40-song retrospective spanning Burnett?s entire career of music-making. This 2-CD set is released simultaneously with The True False Identity, T Bone?s first album of new original songs since 1992. It is no coincidence t... more »hat T Bone is releasing both a retrospective and a new album on the same day. In his liner notes for Twenty Twenty, he writes "This is they way I wanted to close the book on these songs from a dead man, and open the book on the new life I am beginning after forty years of wandering in the desert."« less
40-song retrospective spanning Burnett?s entire career of music-making. This 2-CD set is released simultaneously with The True False Identity, T Bone?s first album of new original songs since 1992. It is no coincidence that T Bone is releasing both a retrospective and a new album on the same day. In his liner notes for Twenty Twenty, he writes "This is they way I wanted to close the book on these songs from a dead man, and open the book on the new life I am beginning after forty years of wandering in the desert."
"Not only has Van Morrison still not gotten the Nobel Prize, but T-Bone's Proof Through the Night and Trap Door albums aren't out on CD. Until that second faux pas is rectified, however, here's an eclectic look into his varied repertoire. It's a comment on T-Bone's prolific songwriting skill to note that most of my favorite songs didn't make the forty song cut.
Disc one starts off with "Humans from Earth" from the Wim Wender film Until the End of the World, which also appears on Criminal Under My Own Hat. "Born in Captivity" and "East of East" come from the second Alpha Band album, Spark in the Dark, with "The Dogs" from the band's first self-titled disc. "Monkey Dance", "Euromad" and "Image" come from The Talking Animals.
Songs from Truth Decay include "Hall of Mirrors" "Power of Love", "Boomerang" and "Drivin' Wheel". "River of Love" is best known in the version done by T-Bone's wife, song writer Sam Phillips on The Turning, her last album as Leslie Phillips. Trap Door was only a six song E.P. ("extended play" record) but it nevertheless contained some of T-Bone's best songs. A different album called Behind the Trap Door was released by Nick Lowe on his Demon Records label in Britain. From Trap Door here is T-Bone's talking blues take on "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," the title song "Trap Door" and "I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance".
From Proof Through the Night come "Shut it Tight" (originally the last song on the record), "Hula Hoop", "The Murder Weapon", "When the Night Falls" (covered in concert by John Hiatt) and "Hefner and Disney." What's missing? Two of my favorite T-Bone songs from Proof: "Stunned" and "The '60s". From Trap Door: "Poetry" and "Hold on Tight." The three Alpha Band albums are out as an import set, and fans will still want them as there's nothing in this collection at all from the third and best Alpha Band album, Statue Makers of Hollywood, not even "Rich Man" or "Back in My Baby's Arms". From The Talking Animals: Where's "The Wild Truth", drawn from a quote by G.K. Chesterton, or "The Strange Case of Frank Cash," a talking blues story with Tonio-K, sort of like Dylan's "Brownsville Girl" with Sam Sheppard on Knocked Out Loaded? Clearly, there are many musical gems buried and many bones yet to be unearthed.
In the liner notes T-Bone says he's been wandering in the desert for 40 years, but it seems the other way 'round. This collection is far more accessible than his new album, The True False Identity. He seems to have followed the lead of Sam Phillips who makes both accessible albums ("The Incredible Wow") and very avant garde ones (Omnipop). T-Bone can be arty and convoluted, but he can also make some very catchy roots music, and in concert he connects instantly with the audience. Most of his songs are far above standard radio pop and strong enough to be covered by other artists. At any rate, this album and not his new one, serves as the best introduction to the enigmatic and unique artist known as T-Bone Burnett."
One of the great ones
DKDC | Washington, DC USA | 05/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Oh my! I have been waiting for this cd. There was a rumor and in fact a listing for "The Tooth of the Crime" a few years back - that was supposed to be his greatest hits - or was it a soundtrack to a play he was working on? But it never was released. Too busy producing other great artists. Now it is here.
I like all of T-Bone's cds - except for Talking Animals. I have heard each of these songs in their original forms on the previous cds and vinyl. This is a great collection. The re-recordings of the Proof songs are going to be a let down if you are used to the originals, though. Be forewarned. I think they are well done - we are all just so attached to the original versions. If the original is ever released on cd, this won't be a problem at all.
My one peeve - Trap Door was not available on cd up until now - here half of the songs are available. We need the other songs!
Trap Door (EP) Track Listing ---------- Hold on Tight - not on Twenty Twenty Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend - yes I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance -yes A Ridiculous Man - not on Twenty Twenty Poetry - not on Twenty Twenty Trap Door - yes
Same goes for Proof Through the Night - there are still GREAT songs not on cd!
(edited on May 19th, and June 1 2006)"
Did T-Bone lose his masters?
T. Davis | Seattle, WA | 10/24/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Not bloody likely! He's done more work as a producer than he has as a recording artist. Yet here he butchers his own songs!
These rerecordings sound like they've been filtered through gauze. The instrumentals are muddied by heavy reverb, and they bury the vocals in many instances. Everything just seems off-kilter and out of balance.
What earthly reason could be motivating his refusal to rerelease "Proof Through the Night" and "Trap Door"? Perhaps he's waiting for most of us to tire of waiting and buy this mangled mishmash instead.
I say: No thanks!"
Representive collection marred by re-recordings
Michael C. Bennett | Chicago, IL United States | 05/16/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Although this album does a nice job picking through Burnett's career, emphasizing his better albums (Criminal Under My Own Hat and Proof Through The Night), it has to be docked a star due to the fact that Burnett tampers with some of the Proof tracks. While the liners note that some of these songs are "newly produced" by T-Bone (Jeff Eyrich was the original producer), they are more than that. On the first disc, the version of "Hula Hoop" has a new vocal, removes the Williams Brothers' backing vocals, and ends up being a sub-standard rendition of a song that was fine the first go around.
If Burnett feels the need to redo his songs, this should have been clearly indicated on the packaging. Since Proof Through The Night is not available separately on CD, I was tremendously disappointed to not get the original versions of some of these tracks.
I also think a couple more tracks could have been taken from The Talking Animals, perhaps at the expense of the nice, but not so essential tracks from The Alpha Band.
Putting aside these beefs, this album shows how Burnett's wide ranging musical interests, keen production and well-written lyrics have created a body of work that is varied yet with a very constant sensibility. It's a shame that he so rarely releases his own material."