Perhaps it wasn't the coolest way to discover Loudon Wainwright iii, but now I'm glad I did. How did I discover him? I was watching the film, Knocked Up, and was fairly impressed by the song "Daughter", so I waited through the credits to see who had written it. It's only now that I realise (thanks to You Tube) that I probably saw Loudon years ago on Jasper Carrott's TV show - not that I remember it.
So I saw this cd on Amazon Marketplace for about 3 quid (including postage), and figured it was a good excuse to check out his work. My girlfriend and I took it on holiday to Canada with us (along with 11 other brand new cds), and this was the one we both enjoyed most. It's witty, pleasant and fun. Loudon has a terrific voice that is brimming with clarity, and there's a good variety of styles on here. Particular favourites are the playful "Swimming Song", the quite moving "Man Who Couldn't Cry" and "Dilated to Meet You".
The Swimming Song is my all time favourite song and this particular version [I have 3 different ones] is my favourite. I first heard of Loudon on Knocked Up. Being 17 I don't listen to older recordings other than The Beach Boys and a little Beatles cause the low sound quality irritating but once I heard The Swimming Song I just had to hear more.
The recording just adds to the charm of it all and even if I could have brand new recording I wouldn't even think about it. The Swimming Song, Bell Bottom Pants, The Man Who Couldn't Cry, Dilated to meet you [Which is just as brilliant as it sounds] and the best recoding of Lullaby [I have two] are all on here and it just goes to prove how unappreciated the old Loudo is.
Loudon has 'hit top form' again with this one! I recently purchased a copy of this classic on CD after being denied 'a listen' to my vinyl version for a period of, not less than, twenty years (due to a malfunctioning stylus). I was delighted to discover that Mr Wainwright's work had lost none of its wit and inventiveness... If he could have been bothered, he surely could have conjured up some 'big hits' in the popular music charts of the day.. but I'm glad he didn't. Listening to 'The Swimming Song' and 'The Man who Couldn't Cry', whilst lying on a couch in a darkened room, way back in 1973 was such a delight for a spotty youth like myself. I wished I could be Loudon (obviously, if at all possible, I wanted to be Richard Thompson as first choice)........
Quite simply, I love this album. The Swimming Song is one of the best summer songs ever written, Clockwork Chartruese, Down Drinking at The Bar and The Man Who Couldn't Cry etc... are among his best work.