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Before...But Longer CD

Price: £8.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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£8.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Before...But Longer + The Ugly People Vs The Beautiful People + Goodbye
Price For All Three: £26.42

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Jun. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Bella Union
  • ASIN: B00004SD4M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,280 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Song Title Time Price
  1. Val 5:09Album Only
  2. Concentrate 4:45Album Only
  3. Get Used to It 3:40Album Only
  4. Any Younger 4:49Album Only
  5. Gangrene 5:09Album Only
  6. Stay 5:11Album Only
  7. Dave's Dream 3:48Album Only
  8. What I Can Do for You 5:41Album Only
  9. Zippermouth 6:54Album Only
10. Pressure 4:34Album Only
11. Leavin' On Your Mind 3:28Album Only

Product Description


Given that Denver-based five-piece the Czars are so deeply marked by a sense of good taste and musical adventure, it makes great sense that they should have been signed to a label founded by Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie of the Cocteau Twins. The voice of singer John William Grant is an exceptionally moving cross between Michael Stipe and American Music Club's Mark Eitzel, possessed of an innocence and clarity not often heard since the Sixties and psychedelic folk--or at least since Michael Murphey. It's only later that the class of the backing is noticed--a commendably restrained mix of acoustic folk and heavily distorted rock, its pace and tone altering artfully to create atmospheres that can be gloomy, oceanic or genuinely fierce. Haunting, touching, and truly distinguished, Before... But Longer is a must for fans of both Red House Painters and Tim Buckley. --Dominic Wills

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Mar. 2005
Format: Audio CD
As soon as I heard the Czars music I was hooked. It's certainly not completely mainstream but has enough beautiful hooks to be immediately enjoyable. Some songs (Stay, Any Younger) have quirky middle eight pieces that (almost) detract from the direction but I have little trouble forgiving them for these detours.
My personal favourite on this album is Val for it's wonderful build up and vocal harmony.
It's worth mentioning that the singer's voice is the best I have heard and he seems to pull of some simple but moving tricks with it that tend to make the songs for me. If you like his voice you'll want to buy all the Czars albums immediately.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ordered the CD before I went on holiday, three weeks, and it was safe and sound in my letterbox on our return.
Better still I was able to download whilst away and enjoy a whole three weeks of bonus pleasure.
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6 of 20 people found the following review helpful By elmz@cpb.nl on 7 Nov. 2001
Format: Audio CD
The Czars have just released a new album. If you like their new album, you should definitely check out this one. Before Beut Longer is a masterpiece. Beautiful alt-country !! Just listen to the first song, Val, and you know what I'm talking about. The new Czars cd is a great album, this is their masterpiece !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
quiet surprise 21 April 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I recently moved from California to Colorado. All of a sudden, I was stuck in the middle of the most beautiful country I had ever seen.
But there aren't many record stores to speak of. Well, at least none worth mentioning. It became very frustrating to me to be surrounded by so much beauty, but I couldn't buy new music to compliment it. Darn.
So I take a trip to Denver. Enter fabulous record stores, and enter the Czars. I picked up this CD after seeing a positively inspiring live set.
It's a subtle little nugget of quiet melodies and textures. Unlike their live show which builds on layers of guitar and a relaxed, jam-like atmosphere, 'Before, But Longer' is a confident, well planed album. It doesn't have to get gimmicky or loud to make it's point. It lays down simple, insanely catchy melodies. Adds some nice harmonies, but stays away from adding much else. It's warm and expansive... much like the beautiful scenery I mentioned earlier.
'Before But Longer' is perfect with tea and toast. Or even a spiked lemonade. But it's also great with a beer and a burger. An accomplished album. Highly reccomended for all you folks who like Tarnation, Low, Cocteau Twins, Wilco, and... dare i say it, Badly Drawn Boy. Yup.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
What It Can Do For You 12 Sept. 2005
By Radio Saturday - Published on Amazon.com
My dad introduced me to the Czars a year or so ago, and they just blew me away. The combination of alt. country with John Grant's beautiful, unreal voice is incredible, a miracle of modern music. Unfortunately, not every track on this album is quite what it should be.

Some of them, like "Val," "Get Used to It," "What I Can Do For You" and "Leavin' on Your Mind," are wonderful, showcasing Mr. Grant's voice to its fullest, most ethereally down-to-earth advantage. But others - "Gangrene" is a pretty good example - are trying to be some kind of screaming rock music, and that is not the best genre for the Czars. Mr. Grant's voice was made to croon or whisper or sing sweetly into your ear, but not to shout.

That's not to say that this isn't a good album, and a nice introduction to the Czar's work. The album as a whole is a good example of alt. country (for lack of a better genre title for this multi-talented band) at its best. I reccomend it heartily.
John Grant is brilliant 5 July 2013
By Dog Friendly - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I got hooked on John Grant's voice on one of his solo albums. I've bought everything he's recorded including all the albums where he was lead singer for The Czars. The two solo albums are the best but the albums with The Czars are good also.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Moody, tuneful, coutry tinged pop 6 Feb. 2001
By Piper - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
With the (now defunct) Cocteau Twins' September Sound studio at their disposal, and Simon Raymonde producing, mixing, and adding "additional sound and vision", something interesting was bound to come of this new Czars album. And it is an interesting, eclectic collection of songs. Overall, the album plays through as moody, tuneful, somewhat country tinged pop; very much along the lines of what Mojave 3 have been doing over their past few albums. Where the Czars differ from Mojave 3 is in their willingness to turn a song over and experiment with it a little instead of just writing sweet pop melodies.
The most unique thing the Czars have going for them is singer/songwriter John Grant. Grant has one of those great gifts of a voice. His voice has incredible power, sometimes sounding like Dominic Appleton of Breathless, drawing out phrases like on the song "any younger", or at other times like Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk and the first This Mortal Coil album. At other times, Grant sings so sweet and mellifluously it reminded me of honey-voiced folk singer Jonathan Edwards, especially on "val", "stay" and "pressure". Still, at other times his voice reminds me of Mark Hollis (late Talk Talk and his self titled album) in its honest searching for the one note to finally land on which is most emotionally true and vulnerable.
I gave the album 4 stars because there are some beautiful songs here, a great production, and a rich sound. Its an album that really grows on you over repeated listenings. What weakens the album for me is the country stylings (I simply can't stand country music) on some of the songs. Somehow it is less annoying when Mojave 3 does it, maybe because they're English and they're just borrowing it, whereas the Czars are American and seem to be emulating it. I don't know; its just my personal gripe. Also, for me, they could have left the Walker/Pierce country standard, "Leavin' on Your Mind", off the end of the album. John Grant and guest vocalist Paula Fraser probably had fun recording it, but crying into my beer in some rural Texas saloon while cowboys slow dance is just not my idea of a good time. But, oh.........Grants voice; its hard to get around its beauty.
A good album; balancing between traditional and more experimental songwriting. My personal tastes would have liked it to have fallen a little more towards the experimental. Its like the Czars could be even a little more interesting than they are.
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