Wednesday, 1 February 2017

"Hollywood Town Hall: Legacy Edition" by THE JAYHAWKS (2011 American/Legacy CD Reissue - Vic Anesini Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

"…It's Not Lost On Me…" 

After two accomplished Indie albums in 1986 and 1989 - "The Jayhawks" and "Blue Earth" - the JAYHAWKS finally made everyone sit up and take notice with their stunning 1992 breakthrough Americana effort - “Hollywood Town Hall".

This January 2011 reissue of "Hollywood Town Hall: Legacy Edition" by THE JAYHAWKS is an 'Expanded Edition' Remaster of that revered 3rd album and now features 5 bonus tracks (two of which are Previously Unreleased).

American 88697 72731 2 (Barcode 886977273124) breaks down as follows (61:12 minutes):

1. Waiting For The Sun
2. Crowded In The Wings
3. Clouds
4. Two Angels
5. Take Me With You (When You Go)
6. Sister Cry
7. Settled Down Like Rain
8. Wichita
9. Nevada, California
10. Martin’s Song
Tracks 1 to 10 are the album "Hollywood Town Hall" released in 1992 on Def American 26829 in the USA (it finally charted in early 1993)

Tracks 11, 12 and 13 are "Leave No Gold", "Keith And Quentin" and "Up Above My Head" – they first appeared on a Promo-Only 1993 Def American US CD compilation called "Scrapple" (11 was a bonus track on the European edition of the CD album, while 12 and 13 later turned up as non-album B-sides on the European and Australian CD singles for "Waiting For The Sun")

Tracks 14 and 15 are "Warm River" and "Mother Trust You To Walk To The Store" are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Tracks 1 to 15 are all written by MARK OLSON and GARY LOURIS and produced by GEORGE DRAKOULIAS – except "Witchita" (Track 8) which is co-written with Marc Perlman and Track 14 which is a Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Marie Knight cover version of "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" (1949 Gospel tune on Decca)

The 2011 2CD Legacy Edition of "Tomorrow The Green Grass" is missing 3 non-album B-sides (when there was room for them) because they're on the superlative "Music From The North Country" American Recordings 2CD/1DVD compilation from 2009 - the same applies here. There are 2 outtakes on the "Music From The North Country" Anthology called "Stone Cold Mess" and "Mission On 2nd" which are NOT on this issue – the band probably didn't want to duplicate what fans have already bought. It's worth mentioning that if you want a fuller picture, you'll need ‘both’ releases despite this being a supposed all-encompassing 'Legacy Edition'. I've reviewed "Music From…" and "Tomorrow…" separately.

Instead of a 3-way card digipak like "Tomorrow…" – this CD is in a jewel case and features an upgraded 20-page booklet with new liner notes by the album’s produced and long-time band friend and admirer Greg Drakoulias. There’s the original Joe Henry liner notes from December 1991 with new photos of the boys in the studio, out on the road, typed and handwritten lyric sheets - it's very nicely done and in keeping with the original artwork.

Top Remaster Engineer VIC ANESINI has transferred the original tapes and the sound quality is BEAUTIFUL - so sweet and warm (he also did the "Music From The North Country" and "Tomorrow The Green Grass" sets - see separate reviews). Tracks like "Waiting For The Sun", "Martin’s Song" and “Settled Down Like Rain” were standouts anyway on the original CD, but here they sound just gorgeous. The Remaster also makes you rehear a lot of the lesser-lauded gems on the record like the plaintive Ryan Adams guitar-feel of "Take Me With You (When You Go)" and “Nevada, California” - they now sound 'so' good and as growers – they’ve have stood the test of time.

To sum up - the Remaster is superlative, the booklet is improved and the 5 bonus tracks are cleverly chosen and worthy additions. Very, very good indeed….and as a band…I miss them…

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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