Hollywood Town Hall Original recording remastered
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Top Customer Reviews
Hollywood Town Hall is timeless American rock music. With a standard two guitars, bass and drums line-up (save for the odd organ winding its way in and out of the arrangements), three things set the Jayhawks apart from more mortal bands. Firstly, the lead guitar is permanently driven through a fuzz pedal, giving the album a nostalgic and very American sound. Secondly, the vocal harmonies of Olson and Louris are absolutely watertight - and these aren't the ten a penny harmonies heard everywhere in music, these are something very special. Hearing the two of them play off each other is astounding, as if they'd been singing these songs together all their lives.
But the third, and most defining, characteristic of the band is the songwriting. Ten gems lie here for the taking, each one evoking pictures of the sprawling American Midwest, and the triumphs and tragedies in the lives of the people scattered across the land. An album of beautiful, intimate rock songs that deserved much more plaudits than the band received. And, because it inspired them to make the phenomenal follow-up 'Tomorrow The Green Grass', a small part of me is glad about this.
After two accomplished Indie albums in 1986 and 1989 ("The Jayhawks" and "Blue Earth"), The Jayhawks finally made everyone sit up and take notice with their stunning 1992 breakthrough Americana effort "Hollywood Town Hall". This January 2011 Legacy Edition is a remaster of that revered 3rd album and now features 5 bonus tracks (two of which are previously unreleased).
American 88697 72731 2 breaks down as follows (61:12 minutes):
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Hollywood Town Hall" released in 1992 on Def American 26829 (it finally charted in the USA in early 1993)
Tracks 11, 12 and 13 are "Leave No Gold", Keith And Quentin" and "Up Above My Head" - they first appeared on a Promo-Only 1993 Def American US CD compilation called "Scrapple" (11 was a bonus track on the European edition of the CD album, while 12 and 13 later turned up as non-album B-sides on the European and Australian CD singles for "Waiting For The Sun")
Tracks 14 and 15 are "Warm River" and Mother Trust You To Walk To The Store" - and are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Tracks 1 to 15 are all written by MARK OLSON and GARY LOURIS and produced by GEORGE DRAKOULIAS - except "Witchita" (Track 8) which is co-written with Marc Perlman and Track 14 which is a Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight cover version of "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" (1949 Gospel tune on Decca)
The 2011 2CD Legacy Edition of "Tomorrow The Green Grass" is missing 3 non-album B-sides (when there was room for them) because they're on the superlative "Music From The North Country" American Recordings 2CD/1DVD compilation from 2009 - the same applies here. There are 2 outtakes on "Music...Read more ›
I need to tell you the lead guitarist is seriously good - no over-indulgence; he just does a blistering good solo and gets out of the way. They're all good players/singers but he really stands out. None of these songs outstays their welcome and all of them retain (for me) an engaging charm and lack of pretension.
The first time you hear the album, you will think it is OK. The second time, you will start to really like a few tracks. And by about the 5th playing, some words will just stay with you, and you will fall in love with it. "Wichita" (track 8) is almost impossible to not sing along to.
By the very nature of this classic American rock, I would suggest that having too many albums like this in your collection is not a good idea. It is a 4 piece line up, with clear, catchy rhythms and melodies, and there are lots of bands that do that - BUT, the Jayhawks do it as well as anyone I know, so if you are going to have at least one, very solid, American County Rock album in your collection: Get this one. Its great.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this album more than 20 years ago when it was first released.
I bought this edition for the bonus material. Read more
Wonderful. Good condition and plays well. My new old group.Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
Picked this up as a preamble to seeing the Jayhawks this summer, but prefer the later Gary Louris-penned material on 'Rainy Day Music', 'Sound of Lies' and 'Smile', in truth. Read morePublished 23 months ago by P. Holden
I picked up "Tomorrow the Green Grass" quite a few years back because, (a) I was trying to explore as much alt-country as possible, and, (b) it was cheap - well I can't actually... Read morePublished on 23 Jun. 2011 by Dangerous Dave
They're just an excellent, not so known, americana band, what can I say... This albums has some precious songs to it.Published on 7 April 2010 by Christopher B
A very good album but no stand out songs-it reminds me of a a jazzed up Grateful Dead.Buy the latter before this albumPublished on 30 Sept. 2009 by Ms. J. Pleydell-bouverie
Very good album, far better than the latter The Grass Is Green and possibly the best the Jayhawks ever came up with. Read morePublished on 18 May 2006 by M. Coey
This is undoubtedly one of the finest Alt.Country/Americana albums of the last 20 years. Extremely catchy songwriting coupled with the distinct vocals and harmonies that are the... Read morePublished on 9 Feb. 2006 by Chopper