A history of resistance denied by bishops, lawyers, spies...
bycause | Itasca, IL United States | 07/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an important, interesting, coherent album which is unaccountably almost unavailable. In my other, cooler life as an interviewer, I was able to ask Lu Edmonds (from the Mekons, a very talented multi-instrumentalist who also plays with the Blokes) why these albums were more-or-less out of print, and he told me he wasn't sure! By contrast with Honky Tonkin' and Fear and Whisky, So Good It Hurts seems to rely less on U.S. country music and more on English traditions of balladry. "Johnny Miner" seems to be an English folk song or protest song about the coal industry; "Robin Hood" takes some of its lyrics from one of Shelley's pro-revolutionary poems. Like most middle period Mekons albums, So Good It Hurts is tremendously a _written_ album--the lyrics are meaningful and clever, with buried allusions to a variety of political and literary matters. "Dora" for example, references (of course, I could be making a big fool of myself here, but I'm pretty sure) one of Freud's more famous female patients. Word on the street--or actually, word among music geeks who buy vinyl--has it that the liner notes to the LP are a work of art in themselves. Musically, the album is more skillful than, say, Fear and Whisky; it mixes straight-up rock tropes with folk violin, the good old punk rock, and country. One of the delights of this album is its muscial proficiency--early albums are rawer, later albums are more concerned with the conceptual, and live albums are often a matter of (granted, charming and amusing) public drunkenness. So Good It Hurts foregrounds the Mekons' solid musical skill. It's a beautiful, exciting and timeless production which could easily command a much larger audience than its availability allows it."
Why is this gem out of print?
Jennifer Barger | Falls Church, VA USA | 09/25/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's kind of amazing that this-one of the Mekons' most appealing albums-remains out of print. But it's worth seeking out for its funky, almost-reggae-ish vibe. Raucous, pub-style dance numbers like "Fantastic Voyage" keep company with a couple of treasures by dulcet-voiced Sally Timms-"Ghosts of American Astornauts" and a very unusual, chilly reading of the Rolling Stones' "Heart of Stone." A very good record by one of the most overlooked bands in the biz."
A brilliant, eclectic album - proof that the Mekons could do
Happy Harry | 12/11/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've often heard "London Calling" described as the album where the Clash proved that they could do anything. The Mekons did the same on this one; the eclectic mix of punk, country, folk, reggae, and a Rolling Stones cover sounds like it should be a mess, but it all works perfectly. The whole band is in fine form and the lyrics are as sharp and inspiring as ever. It's still a small step down from the immortal brilliance of "Fear and Whiskey," but this stands as one of the best albums in the Mekons enormous catalog.