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Been Here And Gone

Price: £15.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Image of album by Thalia Zedek


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“One of the strongest vocalists and most pronounced creative presences in music.” - Harp Magazine

“Since 1981, Boston-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Thalia Zedek has been making excrutiatingly emotional rock music... Nothing draws as much blood as the work of this songwriter, one of the most painfully honest and brilliant anywhere.” -- Time Out New ... Read more in Amazon's Thalia Zedek Store

Visit Amazon's Thalia Zedek Store
for 5 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

  • Audio CD (30 July 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Matador
  • ASIN: B00005M0CE
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,655 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Excommunications (Everybody Knows)
2. Back to School
3. Strong
4. Temporary Guest
5. Treacherous Thing
6. Dance Me To The End Of Love*
7. 1926**
8. Desanctified (Full Circle)
9. Somebody Else
10. 10th Lament
11. Manha De Carnaval***

Product Description


Been Here and Gone is a new work from Thalia Zedek, a veteran of the New York underground scene that spawned the likes of Sonic Youth. And Zedek, frontwoman for the highly respected Sub Pop rock-deconstructionists Come, has certainly paid her rock & roll dues. So is Been Here and Gone, her debut solo album, a desperate plea for recognition? After 20 years of performing behind a cacophony of feedback, Been Here and Gone finds Zedek stepping out of the shadow of her band and unleashing her voice--a grizzled, but seductive tar-soaked growl in the vein of Patti Smith --in a stark, unadorned musical environment. Her backing band might include old Come companion Chris Brokaw on guitar, but the likes of "Back to School" and the gorgeous piano lament of "1926" are bare-boned and unadorned where Come were rough-edged and intense. The most memorable arrangement is an elegant, Prussian-tinged cover of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love", and that's a pretty fair signpost to this record's tone of doomed romanticism. But will "Been Here and Gone" find Zedek the respect she so evidently deserves? Doubtful. But it should win her a whole new audience of devoted fans that take their tales of pathos without the tortured scream of an electric guitar. --Louis Pattison

