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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions CD+DVD, Colour, Box set


Price: £16.31 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions + Tooth & Nail + Must I Paint You a Picture?: The Essential Billy Bragg
Price For All Three: £33.05

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: CD+DVD, Colour, Box set
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0072X2NHQ
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,210 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Walt Whitman's Niece
2. California Stars
3. Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key
4. Birds And Ships (Feat. Natalie Merchant)
5. Hoodoo Voodoo
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Airline To Heaven
2. My Flying Saucer
3. Feed Of Man
4. Hot Rod Hotel
5. I Was Born
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Bugeye Jim
2. When The Roses Bloom Again
3. Gotta Work
4. My Thirty Thousand
5. Ought To Be Satisfied Now
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. All Aboard: Okfusgee Co., Oklahoma
2. The Homestead
3. First Stop: Pampa, Tx
4. Next Stop: California
5. Last Stop: The Big "Red" Apple
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

A box set containing three albums of songs featuring lyrics by American folk musician, Woody Guthrie and music by the English singer/songwriter and the American alternative rockers. Includes the making of documentary 'Man in the Sand' on DVD and a 48-page booklet featuring lyrics, photographs and sketches.

BBC Review

Thirty years after his death, Woody Guthrie was a distant memory when Mermaid Avenue came out in 1998. But he’s never been far away. You can hear the original Depression troubadour in the dustbowl romanticism and blue-collar unrest of every alt-country band that’s picked up a guitar – and the recession of a new century seems a good time to be remembering that. Bob Dylan has come almost full-circle, back to the folk and blues with which he first channelled Guthrie as a teenager, and Springsteen has turned out This Land is Your Land at SXSW. But nobody has picked up on Woody as effectively – or unexpectedly – as this transatlantic get-together.

Back in 98, the idea was simple: winnow out the best of the thousands of lyrics Guthrie had written without music, and turn them into songs. The first album’s success spurred Mermaid Avenue Vol. II in 2000. And this package adds in the unreleased, more-ragged final 17 tracks from the sessions (including some non-Guthrie folk standards), without dimming the charm of the original.

Wilco’s languid, dogged strumming and Jeff Tweedy’s now yearning, now rabble-rousing vocal perfectly capture the Guthrie that has seeped into every crack and crevice of Americana. But it is Billy Bragg – the one who is an anachronism, really, a banner-waving socialist in a 21st century world of indie brats and pop divas – who guards the soul of this resurrection. The Englishman can spit the word “fascists” with rare contempt, even if few listeners will feel the political charge the word once carried. But he brings a British folk lyricism, too, that deepens and sweetens the brew.

The words show Woody’s range, from inspired poetry to rhyme-free rambling. But like a time-machine Basement Tapes, the free-flowing musical clamjamfry buoys up the folk icon in a way that makes a virtue out of inconsistency. There are memorable contributions from Natalie Merchant, Eliza Carthy and Corey Harris. And at root, really, it isn’t about musical taste any more than it’s about politics. Bawdy, smart, big-hearted and mischievous, Mermaid Avenue is simply all about a personality that is rich with life.

--Ninian Dunnett

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Bretts VINE VOICE on 28 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely fantastic collection of songs - Woody Guthrie lyrics stunningly set to music by Wilco and Billy Bragg. The first two discs were originally released over a decade ago, but the third is mainly material from the vaults that never made the original releases. That third disc is is no way inferior to the others, with tracks like Jolly Banker matching theirs for fine musicianship and trenchant lyrics. There is also a DVD of an absorbing documentary about Billy Bragg's search for the essence of Guthrie across the USA. With three CDs , a DVD and very useful booklet this collection is both amazingly good value for money and a brilliant display of song writing and sensitive playing. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Richard on 24 Jun. 2012
Format: Audio CD
An ambitious project which began as a result of an accident when the daughter of Woody Guthrie (Nora)got in touch with Billy Bragg after listening to CDs of his music and invited him to set a recently discovered batch of her father's poetry which he'd never got around to adding music to.
Nora Guthrie's recording career had produced just one single (Emily's Illness) unlike her brother Arlo who began as a singer songwriter with a hit album called Alice's Restaurant before many others of mainly covers
Billy Bragg was the right man for the job as a writer of political songs.
Listen enough to these songs and first impressions are Bob Dylan as the most obvious influence.You hear snatches of Dylan songs throughout or Irish folk songs and its here that Bragg picked up on the idea of Dylan and Woody Guthrie before him using the melodies of earlier songs usually credited as "trad" before passing them off as their own work.
This set of songs lives within itself but many could have been hits in more normal times
The idea of finishing off songs by using contemporary artists to do it is a fairly recent phenomenon which began with The Lost Notebooks-Hank Williams songs finished by Bob Dylan,Jakob Dylan,Norah Jones,Jack White,Lucinda Williams,Levon Helm and Merle Haggard among the 12 artists
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mike M on 1 Jan. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can only concur fully with the other five-star review comments. I saw the original "Making of" documentary about 12 years ago and was fascinated at the time but did not follow through with a purchase. Since then I have become intimate with all the works of Woody Guthrie and to hear his songs interpreted by such a collection of talented artists is an eye-opening experience. I bought the album about a month ago and am still listening to it daily!
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By Kymmy on 10 Mar. 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
You get a lot for your money so very worth while, a good mix of songs, I am glad I bought it
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb lyrics and just what you expect from Billy Bragg and Wilco musically. Well worth a listen! Give it a try.
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By Brockster on 19 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Really loved this collaboration between Billy Bragg & Wilco. Some Natalie Merchant thrown in for good measure. Some fantastic songs, great melodies, and I can't stop listening to it.
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By Geoff Giddings on 18 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't expect such a great album - especially as we are listening to really old songs which just goes to show how Guthrie's visions hold up today. How about a tour? !
GG Seville
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