Step Right Up - The Songs of Tom Waits
by Various Artists
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- Released: November 7, 1995
- Originally Released: 1995
- Label: Manifesto Records
Description by OLDIES.com:
Eclectic compilation of Tom Waits covers by 15 alternative rock artists
- 1.DrugstoreOld Shoes
- 2.TindersticksMockin' Bird
- 3.Pete ShelleyBetter Off Without A Wife
- 4.The Wedding PresentRed Shoes By The Drugstore
- 5.Vilent FemmesStep Right Up
- 6.Alex ChiltonDowntown
- 7.Archers Of LoafBig Joe And Phantom 309
- 8.These Immortal SoulsYou Can't Unring A Bell
- 9.Jeffrey Lee PiercePasties And A G-String
- 10.MagnapopChristmas Card Ftrom A Hooker IOn Minneapolis
- 11.Dave AlvinOl' 55
- 12.Pale SaintsJersey Girl
- 13.Tim BuckleyMartha
- 14.Frente!Ruby's Arms
- 15.10,000 ManiacsI Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You
Producers: Drugstore (track 1); Philip Tennant (track 3); The Wedding Present (track 4); Dave Vartanian, Brian Ritchie (track 5); Alex Chilton (track 6); Brian Paulson (track 7); Tony Cohen (track 8); Gary Dobbins (track 9); Magnapop (track 10); Greg Leisz (track 11); Graeme Naysmith (track 12); Denny Rendell (track 13); Frente! (track 14); Paul Fox (track 15).
Engineers: Victor Van Vugt (track 2); The Wedding Present (track 4); Dave Vartanian, Brian Ritchie (track 5); The Master Frequency (track 9); Sandy Solomon (track 10); Steve Whitfield (track 12).
Recorded between 1973 and 1995.
Tributee: Tom Waits.
Personnel: Eric Bachmann, Gordon Gano, Alex Chilton, Pete Shelley (vocals, guitar); Rowland S. Howard (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Dave Alvin (vocals, acoustic guitar); Mark Price (vocals, drums); Linda Hopper, Isabel Monteiro, Jeffrey Lee Pierce, Matt Gentling, Meriel Barham, Natalie Merchant, Angie Hart, Tim Buckley (vocals); Eric Johnson , Graeme Naysmith, Ruthie Morris, Daron Robinson, Joe Falsia, Robert Buck, Tony Barber (guitar); Greg Leisz (electric guitar, mandolin); Spencer P. Jones (electric guitar); Earl Dumler (English horn); Laurence Maddy (trombone); Genevieve McGuckin (piano, organ); Dennis Drew, Denny Randell (keyboards); Craig Williams, Mike Chylinski, Peggy ONeill, Alastair Barden, Chris Cooper, Buddy Helm, Jerome Augustyniak, Phil Barker, Guy Hoffman (drums); Michael Kashou (tabla); Simon Austin (tubular bells).
Audio Mixers: Gordon Gano; Martin Brass; Sandy Solomon; Tindersticks; Warren A. Bruleigh.
Photographer: Art Fein.
Unknown Contributor Roles: David Gedge; Darren Belk; Colleen Brown; Michael Kashou; Simon Smith .
Arrangers: Dave Alvin; Greg Leisz.
Fifteen-song tribute album to Waits, dominated by alternative rockers, although a couple of previously released items (Tim Buckley's 1973 cover of "Martha," and 10,000 Maniacs' 1992 cassette single B-side "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You") were licensed for the project. It's above-average as tribute discs go, with a diverse lineup (Alex Chilton, Dave Alvin, Pale Saints, Frente!, Archers of Loaf, Pete Shelley, the Wedding Present) taking care to invest their contributions with some imagination. Some Tom Waits fans may find the interpretations too aggressive and arty, and on occasion the approaches are annoying (the Violent Femmes' smirking walk through "Step Right Up," Jeffrey Lee Pierce's white-boy rap on "Pasties and a G-String"). It deserves points for not just throwing together lukewarm variations on the originals, though, but trying to come up with something different, as Drugstore does on its Velvet Underground-like version of "Old Shoes." Other highlights are the Tindersticks' torpid loungeoid cover of "Mockin' Bird," and Magnapop's sultry reading of one of Waits' grimmest pieces, "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis." ~ Richie Unterberger
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