Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Pearls Before Swine|
These Things Too
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classical, Classic Rock
Pearls Before Swine's third album (and their first for Reprise) was originally released in 1969. Dreamy psychedelia, organic American folk songs, political and social utopias, personal brokenness and transformation, co... more »
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Pearls Before Swine's third album (and their first for Reprise) was originally released in 1969. Dreamy psychedelia, organic American folk songs, political and social utopias, personal brokenness and transformation, country-rock, and pure beatific vision are the elements that create Tom Rapp's sonic architecture here. 14 tracks including 'I Shall Be Released' co-written with Bob Dylan. Water. 2003.
Those beautiful pearls
taoman | Los Angeles | 07/05/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the one that got me hooked on PBS way back in 1969. I was then able to find the first ones in the discount bin, since PBS never made a dent in the U.S. charts to my knowledge. But there was nothing like them then, and nothing like them now. Tom Rapp succeeded in putting poetry and music together in a way many artists only attempted to do. For some, either the words (oh so precious) or music (lousy arrangements) would embarrass you, but not so with PBS. They had an original sound that somehow does not sound dated on this CD and the following 2 or 3. There is a sadness and melancholy to most of Tom's songs, but for me, it's not depressing due to the perspective inherent in the lyrics, and the beauty of the whole. His next album would be his masterpiece ("Use of Ashes") but this one is not far behind. If you missed them before, don't miss them now. Or to put it another way: "Hey, what's that at your feet? Looks kinda like jewelry. What will ya do with it?"(By the way, Amazon, "I Shall Be Released" was written by Bob Dylan and co-written by nobody.)"
You're Not Always Wrong If You're Not Always Right - Tom Rap
Peter Walenta | Long Island, New York USA | 03/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While home from college back in late 1975, another vinyl LP that I bought from the bargain bin was "These Things Too" by Pearls Before Swine. Not knowing any of the music on this record, I was intrigued by the cover which is a Bellini painting of a crucified Christ showing among other things an exposed breast. Why I bought "These Things Too", however, was mainly because the record was on the Reprise label and I had never been disappointed by any record I had listened to from the good folks at Warner Bros./Reprise. However, even for an inveterate albeit youngish rock music fan with a voracious appetite for the truly eclectic like me, "These Things Too" was a tough nut to crack. What first caught my attention was that the lead singer Tom Rapp sang with a distinctive lisp. Now that's weird sounding. Moreover, here was an entire album of quiet songs gently propelled by acoustic guitars, occasionally drizzled in strings, a celeste and banjos and all having very un-rock like melodies. The only recognizable tune was Dylan's "I Shall be Released" which I found to be nicely covered by Mr. Rapp and his band of skilled musicians. Lot's of philosophical musings too, like the verse from "The Wizard of Is". "My friend, you don't have to hold back the sea, you only have to be. "Hmmm...very existential." I said to myself. "This is getting interesting". The song about the frog and it's reprise just seemed silly, however, and after several listens I filed this one away and hopped (pun intended) onto the next obscure musical event in my journey to discover myself and the dark underbelly of semi-popular music.
It was not until I acquired the re-issued compact disc version of "These Things Too" in 2005, however, did I begin to fully appreciate it's unique coolness. Having the acquired knowledge of over 30 plus years of listening to semi-popular music, I can now attest that this album truly consists of precious but sturdy and timeless sonic jewels. As Nick Saloman wrote in his liner notes for the cd re-issue, this is an album that is not easy to "compartmentalize". Yes, it has been called moody psychedelic acid folk music, but such pigeon holing of "These Things Too" does not do it justice. Rather, take this record as a unique work of art by a highly literate and gifted songwriter that captures some of the essence of the nascent yet deep confusion that people were feeling about society, culture, religion and relationships in 1969. Unlike many musicians of the psychedelic folk-rock genre who injected their lyrics with easy answers in the form of pop psychology, Tom Rapp gives advice and makes occasional insights but he offers no easy answers about the human frailties and conditions of which he sings. He recognized that life's problems were far too complex to be solved in a song. And alas after 30 years, the "Frog in the Window" song finally made sense. It is a parody of the many sententious troubadours who used high-sounding but ultimately empty lyrics to speak to a "generation lost in space". Tom Rapp takes one on a musical journey that might speak to a new generation of listeners if said new generation is prepared to stretch their minds (and ears) a bit. Now don't be swine, folks! Tom Rapp cast his recorded pearls back in the 60's and fortunately for you and me, they're still around to take in, to meditate upon, to derive insight from and to simply enjoy. This is an essential album for anyone who is interested in capturing the authentic sound of the 1960's. 4 Stars. And yeah, get over it. 4 stars is high praise in my book. Like many who review products for Amazon, I too wrestle constantly with this restrictive rating system that the powers that be have devised and imposed. Final word...just dig "These Things Too". You won't be disappointed."