Little Steven Men Without Women / Voice of America (2-CD)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: December 6, 2005
- Label: Bgo - Beat Goes On
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.Lyin' in a Bed of Fire
- 2.Inside of Me
- 3.Until the Good Is Gone
- 4.Men Without Women
- 5.Under the Gun
- 6.Save Me
- 7.Princess of Little Italy
- 8.Angel Eyes
- 10.I've Been Waiting
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.Voice of America
- 3.Checkpoint Charlie
- 5.Out of the Darkness
- 8.I Am a Patriot
- 9.Among the Believers
2 LPs on 1 CD: MEN WITHOUT WOMEN (1982)/VOICE OF AMERICA(1984).
Personnel: Steven Van Zandt (vocals, guitar); Jean Beauvoir (vocals, background vocals); Monti Louis Ellison (berimbau, congas, talking drum, djembe, tambourine, timbales, percussion, wind chime, background vocals); Stan Harrison (flute, tenor saxophone); Danny Federici (accordion, organ); Zoe Yanakis (oboe, keyboards, background vocals); Ed Manion (baritone saxophone); Mark Pender (trumpet); Felix Cavaliere (piano, organ); Kevin Kavanaugh (piano); Rusty Cloud (organ); Pee Wee Weber (keyboards, background vocals); Dino Danelli, Max Weinberg (drums); Manolo, Sammy Figueroa (percussion); Benjamin Newberry (chimes); Clarence Clemons, J.T. Bowen, Gary "U.S." Bonds (background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Toby Scott; Bob Clearmountain.
Audio Remasterer: Andrew Thompson .
Liner Note Author: John Tobler.
Recording information: Clover STudios, LA; Icp Studios, Brussels, Belgium; Polar Studios, Stockholm, Sweden; The Hit Factory, New York, NY; The Power Station, New York, NY.
Photographers: Mark Weiss; Jim Marchese.
Arrangers: Miami Steve; Steven Van Zandt.
Here is a double-disc set that makes a whole lot of sense. Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul cut a pair of back to back albums in 1982 and 1984, respectively. The first, Men Without Women, was made while Little Stevie was still a member of the E Street Band, and the second, Voice of America after the success of 1983's single "Solidarity," was issued after he (temporarily) left. What's so interesting having them paired like this is to hear the "progression" from one to the next. The first set featured a lot of E Street Players like Clarence Clemons, Garry Tallent, and Max Weinberg, as well a s a couple of Amboy Dukes, and a couple of ex-Young Rascals in Dino Danelli and Felix Cavaliere, and Jean Beauvoir from the Plasmatics -- it also contains some guest spots by Gary "U.S." Bonds. The sound of the disc was primitive, raw, horn-heavy, rooted deep in Southern soul garage band ethics and drenched in anguished anthemic, wailing love songs such as "Lyin' in a Bed of Fire," "Inside of me," "Until the Good Is Gone," and "Under the Gun." !984's Voice of America was largely a political record, self-produced by Van Zandt utilizing all the latest in studio trickery -- except a Fairlight -- including pulsing synthesizers and drum machines. It's the recording that sounds dated here, though it contains some great songs with killer riffs. Essentially a hard rock record drenched in keyboards, Voice of America was the first offering to express outrage at United States' role in training killers in El Salvador and Chile, and the overthrow of the Sandinista in Nicaragua, as well as the government's continued support of the apartheid system in South Africa. While some of the lyrics are a bit hamfisted, they make their point well and the album contains some inspiring tunes: the title track, "Solidarity," (the hit single), "Out of the Darkness," "Los Desaparecidos," and "Undefeated," the funk and roll of "Among the Believers," and the reggae-drenched "I Am a Patriot." The remastered sound works-- even if it reveals the thinness in some of the production in places. The BGO package also features complete lyrics and credits. ~ Thom Jurek
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