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Black Sheep Boy [Definitive Edition]

Price: £9.91 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Image of album by Okkervil River


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"The goal was to push my brain to places it didn't want to go. The idea was to not have any idea – to keep myself confused about what I was doing," frontman Will Sheff says about Okkervil River's newest album. "I produced it myself so that I could extend the songwriting process all the way through to the very last second of recording, so the songs would never ... Read more in Amazon's Okkervil River Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Black Sheep Boy [Definitive Edition] + The Stage Names + Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See
Price For All Three: £33.01

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 Mar 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B000MRA6K0
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,498 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Black Sheep Boy
2. For Real
3. In A Radio Song
4. Black
5. Get Big
6. A King And A Queen
7. A Stone
8. The Latest Toughs
9. Song Of Our So-Called Friend
10. So Come Back, I Am Waiting
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Missing Children
2. No Key, No Plan
3. A Garden
4. Black Sheep Boy #4
5. The Next Four Months
6. Another Radio Song
7. A Forest
8. Last Love Song For Now

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mark Wilkinson on 11 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
First let me say that if I'd bought the standard edition of this record then it's possible the charm of this band would have passed me by. The main Black Sheep Boy record is a good record, but would probably have taken more listens than I'd have given it were it not for the 'appendix' as the second disc is known.

Where the main album is a grower, the appendix gives an immediate hit, beautiful songs, beautifully structured. The main album is slower, taking more effort to get into and is in my opinion a little staid and straight by comparison.

My advice is to purchase, get into the appendix first and then go to the main record itself. The main record is good, it just doesn't have the same initial pull.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Buffalohump on 8 May 2012
Format: Audio CD
I had to chuckle and shake my head when I looked this record up and saw it only has 3 reviews on Amazon. Lawd, I do not know what is passing for quality music these days but if THIS record has been swept under the carpet in favour of Adele or some such toe jam then we are in serious trouble. In over 20 years of listening to and enjoying independent music, I regard BSB as being one of the best if not the ALL TIME best record I have ever heard. I first purchased this shortly after it came out and it is one of the few records I have not grown tired of despite the dozens of times I have heard it.

The reason for this, as any fule kno, is Sheff's remarkable songwriting ability. The man is purely a genius, no need to mince words. A King and a Queen, A Stone and A Glow are possibly the finest examples of his writing ability. Each song unwinds with perfect precision as a prose poem and it never ceases to amaze me how perfectly the words fit the music and vice versa. There is nothing predictable, cliched or fake about this music. It is direct from the heart.

And then there is William Schaff's incredible artwork that adorns the CD. It's simply mind-boggling. I liked this CD so much I bought it twice, having purchased the original CD and then having recently received the Definitive Edition as a birthday gift. I am tremendously excited to get to know the new (to me) songs. Purchase this gem now and prepare to become a life-long slave to it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stalker VINE VOICE on 17 July 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Such passion. Such furious anger. Such pain and heartache. Ending with sad resignation as all such things must or they'll drive you crazy. A genuinely progressive modern concept album but don't let that put you off.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark on 7 Jun 2007
Format: Audio CD
For anyone who came to Okkervil River through the quiet country warmth of Don't Fall In Love With Everyone You See or its more expansive and ambitious younger brother Down The River Of Golden Dreams, Black Sheep Boy is going to be a surprise. The gentle cover of Tim Hardin's Black Sheep Boy is a wonderful, if misleading, introduction, setting the scene for the titular tragic and violent anti-hero who will unfold over the course of the album. It is only when the muted guitar chords and the lingering menace in Sheff's voice give way to a vitriolic and barely controlled outburst on For Real that the truth becomes evident; Will Sheff is angry and he has carried Okkervil River perilously close to some dark corner of his psyche.

