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Mermaid Avenue


Price: £12.67 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Mermaid Avenue + Mermaid Avenue Vol. Ii [VINYL] + England,Half English
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Product details

  • Audio CD (29 Jun. 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: IMPORT
  • ASIN: B000007NC0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 16,162 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Walt Whitman's Niece 3:53£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. California Stars 4:58£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key 4:07£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Birds And Ships (Featuring Natalie Merchant) 2:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Hoodoo Voodoo 3:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. She Came Along To Me 3:28£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. At My Window Sad And Lonely 3:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Ingrid Bergman 1:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Christ For President 2:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. I Guess I Planted 3:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. One By One 3:26£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Eisler On The Go 2:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Hesitating Beauty 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Another Man's Done Gone 1:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen15. The Unwelcome Guest 5:05£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Hit 1998 album of rare Woody Guthrie song lyrics set to original music.

Amazon.co.uk

When you first heard that Billy Bragg and Wilco were teaming up to set some Woody Guthrie lyrics to music, you knew it'd be an interesting project. But did anyone realistically think Mermaid Avenue would also wind up being one of 1998's finest albums? That's exactly what it is, a distinction it pulls off by simultaneously honouring Guthrie and blasting away any folksy expectations we might have of his music. Walking Guthrie's World War II-era lyrics into the 20th century's second, rock & roll half, Bragg and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy take turns on lead vocals, and the entire group collaborates on a sound that draws on folk- and country-rock, from Bob Dylan and the Band to Gram Parsons and Uncle Tupelo. The results are nearly flawless, ranging from yearning laments and playful children's rockers to horny ballads and brave protest songs that are not merely political but also profoundly moral. Like all of Guthrie's work, Mermaid Avenue is music to live better by. --David Cantwell

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bragg and Wilco have come up with one of the most bizarrely satisfying albums of recent years. Fans of Bragg will hardly recognise their hero as he sing Guthrie's lyrics, accompanied by Wilco. And yet it all works. Bragg has found another level for his work. From the cutely amusing Ingrid Bergman, or the saucy Walt Whitman's neice, to the social comment/politcs of She Came along to Me, Bragg is on top form. Wilco's songs are growers, and the album as a whole is a shock to the system at first and then deeply satisfying.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A. Hunter on 28 Aug. 2006
Format: Audio CD
Others have reviewed this album already.

I need not add to them.

I'll take it that 'A Music Fan' is ignorant rather than malicious when they say that 'maybe there was a reason'

Woody never record them. Yeah I'll say there was.

Go read up on the man, and see why.

Okay you didn't like the album and everyone entitled to an opinion no problem but at least get the facts right about the man.
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Format: Audio CD
Woody Guthrie passed away the year that Billy Bragg was 10 years old so its quite remarkable that he should become a leading expert on his life and times.But then Billy Bragg was not just another singer songwriter as he wrote of more important subjects than some love affair gone wrong.Same as Guthrie did really it was a more committed view of the World.
Bragg also did covers which in a sense these 2 CDs are as he was given the job by Woody Guthrie's archivist Norah Guthrie to set to music some of the lyrics he'd written in his last days.The DVD This Machine Kills Fascists has Norah Guthrie talking of the songs soome of which she describes as brilliant others the work of a man on the edge of madness
In the U K the name Woody Guthrie was never known till the Dylan era began.He never had a hit single-though his cousin Jack Guthrie did with Oklahoma Hills-and if there was anything available of his Folkways and Stinson recordings it was well hidden.Unless you knew of the Almanac Singers you were unlikely to find the name.The closest thing to a hit came from the Weavers who recorded So Long Its Been Good To Know You which they apparantly paid a few hundred dollars for the rights to record it to Guthrie
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "kipoki" on 21 May 2000
Format: Audio CD
One of the reviews of this album says that it can be depressing, this is frankly nonsense. I say this because this album is one of the best. There are no repetitive traces in this album and it never gets boring. If you like folk rock or any type of good music you will throughly enjoy this and if I were you I would pre-order a copy of the second volume now. Yes... this album is THAT good.
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Format: Audio CD
A huge Billy Bragg fan, I was quite late to come to this album of him and various collaborators performing Woody Guthrie songs, for which Bragg and the band Wilco had supplied the music. Though Bragg's talents as a composer of music are somewhat limited, he does just enough to hold the album together to make a pleasing set. My favourites are the historically quirky like "Ingrid Bergmann" and especially the sad refrain "Eisler on the go", a comment on the film composer's appearance before the House Unamerican Activities Committee, and almost certainly the only pop song about the composer of the East German national anthem - which got a lot of airplay at the Olympics in the 70s and 80s!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ian Wood, Author of 'Here's 2 Absent Fathers' on 22 Mar. 2008
Format: Audio CD
Nora Guthrie, of the Woody Guthrie Archive, first approached Billy Bragg in 1995 with the idea of him writing music for and recording some of the lyrics Woody had written after the Huntington's disease had preventing him from holding, never mind playing, his guitar. The rational behind Billy's suitability seems sensible, singer-songwriter following the folk tradition which, although English, has been passed on to him from Woody Guthrie via Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Playing the folk festivals with Woody's own apprentices such as Pete Seeger would make him familiar with Woody's history without the necessity to idolise him as some of his contemporise would.

Billy then invited Americano Rockers Wilco to join the party possibly to give the recording an authentic American voice and maybe to blur his decision to sing with an American accent. Either way they compliment Billy Bragg style and help him achieve the right feel for the songs.
The songs are of course the important thing on show here and they are worthy of pulling from the achieve, since I approached this album from the stand point of a fan of Billy Bragg's song writing I did half expect to be disappointed and was pleasantly surprised. Like Bragg's own Woody's songs embrace the out and out political, such as `I Guess I Planted' and `Christ for President', and also sociological love songs such as `She Came Along to Me'. Woody also recorded children's songs which are represented here by `Hoodoo Voodoo' and what the politically correct Bragg refers to as `Woody's Trouser Snake Songs' such as `Ingrid Bergman' of which it is a delight to her Bragg bring to life showing us the full spectrum of Woody's writing after his recording career was cut short.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn on 7 Nov. 2000
Format: Audio CD
I loved Billy Bragg's tender anger when I was growing up; I embraced Wilco's earthy, lively rock when I came to the U.S. Add to that the powerful, quirky, clever lyrics of primal folksinger Woody Guthrie and the result is delicious. Some of the previously unrecorded songs use Guthrie's words and melodies from Bragg or Wilco, so will sound very familiar.
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