Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Peter Case's Geffen Records Coming to iTunes...

I recently got an e-mail alert from his website that Peter Case's self titled debut album is now available on iTunes. This is a great deal since it's currently out of print and will cost you just short of $50 for it used. You've heard me rant on and on about how incredible this album is and how acrimonious Pete's departure was from Geffen. We all know how much of an assface David Geffen is, so there's no need to go into all that. The good news is that somehow, the two parties have come to an agreement of sorts and 'The Man with the Blue Guitar' is close to follow. If you don't have it, BUY IT NOW!

Along with the e-mail was a Rolling Stone Magazine review of Pete's self titled debut by David Wild that I thought was spot on...

As the leader of L.A.'s Plimsouls, Peter Case seemed like just another West Coast hook recycler whose band got signed to a major label during the post-Knack power-pop blitz. But even back then there was reason to believe that Case was capable of more; the most notable evidence of this was "A Million Miles Away," a melodic, romantic rocker of heartbreaking urgency. But Peter Case delivers far more than even the Plimsouls' finest moment ever promised. This album is not just an unusually strong solo debut, it's a pull-out-the-stops masterpiece, an Americanized Imperial Bedroom.

Backed by an eccentric cast of California players, including Roger McGuinn, Van Dyke Parks, John Hiatt, Mike Campbell and Jim Keltner, Case has crafted a stunning song cycle about (as he puts it in his stream-of-consciousness liner notes) "sin and salvation." Like the best work of the Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival, Case's artfully constructed back-roads narratives have a mysterious, timeless quality. There's also a pervasive wistfulness to Case's songs that's reminiscent of the Byrds. This isn't meant to suggest that Case is any sort of revivalist. If this album proves anything, it's that he has made the big jump and hit upon a powerful sound of his own.

The strength of a song like "Small Town Spree" is the poetic restraint with which Case recounts an acquaintance's apparently murderous indiscretions. Producer T-Bone Burnett (the bornagain hipster who, for a mere mortal, is becoming pretty damn omnipresent behind the boards) frames the song with a delicate orchestral arrangement, just one example of his sympathetic work here. Even more enigmatic is "Walk in the Woods," a haunting, folkie number in which Case trails a number of characters who head off for a stroll only to be claimed by some unnamed fate.

From the ominous lyrical tone, you'd think Peter Case would be pretty bleak going, but the record's harmonica-laden swamp sound and Case's impassioned vocals provide an uplifting musical balance to the pervasively downbeat subject matter. And ultimately what's more depressing is that there aren't more records as good as this melancholy gem. (RS 482)

5 Comments:

At 10:08 AM, April 03, 2008, Blogger Mother Goldstein said...

Thats some good news...Mr. Case needs to be more accessible to the people!

 
At 2:21 PM, April 03, 2008, Blogger Tony Alva said...

HUGH!!! Man, have we missed you. Gonna be around for awhile?

 
At 2:56 AM, April 05, 2008, Blogger Jackson said...

Everything you've ever played me by Peter Case is very good, but none of it, not even '...Blue Guitar', the follow up to the debut and the last Geffen record )I believe), match the immediate response one get's from this one. That record had me at go. I own it on vinyl. It brings back such great memories. Those were great years, for us, and for music.

Geffen is an assface. Reading Neil Youngs bio 'Shakey' shone a light on that cretin of the music biz. Mr. Geffen is soley responsible for the inexplicable and unnacessable records Neil put out in the early to mid eighties. When you push Neil for a hit record you get The Shocking Pinks. Leave him alone and you'll get the hit record you wanted. Geffen could not wrap his head around that.

Geffen started his label on the strength of three signings. Neil, Elton, and Gabriel. Elton was in sad shape at the time, Neil became reclusive, and Gabriel took forever, spending a shitload of money making 'So'. Geffen nearly had a breakdown. 'So' saved his ass.

 
At 5:03 PM, April 07, 2008, Blogger SpecialK said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I am a Plimsouls fan by way of the movie Valley Girl, circa 1983. And no disparaging comments about that movie either, people. It goes down as one of my all-time favorites -- like totally.

 
At 2:51 PM, April 08, 2008, Blogger Tony Alva said...

SpecialK: "Is this movie in 3-D?" "No, but your face is!"

 

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