Never has Okkervil River's self-imposed tag of folk/punk rock been so apt than on this record. Yet no combination of those genres is expansive, ambitious or cinematic enough to incorporate Black Sheep Boy without the danger of being eaten alive by Sheff's creation. This album is a monster but, like its protagonist, it is one capable of extraordinary tenderness. This is most apparent on the astounding In A Radio Song, Get Big and the incredibly touching King And A Queen. These songs provide an emotional and empathetic centre to the record, counteracting the violent nature of For Real and opening the listener up to the Jekyll and Hyde nature of the Black Sheep Boy. It becomes apparent on songs such as Song Of Our So-Called Friend and Black that it is rejection and cruelty that are responsible for its violence and anger, especially on Black where he viciously wishes harm on the man who abused the object of his affections as a child.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A Creature All Its Own 6 July 2007
By J. Smith - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Okkervil River is one of those rare bands that came on the scene like a crippled child in a street race, tons of ambition and heart in a limping fragile frame. With each reappearance their stamina shines through however, as every album they release is an exponential improvement over the last. With Black Sheep Boy they have, not only come to full maturity as a band, but have grown into a powerful creature of immense musical talent aswell. They are without a doubt miles ahead of their competition. On par with bands such as The National, Arcade Fire, and The Decemberists, as far as talent and personal voice, if not also in style (Think: The child of The National and The Decemberists trapped inside of a very troubling dream).

The Album does not stick to a single genre, sometimes it's alt-county, sometimes it's straight up rock, but it's always musically inspired and rewarding to listen to. But the part that makes this an excellent Album, rather than a collection of songs, is the epic scope of the story it contains.

The songs collect the thoughts and experiences of a true struggle with evil. The physical turmoil of a rotten relationship, the very real vices and temptations of humanity, the sickly excitement and victories that evil enjoys, all of these things are brought together to form the black sheep boy, the devil inside us all. The story is extremely personal, and Okkervil River's great strength is the injection of emotion into every line, and every note of the songs. But even for an album completely covered with the struggle with evil, it never gets bogged down in the darkness, and is more often triumphant in it's victories over the enemy. I'm always overjoyed with the pitiful pleas of evil desires as the hero turns his back on the empty promises and lies and moves on to a better life.

Add to all of this, the fact that it now comes packaged with The Black Sheep Boy's Appendix, for almost no extra cost, and you have a definitive product indeed. The Appendix is an EP that was released several months after Black Sheep Boy. However, it is seriously one of the best mini-albums I've ever heard. From start to finish the songs segue like a masterpiece stage act. Floating from song to song, remembering themes and images from itself and Black Sheep Boy propper, it finalizes the story and musical arc of Black Sheep Boy. It contains several songs that are even more beautiful and grander than the songs on the album itself. Check out 'Another Radio Song' to find the best song Okkervil River has recorded to date, in my opinion.

This is a must have for any fan of adventurous albums with emotion, talent, and character. I have listened to it at least once a week for the past year and a half. Give it a try.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
DrD 9 July 2009
By Dr D - Published on
Format: Audio CD
F***in awesome!
I crave this album. Been obsessed with Okkervil River for about a year now and feel more passionately about them now than I did when I started. Great poetry. Rockin, dance-worthy music. My mom and boyfriend are also in love with them.
Great on vinyl 21 Nov 2013
By Jesse Rose - Published on
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I had this album on mp3 already, but bought it on vinyl for my collection. I love this album. The opening song is one my father used to play on his guitar at gatherings of friends when I was a kid, so it has a soft spot in my heart. The rest of the songs are originals. This band is a unique sound & I absolutely love them. The records themselves are in great shape, with no skips whatsoever & a warm sound. Very glad I bought this.
I love this album 23 Sep 2011
By H. Wexler - Published on
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
If you like feeling something when you listen to music, this album is for you (unless you were planning on feeling happy, in that case please listen to something else). There's just something about the rawness of the lead singers voice and the simple melodys that the guitar wails by with. This album is even better on vinyl (not to be one of those snobs) the way the music randomly pops or has minor changes in speed add to the sheer random distortion (hopelessness?) of the album and in particular, the song For Real.

Even if you have the mp3. Buy it on vinyl, dammit!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Very Solid 11 April 2014
By Martin - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
There isn't a particualar standout song, but the album as a whole is very cohesive and excellent. I have a few minor gripes, for example I don't think "For Real" lived up to the potential it had, but this album still deserves 5/5. There are many repeating themes, and there seems to be a story in album, but I haven't focused on the lyrics enough to put it together.
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