Includes Rose of Jericho, Dream of a Sleeping Sheep, I Could Be Lost, It's Not My World, You Know What It Is, Frozen Mile, Strung Up and/or Out, North of Wasteland, It's All a Game, Trouble, There's This Thing, Daedalus,... more » and Angels Spread Your Wings. From 1991. 13 tracks. 2001 reissue.« less
Includes Rose of Jericho, Dream of a Sleeping Sheep, I Could Be Lost, It's Not My World, You Know What It Is, Frozen Mile, Strung Up and/or Out, North of Wasteland, It's All a Game, Trouble, There's This Thing, Daedalus, and Angels Spread Your Wings. From 1991. 13 tracks. 2001 reissue.
"In May of 1990, I was given free tickets to go to the Metro in Chicago to see a double bill. Some new, unsigned band called The Smashing Pumpkins was opening for a band called Eleventh Dream Day. Both bands were great, but that night while I liked the Pumpkins, I was utterly stunned by EDD. They instantly became one of my favorite bands, and have remained so ever since. In my opinion (and many other Chicago music fans who spend a lot of time in the Chicago club scene agree), the best alternative band our city has ever produced is Eleventh Dream Day, and not the Pumpkins or Urge Overkill or any other band. Over the years, I have seen them play over 20 times, and that opinion has been reenforced over and over.The story of Eleventh Dream Day is short and not quite sweet. Signed to a major label, they wowed audiences wherever they played, gathered armfuls of ecstatic critical reviews, and failed to get promoted by their label. Critical successes, but commerical failures. They produced three extraordinary albums for Atlantic records: BEET, LIVED TO TELL, and EL MOODIO, all of them, until recently, tragically out of print. Now, thankfully, the first two of these are rereleased.BEET and LIVED TO TELL features the original line up of Eleventh Dream Day: Rick Rizzo on guitar and vocals; Janet Beveridge Bean on drums and vocals; Baird Figi on second lead guitar; and Doug MacCombs on bass. One of the joys of EDD concerts in 1990-1992 was the incredible guitar interplay of Rizzo and Figi. EDD wasn't just a guitar band, but they were at least that. Rizzo is a superb trashy, grungy guitarist, while Figi was more controlled and precise. Rizzo tended to lay the foundation for each song, while Figi embellished them. They complemented each other magnificiently. Rizzo is more or less the heart of the band, providing most of the lead vocals, writing most of the songs, and much of the lead guitar work. Bean (Rizzo and Bean were married until the late 1990s, though they still perform together), who is also one of the leaders of the band Freakwater, is possibly the best female drummer in alternative rock, and is also an excellent vocalist and songwriter as well. Doug MacCombs, one of the mainstays of the Chicago music scene and who was one of the co-founders of the instrumental band Tortoise, provided first rate bass.LIVED TO TELL is my favorite EDD album. There is scarcely a weak track on the album. "Rose of Jericho" got a bit of airplay when the album was released. "Dream of Sleeping Sheep" is a great example of how well Rizzo and Figi worked together (as is "Frozen Mile," in which Figi provided not guitar so much as a series of sound effects), with Figi laying down a great slide guitar track around which Rizzo would improvise. "It's Not My World (Anymore)" is one of my favorite EDD songs, a bit slower, but provides some breaks for some great guitar work. But really, every song on this album is a gem. EDD didn't achieve great financial success. Baird Figi left the band after LIVED TO TELL. A number of individuals have filled that fourth slot, and sometimes they have performed as a trio (sometimes Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo has sat in awesomely as the second lead, though he and Rizzo are so similar they don't work quite as well together as Rizzo and Figi did, who were quite different and therefore brought very different elements to the music). The good news is that over the years they have managed to turn out a succession of very good independent label albums. They don't perform often any longer, but I always make sure I catch them when they do. Usually, they perform songs from their more recent albums, as in May when I saw them perform, but earlier this month I caught them at the Abbey Pub in Chicago, where, perhaps because of the rerelease of LIVED TO TELL and BEET, they played one song after another off these two incredible albums. I had forgotten how magnificent these songs were live, and I had forgotten how exciting these guys are playing them. So, my advice, if you love awesome alternative music, is to get both these albums, now that they are available again. And if you are in Chicago, and see that they are playing, see them. It will definitely be one of the best concert experiences you will ever have."
Heinously underrated band
wordtron | New York, NY USA | 03/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Just about any review you come across of Eleventh Dream Day will invariably mention how underrated they are, and, well, I just want to add to that chorus. Simply put, they're one of the most rockinest bands out there. Especially on this album, every instrument -- drums, bass, electric guitar -- is turned up to eleven, and then played with immense skill, talent, creativity, melodicism, and passion. Which right there I guess explains their continued obscurity. But thank god their lack of album sales hasn't prevented them from getting together aperiodically to record one gem after another. With female and male vocals very much like legendary LA band X, and a guitar attack like Neil Young squared, these are just brilliant, honest, hard rocking songs. Their subsequent albums on the Thrill Jockey label exhibit a greater range and craft and experimentalism, but they still rock harder (without being metal-ish or glam) than just about any band in existence, past and present. Keep on keepin' on, EDD."
From a Kentucky tobacco barn
John L Murphy | Los Angeles | 01/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As my review of their reissued debut full-length, Prairie School Freakout, explains, I like more Janet Beveridge Bean's vocal variety that offsets her husband Rick Rizzo's Neil Young tortured epic guitar workouts. But both are necessary for the complex approach that widens the path taken by college-rock bands of this era, that neither apes country twang or falls into workmanlike guitar rock. The tension of this combination makes this band memorable. Baird Figi on this his last album with the band makes his presence missed. Douglas McCombs matches Bean's drumming with an insistent and inventive bass. The album, produced by Wink O'Bannon (who'd fill in on second guitar on the next LP, El Moodio-- their last for major A&M), is credited from a studio in a tobacco barn in Kentucky. It sounds magnificent. Lyrics, most often than not, remain as before and after for this band both smart and thought-provoking.
Not every song is equally successful, and the slower ones either are lovely or sludgy. This happens on all EDD albums, yet they remain records that reward many repeated listenings over the years. Probably only Yo La Tengo surpasses EDD's quality here. The half of this album that works truly dazzles. Heard on headphones, the "amp buzz" that on their debut LP thwarted the band's attempts at pure sound here becomes integral to the band's antsy, restless, ticked off attitude. The music and the lyrics twist and wrangle. The instruments almost hiss with emotion. Hear this, and remember when the best of American indie rock conveyed literacy, a range of representative moods that span sorrow and joy, and a determination to remain true to one's aesthetic vision rather than eagerly selling out. This band in fact endured, and still crafts solid and thoughtful music today.
EDD after being dropped post-Nirvana by A&M continues on Thrill Jockey with more electronically layered approaches that mingle with their earlier guitar-heavy, somewhat proto-alt-country mixed with post-punk pioneering phase. This phase is heard to excellent effect here. As I said, the pace is uneven, but the peaks here are worth climbing over and over, and even the valleys are worth the return trip. A class act."
GOOD MUSIC, HORRIBLE SOUND / RECORDING
XAVIER BELLĂ?S | 05/16/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I HAVE COLLECTOR'S 2001 EDITION IN MY HI-FI. THE SOUND IS HORRIBLE, LOOKS LIKE A BAD MP3 RECORDING ... I HAVE A QUITE EXPENSIVE HI-FI SO THE PROBLEM IS THE CD, THE REMASTERING OF COLL. ED., SIMPLY A DISASTER ..."