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 July 2001
Format: Audio CD
Okay, now that I've gotten your attention with the Sir Elton John lyric, let me say that this is a record of exquisite beauty and sadness. Like her contemporary Nick Cave, Thalia has always had a knack for making music that expresses true sadness, while still delivering redemption within the beauty of the song (and in this case, with the beauty of her voice). This collection of twelve cuts finds Zedek's voice in excellent form, putting somewhat of a silver lining on lyrics which cover a spectrum of feelings (longing, jealousy, pain...)on relationships that were shortened, soured or sabotaged.
The first song, "Excommunications(everybody knows)" sets the tone for the album with it's stunning first verse. "Everybody knows that you'll be leaving/leaving me behind/And everbody knows what's gonna happen/I'm gonna lose my mind." By the time you hear Thalia singing a Leonard Cohen song ("Dance Me to the End of Love") halfway into the album, you may have already felt a few pangs within your fragile little heart. But don't worry, redemption is just around the corner, with the "10th Lament" a beautiful instrumental that is the 10th track. With a cast of characters helping her out instrumentally on piano, viola, drums and 2nd guitar, they together paint a piece that reaches in the direction of Godspeed You Black Emperor, achieving an emotional rollercoaster without singing a word.
This record is a must have for fans of T.Zedek's rock band Come, and it's definitely a record for fans of the previously mentioned Nick Cave album "No More Shall We Part".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ben J. Johnson on 16 May 2009
Format: Audio CD
Ok, imagine a parallel universe where Courtney Love is super-talented and not some hideous rock parody... yeah, it takes some doing - it's probably easier just to buy this. It'd be lazy of me to compare Thalia Zedek to a post-rock Tom Waits, but, I'm feeling lazy, so there you go. This is a gorgeous album full of great songs, that touch upon greatness more often than not, the band with her are great. Well worth checking out her old band Come too and also some of the Chris Brokaw solo stuff.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A shambling funeral procession. Sensual and sombre. 20 April 2004
By Campbell Roark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
If Bob Dylan were murdered in some horrible, edward Gorey-like fashion and then his spirit made love to Leonard Cohen in a dream by PJ Harvey- this album might be the result of such sanguine, acrobatic copulations...
Indeed it opens up with an homage to L. Cohen- 'Eveybody Knows,' but only the single guitar line that kicks off the album is Cohen's... the rest is entirely Ms. Zedek's (though, truth be told, it sounds like Concrete Blonde's cover from the pump of the volume sndtrk.). Her voice is kin to Dylan (weary and monotone), so much so you'd think she's his little sister that someone hid away in a dark (very dark) closet for many years.
Whew... It's a mess. No arguing with that, but a sprawling, gorgeous, weary, anguish-laden mess. The kind of mess that takes your breath away, like staring out over a city late at night and having it hit you in the chest that you'll never really be able to loose yourself in someone, that love fades, honor rusts, visions curdle, dreams evaporate... Entropy has the last laugh... It's the kind of album that reminds you that we are ultimately finite and useless creatures... at least, that's what I take from it.
It's not the kind of album I can write to- to demanding, the music forces you to listen. Nor can I run or work out to it. It just sucks out your energy like some demonic sci-fi machine... I don't like `Strong,' so much... and `treacherous thing,' seemed a tad out of place too... this is a definitely a less is more scenario. Especially as most of these songs are long and lustrous (most over 5 minutes). There's much piano, tons of eerie violin and sad, sombre clean-tone guitar. The mood is a bit uneven, bit that works well to the album's advantage.
Oh, don't expect this to sound like a 'Come,' album- it just don't. There are many standout tracks and great moments. I really dig the hell out of the L. Cohen cover (Dance Me to the End of Love)- a sweet piano opening and the way it just boils away into some gypsy dance of pure lush abandonment at the end, wow. `10th Lament,' is a gorgeous instrumental piece. The cover of Luiz Bonfa's 'Manha de Carnaval,' is spellbinding and made me track down the original, it's a phenomenal closer, it calls to mind the song "masquerade,' from the 50's or 60's film of the same name. The centerpiece and the album's strongest song- a cover of Gary Gogel's (who the hell is Gary Gogel?!?!?!! I googled him awhile back and didn't come up with anything substantial- if this song is any indication, he's got some great music!) 1926- A song that just slays me ever time I hear it. The end, portion, the "God hates me, he can't feel my flesh..." Fantastic. You don't hear sentiments like that expressed so economically and poetically in this world we have inherited...
Now, I'm inclined to agree with Mr. Carragher (below), but only up to a point. This album does drain you. But in a good way. It's a great; lying on your bed, staring at your ceiling music. Maybe I'm getting old, but I don't have it in me to do that so much anymore. All in all, I'm glad I picked this up, always dug Come. It's good to hear Ms. Zedek putting out the good ish. Can't wait for more.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Setting The Standard for 21st Century Blues 3 Aug 2001
By Sam White - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
True, I'm a biased reviewer. Come is hands down my favorite band of all time. When news came that they had finally (after more than a decade of genius in a critical and commercial vacuum) called it quits, I was heartbroken. My sadness was lifted upon hearing this album. It is, without a doubt, of true artistic and musical importance. Zedek has resurrected my faith in American art with her solo album. Hauntingly low-key and without a power cord in sight, she has surpassed all of the Come albums in terms of emotion and musical resonance. While her lyrics still get stuck in sometimes dense referential depression, this album marks a turning point in her maturation as a truly Great (capitalization needed) writer. Her voice has grown in power nearly as much as her skills at penning heartbreaking lyrics. Her raspy, smoke-filled yearning are stirring...to say the least. When I got my copy, I listened to the album three times in a row. After countless rotations I am still getting lost in the true beauty of the harmonies and the over-all production. The songs ebb and flow from stark raspy downers to full-blown rhapsodic waltzes. Far removed from her punk roots, Zedek has emerged as one of the strongest voices in American blues. Of special importance is her incredible cover of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End Of Love." Zedek's songwriting is something special, mysterious and instantly listenable. Please, anyone reading this, do yourself a favor and pick up this album. Zedek never disappoints.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
An Affair to Remember 26 Feb 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A friend of mine bought me this CD for my birthday. He knew I like Leonard Cohen a lot, so he ended up picking Been Here and Gone because it happened to include a cover of Dance Me to the End of Love.
Been Here and Gone is nothing short of amazing - I went from never even having heard of Thalia Zedek and firmly believeing no one could really do a Leonard Cohen song justice except Cohen himself, to being mesmerized by Zedek's voice and wishing she would record an entire album of Cohen covers. (I could see her doing almost any song of his, like, say, Ain't No Cure for Love, Bird on a Wire or Coming Back to You. But I digress.)
The songs she wrote herself are stunning as well, as are 1926 and Manha de Carnaval.
My only complaint is that on track 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9, I feel the vocals are often obscured by the instruments. Don't get me wrong; I love the arrangements, and the musicians all sound great, but I think I would have liked the end result even better if the tracks had been mixed so that the instruments complement Zedek's voice rather than compete with (and sometimes overpower) it.
Other than that, I can't say enough good things about this album. I don't think I'll grow tired of listening to it any time soon, if ever.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Not Convinced 5 Sep 2002
By James Carragher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
First of all, hide the quaaludes before you play this CD. It is close to four stars and maybe, as with Giant Sand's CD Chore of Enchantment, I'll pull it out of the rack in a year's time and be blown away by it. For now, however, and after repeated listenings, it is frequently haunting and powerful (three consecutive cuts, Treacherous Thing, Dance Me to the End of Love, 1926, leave me drained each time I listen to them), but falls short of greatness. A big problem is that Zedek doesn't know when to end a song and two or three cuts in the last half of the CD run a good couple of minutes longer than they need to. The instrumental 10th Lament is particularly pointless. Also her own songs do not match the covers she's chosen, no surprise when you record the likes of Leonard Cohen. Still, if in her future she has an album full of songs like Excommunications and Treacherous Thing, that will be something to anticipate. Here and now, though, On Been Here and Gone, the three covers -- Dance Me to the End of Love, Manha de Carnaval, and most especially 1926 -- are what kept the CD on my personal playlist for a long time. The final refrain of 1926 "your God hates me/he can't feel my flesh/he leaves me panting like a dog/at the edge of your bed" is as stunning a lyric of obsessed love as I've heard in a long, long time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The best record of 2001? 23 Aug 2001
By pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Well, this is simply a great record. I have been interested in what Thalia has been doing since Live Skull, and was very nearly obsessed with Come (the best band of the 90's). So I heard that Thalia had a new record out, a solo one at that, and I was curious. If you are at all interested in genuine, compelling music, with some of the most soulfull singing in rock music, you will not be disappointed. I consider this an indespensible record to anyone who has ears. Do yourself a favor and buy one for yourself, and one for a friend.
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