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Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years of Pearls Before
Pearls Before Swine
Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years of Pearls Before
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (26) - Disc #1

1998 collection spanning their years with Reprise Records ('69-'71) as well as a new recording of the classic 'I Saw the World/Another Time' as well as a 1972 radio recording of 'Love/Sex'. Standard jewel case.


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CD Details

All Artists: Pearls Before Swine
Title: Constructive Melancholy: 30 Years of Pearls Before
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Birdman
Original Release Date: 8/24/1999
Release Date: 8/24/1999
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Folk Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 607287002125


Album Description
1998 collection spanning their years with Reprise Records ('69-'71) as well as a new recording of the classic 'I Saw the World/Another Time' as well as a 1972 radio recording of 'Love/Sex'. Standard jewel case.

CD Reviews

I feel like a kid again . . .
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I discovered Pearls Before Swine in 1977, quite by accident. I liked the painting on the cover and, hey, it was in my budget - 25¢! I was 13. Put the record on my parents' turntable and WOW! Such sad and strange songs, full of beauty and a haunting, fragile poetry. It sounded like an anti-war album from a man who'd seen a thousand wars. Needless to say, I was hooked, and PBS became my first (and most important) influences beyond the scope of my family, schoolfriends and little town. Found most of the Reprise albums and later, "One Nation Underground". PBS were long gone by then, and it was many years before I learned anything solid about them or their frontman, Tom Rapp. This CD, with its sterling fidelity, brings back feelings of awe and discovery I haven't felt in more than two decades. Thank you so much, Tom Rapp, for your great songs. They have really brought me pleasure through the years."
Beautiful Gems
Gavin B. | St. Louis MO | 12/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The revival of psychedelica has brought to light many criminally ignored bands of the 60's. While the Velvet Undergound were viewed a mere curiosity in the sixties, they enjoy the stature of diety in these existential times. The Grateful Dead were always around, but their second wave of popularity elevated them to a counter-cultural money machine, thanks to legions of fans who adopted a bedouin lifestyle to follow the band's tour schedule. Even Roky Erickson, the egnimatic founder of the 13th Floor Elevators, has been hailed as "brilliant" by Henry Rollins, the dungeon-master of straight edged thrash rock. In the late eighties, This Mortal Coil, a British studio ensemble, recorded a couple of eerie gothic renditions of Pearls Before Swine classics. This Mortal Coil, being almost as esoteric as Pearls Before Swine, did little to gain attention for this wonderful band. This collection of nuggets from the band's Reprise years will hopefully rescue Pearls Before Swine from oblivion and provide a long overdue legacy for the band. Tom Rapp, the leader of Pearls Before Swine, was a musical genius who's reach sometimes exceeded his grasp. He was a poet with "big ideas" about cultural icons, art, beauty, history and geopolitics. His musical arrangements were often sweeping and baroque presentations with unconventional chord progressions and unfashionable mid-tempo time signatures. His adventurous compositions often flirted with self-implosion under the weight of their ideas. There is a fine line between musical majesty and silly pretension. Tom Rapp's music resisted the temptations of self indulgence, so the music not only remains fresh, but vital in light of the renewed interest in chamber pop during the past five years.Tom Rapp's lyrics have often invited comparisons to Leonard Cohen. The Cohen comparison is flattering but Rapp's poetics conjure ornate and surrealistic imagery while Cohen's musings remained incarnate in the flesh. Both Cohen and Rapp were bards of the dark side; Cohen was the Ego and Rapp was the Id. Rapp created a sense of place with his lyrics aiming his politcal ire and cry for humanism like a midevil troubador. Vietnam was Rapp's "la peste", the plague of an entire era of young people. This Reprise retrospective of Pearls Before Swine is by no means a complete compliation of the group. It covers roughly a 4 year period from 1969 until 1972. It was a time when the orignial members of the group were dropping out and Rapp began to forge an intresting but idiosyncratic path. Like the other reviewers, I lament the fact that "One Nation Underground" and "Balaklava" were not included here. I almost docked it a star from 5 to 4 stars because of this, but the Byzantine music industry will not relinquish rights to their two first albums on the avant garde (home of the Fugs!) ESP label. The albums are available as German imports from a division of ESP. There are also two lost albums issued by the jazz label Blue Note which may never see the light of day. I am personally thankful that this 26 song compilation is out. It is an important piece of the PBS legacy.Tom Rapp left the business in 1974 and attended law school at University of Pennsylvania and worked as a civil rights attorney in Bucks county (PA) for 17 years. He recently moved to Florida where he practices law and occasionally does concert and festival appearances in the USA and Europe."
Finally, some of pbs' great songs, but we want more!
RichardinVI | St Thomas, US Virgin Islands | 09/19/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I ordered this cd when i saw it listed on amazon, not knowing what it was (a collection from pbs 1969-1973), a collection or a new disc. That's how i feel about tom rapp and pbs - there is something absolutely magical about the tunes and the approach. I've loved them ever since i heard "These Things Too" in 1969 (I was 10 yrs old w/ a hippie brother). Then I heard "Balaklava" (their masterpiece) and have been a different person since. This is a wonderful disc with many of the greatest rapp songs (snow queen, if you don't want to, the jeweler, rocket man, etc) and one new to me - instrumental - "from the movie of the same name" - beautiful! So, I love this disc. My complaint? (and reason for only 4 stars) - no "the man in the tree" - my most favorite, and i'm scared that with this out, they won't re-release "these things too" But it is a great album."