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Anthology


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Amazon's Townes Van Zandt Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Feb 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Charly
  • ASIN: B000009QD9
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 535,564 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Be Here To Love Me
2. Kathleen
3. Our Mother The Mountain
4. St. John The Gambler
5. Snake Mountain Blues
6. For The Sake Of The Song
7. Waiting Around To Die
8. Don't Take It Too Bad
9. Colorado Girl
10. I'll Be Here In The Morning
See all 20 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. To Live Is To Fly
2. Mr. Gold And Mr. Mud
3. High, Low And In Between
4. No Lonesome Tune
5. Don't Let The Sunshine Fool Ya'
6. Honky Tonkin'
7. Fraulein
8. Pancho And Lefty
9. If I Needed You
10. Heavenly Houseboat Blues
See all 20 tracks on this disc

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Inigo Montoya on 27 Sep 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Essential... 17 Sep 2001
By Rob Damm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
To paraphrase the great Jack Black in the movie "High Fidelity", 'it's...ridiculous if you don't own this album.' Seriously. Don't tell anybody. Just quietly go and purchase it and slip into your puny collection before anybody notices.
All kidding aside, Townes Van Zandt is one of the few "cult" figures actually deserving of the mythology that has swirled up around him. His death in '97 has only excacerbated the situation, and the truck-load of hipster-cred he has garnered threatens to reach critical mass... But, to haul out another tired proverb, "the proof is in the pudding" and what a devilishly good pudding it is! These two discs make an argument for Van Zandt as one of a handful of truly transcendent songwriters. Writers whose songs go beyond the idiom of pop music and flirt dangerously with "high art", but not in a bad way.
If you're a die-hard fan, a newcomer or anywhere in between you need to own this great collection. The sound is sparkling, the package is nice and you'll have all these great songs on two convenient discs. Also be sure to check out Lyle Lovett's awesome "Step Into This House" for Lyle's interpretations of some of TVZ's best tunes.
Enjoy, and keep the faith!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
most of the best of the late great 22 Aug 2001
By Jerome Clark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
From the opening notes of the first cut, "Be Here to Love Me," one is reminded that, at his best (as he mostly is here), Townes Van Zandt was an American songwriter in the same league as Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and Merle Haggard -- though stylistically he owed more to the first of these than the latter two. Where there is not a lot of country in Van Zandt's music, the melodies of Anglo-Celtic-Appalachia and the white man's blues are very much in evidence. Some of his narrative songs, e.g. "St. John the Gambler," "Tecumseh Valley," and "Snake Mountain Blues" among others, have the rustic resonance of dusty frontier ballads. "Two Hands" is among the finest imitation African-American spirituals I've ever heard, and "Flyin' Shoes" is among the finest spirituals-period I've heard. This welcome collection brings back lots of good memories, taking me back to the day I came upon Van Zandt's brand-new first Poppy album at a college radio station and met a genius (later "The Genius," a song Robin & Linda Williams and I wrote two or three days after his death on January 1, 1997; it's on their Devil of a Dream recording on Sugar Hill, also Van Zandt's last label). Unfortunately, this collection reminds one that Van Zandt was too often poorly served by his producers, who seemed not to grasp the simple but subtle requirements of his bare-bones roots style and who persisted in sometimes inexplicable decisions in the studio. Sadly, too, one is reminded of how short his productive career was, and how his personal excesses, which finally killed him, caused him to go whole years without writing anything of substance. (And speaking of which, what is piffle like "Fraternity Blues" doing here, in place of "Rake" or "Nobody" or "White Freight Liner Blues"?) In the end, however, we can only be grateful for what he did give us in those few years: a body of work brimming with intelligence, insight, beauty, humor, and sorrow -- the art, as is almost always the case, greater than the artist.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
The Blues and Zippedy-Doo-Dah 13 Feb 2002
By Gavin B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Townes Van Zandt once said, "There are two kinds of music, the blues and zippedy-doo-dah." Townes stood firmly outside the zippedy-doo-dah camp and was a masterful painter of despair...the blues. When he died on the first day of Janurary, 1997, Townes didn't have much of anything, but a handful of adoring fans (Townies), who would have probably would have laid down life and limb for their cherished Townes Van Zandt albums. Such an ignoble passage for a man born into wealth, and even has a west Texas county named for his ancestors. Townes had no regrets, because he led the life he sang. "Anthology" captures that life of drinking, gambling, carousing, and tempting the devil himself.
Townes always seemed saddled with well-meaning indie record labels and their miniscule distribution networks. Before the rise of internet, you could spend the day searching for his albums and come up empty handed, even in major markets like Chicago or Boston. What I like about "Anthology" is it has an equitable distribution curve of all of his career highlights, even the harder to find stuff. This is a great sample of his early seventies work with Tomato Records before his plaintive, smokey baritone was ravaged by booze and hard living. I quibble with the fact that "Nothing" and "Rake", his two most sublimely dark and introspective songs, fell off the list in favor of lighter fare. There are two "essential" Van Zandt recordings for any serious collector of country or folk music collector. One is the live recording "Rear View Mirror", and the other is this solid anthology.
Gram Parsons often comes to mind when searching for a "musician's musician" of comparable stature to Townes. Both Parsons and Van Zandt were born about the same time, raised in priviliged circumstances, were notorious drinkers with dark erratic personalities, and were drawn to American roots music for inspiration. Gram's musical legacy has been brought to a broader audience by his devotees, and if there were any justice in the world, the same would happen to Townes. Townes would probably just sneer and say, "At least I got a darker hole in hell than him."
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
"The greatest songwriter you've never heard" 3 Jan 2001
By Andrew Woods - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The title is not an exaggeration. Townes Van Zandt's work has been cruelly overlooked. He has written some of the most starkly beautiful songs you are likely to hear. This UK compilation features all of the major songs from the first phase of his career, including the relatively well known "Pancho and Lefty" and "If I needed You" Townes was a classic Texan songwriter, you can hear echoes of Hank Williams in his lyrics (although Townes does it better) and Lightnin' Hopkins in his guitar playing. If you have the slightest interest in music you have to own a TVZ album, no country/folk/blues collection is complete without one. This album is a bargain, buy it now and then buy all the others. They'll be friends for life.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Forever Townes 24 July 2001
By Matthew Guy Kendrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
In this collection of the TVZ glory days, we truly get to hear the greatest singer/songwriter to date. Playing in the smokey hole-in-the-wall bars in and around Austin, Townes is truly in his element. Rarely in the live recordings is he playing in front of many people, but, nevertheless, these songs are head and shoulders above his ever so scarce studio work. What made him great was the fact he was first and foremost a songwriter, a poet. You'll never--ever--hear an over-produced Nashville puppet sing with the same conviction and feeling. No, they sing about their "trucks" and the rodeo. Townes sings about life experiences, and it is all captured in this two CD set. We miss you Townes.
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