 2011, and "Throw Me A Rope," now called "The Way It Will Be" sits at track 3 on "The Harrow & The Harvest."  I played that one first.

8 years gone and Gillian Welch is back. This record doesn't sound like it took 8 years to make. That's not to say I was expecting a German industrial record from Welch and her partner, the unlikely guitar hero and Gillian soundalike David Rawlings. It's just that, "The Harrow & The Harvest" is exactly the record it should be.

Backhanded compliment? Maybe.

There are a few winners here, including the absolutely chilling "Hard Times" and the aforementioned "The Way It Will Be." But it's hard, at least for me, to get back in the swing of all things Gillian, after such a long layoff. I should be able to look beyond the time gone by and just get lost in the music, but many of the songs on "The Harrow & The Harvest" are too similar to what she has done in the past. It almost feels as if this release is comprised of Gillian Welch b-sides; second rate songs, which were tweaked and retitled and placed on her previous 4 releases in much stronger form. The record feels forced and I fully admit, that may be my fault.

BUY IT---http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0052T7JP8/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0HC2Q0KGFDMM1H340MW6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846


"Face To Face," "Something Else," and "Arthur" have now been souped up with new remastering, mono and stereo mixes, b-sides, alternates and BBC appearances. I did the ol' A/B-ing of "Something Else," & "Face To Face," comparing my 1998 Japanese remasters to these new ones, and there is really no comparison. The new remastering brings out voices and instruments I have never heard before. And while I'm loathe to get behind yet another repackaging campaign by UMG, you'd be doing yourself an injustice by not picking a few of these up over at Amazon.co.uk, where the 2 CD sets are going for about $20-22 U.S. Plus, there's like a gazillion bonus tracks, too!

BUY IT--http://www.amazon.co.uk/Something-Else-Deluxe-Kinks/dp/B004WDPX9Y/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1309264242&sr=8-2


Records like this have always been a pet peeve of mine. "Let's just slap a bunch of artists who have nothing in common with each other, and little to do with the honoree, and make a tribute record." BLECCHH!!

So, it's with great pain that I must admit to liking a lot of "Rave On Buddy Holly." I don't know how many times I will go back to this collection. It seems like once may be enough.  But, Sir Paul sounds great, Patti Smith is wonderful, and My Morning Jacket's version of "True Love Ways" is simply gorgeous. Plus, it's good to see Fiona Apple get off her skinny ass and make some music again.

BUY IT..OR NOT----http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004YGRHXY/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=0HC2Q0KGFDMM1H340MW6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846


Must we celebrate everything? I mean, a hit single that ripped off "It's A Man's World" by James Brown, and now this?


Thank you, Sundazed! Both Left Banke records, "Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina" and "The Left Banke, Too" finally get proper releases. The second record has a few goodies on it, but the debut is essential, easily one of my favorite records of all time.

BUY THEM---http://www.amazon.com/Walk-Away-Ren%C3%A9e-Pretty-Ballerina/dp/B004Y03LHQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1309264360&sr=1-1


