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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked lyrical masterpiece
Their first release on Elektra, before their more polished albums would receive more widespread acclaim, "The Wishing Chair" has been unfairly neglected. And it's this lack of Amazon stars which has spurred me to write this review one early Thursday morning. I guess it's understandable why this album has been overlooked; musically it's often an undistinguished affair with...
Published on 15 Jan 2004 by John Dent

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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Early days for Natalie Merchant's huge talent.
I bought this album because I really loved all of Natalie Merchant's solo work and also had gotten into 10,000 Maniacs through their MTV Unplugged cd. This is a juanty and fast paced afair with some catchy tracks - Scorpio Rising and the album's opener, "Can't Ignore the Train". Fans of the band's later work may be disappointed but its worth a listen as...
Published on 3 Oct 2000


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked lyrical masterpiece, 15 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Wishing Chair (Audio CD)
Their first release on Elektra, before their more polished albums would receive more widespread acclaim, "The Wishing Chair" has been unfairly neglected. And it's this lack of Amazon stars which has spurred me to write this review one early Thursday morning. I guess it's understandable why this album has been overlooked; musically it's often an undistinguished affair with some nice tunes marred by a cluttered production, and it is this production, along with Merchant's sometime inaudible delivery which serve to mask some of the finest lyrics ever written about some of the least promising topics in the history of popdom. Songs about the plight of native Americans, union rights for immigrants, education and class, and the attibutions of soldiers' mothers, and others about childhood, and yet others, which erm.. I'm not really sure what they're about actually. And if that may not sound a promising mix, then don't worry because Merchant imbues them with such genius that (once you've read the printed lyrics on the sleeve, and worked out what it is she's actually singing about) you'll want to rent an open-top bus and tour major conurbations parading the album before the genuflecting masses.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Folk beauty, 20 Dec 2006
By 
Mr. J. D. Barbour (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Wishing Chair (Audio CD)
This is *by far* my favourite 10,000 Maniacs album - like many others I was blown away by seeing them back in the 80s on The Tube, Natalie Merchant spinning like a whirling dervish to the soaring My Mother The War. On this album her singing is (deliberately) obscure, teasing the listener into trying to work out what she's singing about. Poetic intimations of meaning and message rather than being fed everything on a plate, as the band do on later albums (somewhat disappointingly). The tunes and arrangements are often beautiful and sometimes haunting, and you feel somehow connected to an almost lost folk history. Just wonderful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Natalie Merchant and 10,000 Maniacs, 2 Jun 2014
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Bald Kiwi (Luton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Wishing Chair (Audio CD)
I think I was originally put off by the name of the band - 10,000 Maniacs suggested a punk influence which I didn't want. However, I have now discovered Natalie Merchant, quickly recognised how wrong I'd been and I love the soft melodic material. If you haven't already discovered Natalie and her band for yourself, but love folk and soft rock, then have a listen.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clarendon, Hammersmith 1985, 14 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Wishing Chair (Audio CD)
I saw the maniacs perform in 1985 - sadly they destroyed the Clarendon to replace it with awful office blocks - the maniacs were a fabulous band that totally made up for the rubbish coming out of the US at that time - I thought Natalie must have been european because her voice was so different to the tacky madonna - it is truly beautiful. I loved the band and i wiah i could go back to that wonderful night with my mates Isaac and Esias who were there with me thinking i was crazy as i danced to the maniacs....and afterwards we took the tube back to ealing. Life.
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Early days for Natalie Merchant's huge talent., 3 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Wishing Chair (Audio CD)
I bought this album because I really loved all of Natalie Merchant's solo work and also had gotten into 10,000 Maniacs through their MTV Unplugged cd. This is a juanty and fast paced afair with some catchy tracks - Scorpio Rising and the album's opener, "Can't Ignore the Train". Fans of the band's later work may be disappointed but its worth a listen as Natalies lyrics are are honest and heartfelt as ever. I really like the track "My Mother the War", which incidently was the first track they ever played on British TV (The Tube). Overall its ok and worth getting to complete your 10.000 Manics collection but not a grat starting point.
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The Wishing Chair
The Wishing Chair by 10,000 Maniacs (Audio CD - 1989)
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