In the mid-1980s, the Indigo Girls helped reintroduce thoughtful, introspective singer/songwriter-based music back to the mainstream, turning out a steady stream of material over the ensuing decades. The 2005 collection RARITIES captures the tunes that fell through the cracks along the way, including live cuts, soundtrack contributions, and more. The first thing that becomes apparent here is the duo's excellent taste in covers. The disc opens with a scaled-down, acoustic version of the Clash's furious "Clampdown" that will come as a shock to anyone familiar with the original. They also do a lovely (if less revelatory) take on the Grateful Dead's transcendent "Uncle John's Band," not to mention the Neil Young-less Crazy Horse's forlorn "I Don't Wanna Talk About It." There are plenty of original tunes as well, of course, including live versions of the fervent "Cold As Ice," and "It Won't Take Long," which sounds like it could have come off Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder tour. RARITIES is largely aimed at hardcore Indigo Girls fans but bears some surprises for the casual listener as well.
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