Disc 1: Richard and Linda Thompson
  1. The Little Beggar Girl (John Peel Session – 1/1/1973)
  2. Dragging the River (John Peel Session – 1/1/1973)
  3. The Great Valerio (John Peel Session – 1/1/1973)
  4. The Neasden Hornpipe/The Avebury Particle Accelerator/The Flowing Tide (John Peel Session – 1/1/1973)
  5. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (BBC Session – 1/24/1974)
  6. Hokey Pokey (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  7. Georgie on a Spree (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  8. I’ll Regret It All in the Morning (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  9. A Heart Needs a Home (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  10. Wishing (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  11. I’m Turning Off a Memory (John Peel Session – 2/11/1975)
  12. A Man in Need (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  13. Withered and Died (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  14. New Fangled Flogging Reel/Kerry Reel (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  15. Shoot Out the Lights (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  16. It’s Just the Motion (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  17. Back Street Slide (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  18. Night Comes In (Live @ The Paris Theatre, London – 5/22/1982)
  19. Dimming of the Day (Folk on Two – 1982)
  20. Modern Woman (Folk on Two – 1982)
Disc 2
  1. She Twists the Knife Again (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  2. You Don’t Say (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  3. When The Spell is Broken (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  4. The Angels Took My Racehorse Away (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  5. Valerie (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  6. Jennie (Live At The Hammersmith Palais, 20/11/1986)
  7. You Don’t Say (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  8. Fire in the Engine Room (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  9. Wall of Death (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  10. Nearly in Love (Live @ Hammersmith Palais, London – 11/20/1986)
  11. Valerie (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1987)
  12. When the Spell is Broken (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  13. Two Left Feet (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  14. Turning of the Tide (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  15. Simple Again (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  16. Ghosts in the Wind (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  17. Shoot Out the Lights (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  18. She Twists the Knife Again (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  19. Withered and Died (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
  20. The End of the Rainbow (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 7/1/1985)
Disc 3
  1. Gethsemane (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 9/28/2001)
  2. The Outside of the Inside (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 9/28/2001)
  3. Wall of Death (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 9/28/2001)
  4. Word Unspoken Sight Unseen (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 4/25/2003)
  5. Kidzz (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 4/25/2003)
  6. Did She Jump or Was She Pushed (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 4/25/2003)
  7. The End of the Rainbow (Recorded for Andy Kershaw – 4/25/2003)
  8. One Door Opens (Recorded for Evening Sequence – 5/18/2004)
  9. The Outside of the Inside (Recorded for Evening Sequence – 5/18/2004)
  10. Let It Blow (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2005)
  11. Old Thames Side (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2005)
  12. Dad’s Gonna Kill Me (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2007)
  13. Down Where the Drunkards Roll (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2007)
  14. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2007)
  15. Needle and Thread (Recorded for Tom Robinson On 6 Music  7/27/2007)
  16. So Ben Mi Ca Bon Tempo (Recorded for Bob Harris  12/27/2008)
  17. A Hunting the Wren (Recorded for Bob Harris  12/27/2008)
  18. See My Friends (Recorded for Bob Harris  12/27/2008)
  19. Time’s Gonna Break You (Recorded for Hub Sessions   1/9/2009)
  20. William Brown (Recorded for Hub Sessions   1/9/2009)
  21. Meet on the Ledge (Recorded for Hub Sessions   1/9/2009)
Disc 4: DVD
  1. Jet Plane in a Rocking Chair (The Old Grey Whistle Test  3/7/1975)
  2. A Heart Needs a Home (The Old Grey Whistle Test  3/7/1975)
  3. Night Comes In (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  4. I’m a Dreamer (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  5. I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  6. Shoot Out the Lights (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  7. You’re Going to Need Somebody (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  8. Dargai (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  9. Dimming of the Day (A Little Night Music  8/19/1981)
  10. Pavanne (Jake Thackery and Songs – 1/6/1981)
  11. Just the Motion (Jake Thackery and Songs – 1/6/1981)
  12. Fire in the Engine Room (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  13. She Twists the Knife Again (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  14. Wall of Death (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  15. When the Spell is Broken (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  16. Did She Jump or Was She Pushed (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  17. Wrong Heartbeat (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  18. Tear Stained Letter (Recorded Live for Late Night In Concert – 8/13/1985)
  19. She Twists the Knife Again (The Old Grey Whistle Test – 5/7/1985)

$62 at Amazon.com, $48 at Amazon.co.uk



Anonymous said...

Wow...it's been 8 years for Gillian Welch? I didn't realize it, and yet, it does seem it's been a while. Thanks for the review, I'm looking forward to listening....

Alan said...

Sal: As always, I love your love of music. One piece of pushback: the tribute albums. The Richard Thompson one was great and the Jimi Hendrix one was great. Take a pill, will ya’? :-)

Sal Nunziato said...

"Take a pill?" So... I don't understand. Like, so that my reviews and rants are neither? So, what...I can learn to appreciate Modest Mouse? I don't get this pill-taking.

steves said...

On the money as always, Sal: Tribute albums usually suck, which is not to say they invariably do. That said, I gotta disagree with one thing you wrote. Sir Paul's performance bites it. All the little bits of spoken hooha and the edgy live feel can't give this dog legs...or make me shake the feeling that the only purpose behind this latest visit to Buddyville was to pay for the new engagement ring.

Sal Nunziato said...


I really dig the Macca. It reminds me of the early, Wings stuff. Raw and gritty, flawed in a good way.


I like the MaCartney and I love the Patti Smith cuts on Rave On. One cranks it up, the other dials it down. Both are well worth the price of admission.

Anything Should Happen said...

Tribute albums were ok at the beginning when they were a novelty, then they became tired, there's still the odd gem out there though.

Buddy Holly's been done to death cover wise.

However, you know what I collector I am and I have to say that if it hadn't have been for Buddy Holly, I wouldn't be the music freak that I am.

He died four years before I was born, but he was my Elvis.

Is Macca becoming the new Todd Rundgren, Sal? I think he can manage to rustle up an engagement ring though

Macca though has always flown the Holly flag, particularly in the UK, bringing those who forget and new generations to appreciate his influence.

I got a freebie Richard Thompson and it's ace.

Wot No Beyonce?

Spookywolffe said...

A THREE CD DELUXE REISSUE OF AN ALICIA KEYS ALBUM?!?!? Is THIS what we're reduced to?!? Oy, what's next, the 6-month deluxe reissue of the last Lady Gaga album in a few months?

Meanstreets said...

Any additional information on the Richard Thompson / Linda Thompson Box set such as sound quality etc. ?