Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
After four blissfully stoned albums (all recorded for Reprise), 1972 seemed to be the perfect time for a Pearls Before Swine 'Best Of' LP. Rather than use previous recordings, Tom Rapp and pals entered the studio to re... more »
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After four blissfully stoned albums (all recorded for Reprise), 1972 seemed to be the perfect time for a Pearls Before Swine 'Best Of' LP. Rather than use previous recordings, Tom Rapp and pals entered the studio to re-record some PBS classics and the results become known as Familiar Songs (released here on CD for the first time). Featuring new liner notes from Tom Rapp on the origins of these 1972 recording sessions that are ''like that disturbing yearbook picture of you that you now see through a haze of nostalgia and good will''. 10 tracks. Water. 2003.
Oooh what a stinker..
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I reluctantly write this review, because I love everything else Tom Rapp has put out. On this record however, beautiful songs from the past get butchered. All the mystique that made e.g.'The Use of Ashes' so special becomes undone in these remakes. It hurts most when 'Snow Queen', once so fragile, is put on a rocking horse. The best thing about 'Familiar Songs' is the cover art, which led one to hope for another purse of pearls. Unfortunately, the music sits like an alien hybrid in the jacket - this album should've been called 'Familiar Jacket'. Tom's liner notes explain a lot, and I'm very appreciative of his decision to give the 'go ahead' on the re-release of this tainted album: it's such a notoriously twisted affair it had to see the light of day again sooner or later. So, with all due respect: for completists only - and I'm one of them."
Not a classic, but contains a classic
coop1821 | Texas | 03/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As many reviews have noted, this is not a first-rate record and it was initially issued 30 years ago without Rapp's knowledge or permission. On the other hand, it is not truly awful and there are several fine performances here. Less folky and more soft-rock than some of Rapp's or Pearls Before Swine's other records, the album nonetheless contains as its true highlight a beautiful folk rendition of Sara Teasdale's poem "I Shall Not Care," introduced by the Shakespeare song "Full Fathom Five." The melody Rapp has composed for Teasdale's brief paean to unrequited love, revenge and self-pity is melancholic and beautiful, a very nice counterpoint to the somewhat savage nature of the poem's words: in short, the melody and words blend to form a perfect sense of the tenderness and anger that merge when one loves and is not loved in return. Like Rapp's "Hopelessly Romantic" [on his "comeback" record "Journal of the Plague Year"], "I Shall Not Care" showcases a marvelous mandolin solo for the second verse which helps raise the song from effective and affecting to masterful and classic. This flawed album is worth owning, if only for that track, otherwise unavailable, as the version of "I Shall Not Care" on PBS's "One Nation Underground" is a completely different musical setting."