2020 Album Draft- Round 1- Pick 9- Msjadeli selects- 10,000 Maniacs- In My Tribe.

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0 [My first draft pick is the 10,000 Maniacs’, “In My Tribe.” Note: most the first few paragraphs are taken from one of my June 13, 2020 posts.]

A Sunny Bak photograph of 10,000 Maniacs, used in 1987 as a publicity shot for their double-platinum second Elektra album, In My Tribe, produced by Peter Asher (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor et al.) In My Tribe was released on July 27, 1987. It was the 10,000 Maniacs’ second major-label album and their first to achieve large-scale success. John Lombardo, Natalie Merchant’s songwriting partner on previous albums, left the band in 1986. Merchant began collaborating with the other members of the band, most notably with Rob Buck. Peter Asher produced. Band Personnel : Natalie Merchant– vocals; Robert Buck– guitars, mandolin, pedal steel guitar; Steve Gustafson– bass guitar; Jerome Augustyniak– drums, percussion; Dennis Drew​keyboards. Additional musicians for the album : Michael Stipe– vocals on 10; Don Grolnick– piano on 12; David Campbell– string arrangements on 12; Dennis Karmazyn– cello on 12; Bob Magnusson– acoustic bass guitar on 12; Novi Novog– viola on 12 When, “ In My Tribe ” was released, I could not get enough of it. It stayed on the player for what seemed like months. It’s one of those albums you pore over the lyrics sheet of until you’ve learned every word, every note and nuance of while listening, until it becomes a part of your being. The songs are important. They have something to say. They are a warm breezy afternoon, lying on a chaise lounger by the pool on vaca, drinking bottomless tequila sunrises. But it is more. Playlist and a few words about and a favorite lyric from each: 1.”What’s the Matter Here?” – about child battering. “ I’m tired of the excuses everybody uses, he’s your kid, do as you see fit. ” 2.”Hey Jack Kerouac” – about the beat generation writer, traveler, philosopher. “ Hip flask slinging madman, steaming cafe flirts, they all spoke through you. ” 3.”Like the Weather” – depression. “The color of the sky as far as I can see is cold grey.” 4.”Cherry Tree” – about being illiterate and wanting to learn to read. “For all those lines and circles, to me, a mystery. Eve pull down the apple and give taste to me.” 5. “The Painted Desert” – lost love. “We’ve played this game of just imagine long enough.” 6. “Don’t Talk” – alcoholism. “ The drink you drown your troubles in is the trouble you’re in now. ” 7. “Peace Train” – “ Ride on the peace train. ” Ironically this was left off later albums because songwriter Cat Stevens had called for the death of author Salman Rushdie after Rushdie’s book was published. 8. “Gun Shy” – baby brother joined the military. “They’re so good at making soldiers but they’re not so good at making men.” 9. “My Sister Rose” – sister’s wedding day. “A life of years free of tears. Bottoms up and lots of luck!” 10. “A Campfire Song” – greed and exploitation of the planet. “A lie to say, “o my mountain has coal veins and beds to dig, 500 men with axes and they all dig for me” 11. “City of Angels” – about Los Angeles. “Stumble, stagger, fall and drag themselves along the streets of heaven.” 12. “Verdi Cries” – on holiday. “The man in one nineteen takes his tea all alone.” I can honestly say that I love every song on this album. If forced to choose favorites, they would be, “The Painted Desert” for its lushness and for what it doesn’t say; and “My Sister Rose” for creating a festive atmosphere of a wonderful wedding day.

20 responses to “2020 ALBUM DRAFT: ROUND 1- PICK 9- 10,000 MANIACS- IN MY TRIBE

  1. Who would’ve thought 10 000 Maniacs would be the first artist to get picked twice? Great album though, and looking at the song list, the one of theirs I’m most familiar with (I had a couple of Natalie Merchant cds but never any of the maniacs’… this got a lot of airplay in toronto though). Great music, great voice of Natalie. I never picked up on some of the themes on songs like “what’s the matter here?” before, interesting. I need to go listen to them doing Cat Stevens…”Peace Train” is a terrific song.

  2. Great choice, Msjadeli. When I hear Natalie or 10,000 Maniacs, it makes me think of what was for me that last golden era of good music on mainstream commercial radio (early/mid-90’s), since that’s where I heard them the most.

  3. That album was my introduction to 10,000 Maniacs and it is an enjoyable listen. I am with Dave – never thought that 10,000 Maniacs would get 2 in the Top 10– and artists as great as The Osmonds and the Bay City Rollers- still on the board. I am sure in round 2 that will change. Crazy Horses!

  4. *swoon*, I’m so glad this album got picked. You did a great job of capturing the essence of each song. The trilogy of Painted Desert, Don’t Talk, and Peace Train have been played endlessly in my player at one time or another. Verdi Cries also reaches deep and transports me back to a holiday I don’t want to forget.

  5. I’m getting nudged back towards this band. Not a band thing. Run-Sew -Read reconnected me and now you’re doing the same.
    3 choices in the future? Maybe another second choice of what we have already.

    • No kidding. I listen to so much music a lot of good stuff gets buried. I reminded a friend of mine about this band after RSR did her piece. Great version of ‘Because The Night’ which I forgot about.
      You have just gave me a push to do a take on an artist that has already been covered. You are a trend setter.

  6. Great description Lisa. This is when I first started to listen to them. Natalie owns everything she sings. I was heavy into an alternative station we had here at that time and they wore this and REM out which was a good thing.
    I’ll echo the others…Two 10,000 Maniacs albums…who would have thought that?

  7. Pingback: 2020 ALBUM DRAFT: ROUND 1- PICK 9- 10,000 MANIACS- IN MY TRIBE — slicethelife – Tao Talk·

  8. I can see the formatting of the post went out the window, and my apologies for it. Not sure how to keep the formatting in when I send it over… Hans would a pdf be better?

  9. Based on sampling a few tunes, this albums looks great to me – dig the sound! Other than their cover of “Because the Night” from the “MTV Unplugged” album, which I’ve always liked, I don’t believe I knew any other 10,000 Maniacs tunes.

    Not exactly sure why. I don’t recall hearing any of their songs on the radio back in Germany. The “MTV Unplugged” album came out while I already was in grad school in the U.S.

  10. A curious aside…some mentioned REM here in comments, whom I picked for my first album. They recorded a great song – “Photograph”- with Natalie Merchant & it’s included on some expanded reissues of ‘Automatic for the People’.

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