May 18, 2009

Off-Day Outtakes: Jayhawks; Talking Heads

Hollywood Town Hall is a superb album of country/folk/roots-rock released in 1992 by the Jayhawks, a Minneapolis band led by Mark Olson and Gary Louris.

The Jayhawks: Hollywood Town Hall Demos
01 - Sister Cry                            4:03
02 - Pray For Me 3:08
03 - Little Nightshade 5:20
04 - Take Me With You When You Go 4:43
05 - Worn Out Cotton Dress 2:14
06 - Nevada California 3:17
07 - Won't Be Coming Home 3:24
08 - Precious Time 3:33
09 - Wichita 3:55
10 - Bloody Hands 3:14
11 - Cold Dark Night 4:31
12 - Waiting For The Sun 3:21
13 - Waiting For The Sun 4:18
14 - Keith And Quentin 3:16
15 - Clouds 3:32
16 - Mother Trust You To Walk To The Store 3:54
17 - Survival 5:07
18 - Cool Cool Water 3:17
19 - Settled Down Like Rain 2:49
20 - Take Me Down To The Water 2:40

Roughly half of the 15 tracks on the full set of 1975 Talking Heads demos can be found on expanded versions of their first two albums and/or the Sand In The Vaseline compilation. I'm pretty sure these eight tracks remain unreleased.

CBS Demos (1975)
06 - The Girls Want To Be With The Girls 3:03
07 - Who Is It 2:18
08 - With Our Love 4:08
09 - Stay Hungry 4:29
10 - Tentative Decisions 2:42
11 - Warning Sign 3:33
13 - The Book I Read 2:55
15 - No Compassion 3:40
Finally, here are demos recorded by David Byrne at his apartment in New York City, songs that appeared on Little Creatures (1985) and True Stories (1986).

True Creatures Demos (1984)
01 - Wild Wild Life                      4:25
02 - Puzzlin Evidence 4:39
03 - Love For Sale 5:17
04 - Lady Don't Mind 4:37
05 - Hey Now 2:55
06 - Road To Nowhere 4:01
07 - Instrumental (Hey) 5:18
08 - Papa Legba 3:48
09 - People Like Us 4:55
10 - City Of Dreams 5:33
11 - Radio Head 5:17
12 - Give Me Back My Name 4:07


laura k said...

Yay! For both. After yesterday's stupid loss, we need a lot of good music.

Zenslinger said...

Ha, did that loss piss even you off, Laura?

I like the Talking Heads, but prefer their sounds after it became a bit fuller and more sophisticated in the early 80's. But these still might be a nice listen.

My wife and I are seeing the "NIN/JA" tour next week (Nine Inch Nails and Jane's Addiction). NIN for her; JA for me.

Zenslinger said...

Actually, I'm sure these are a great listen. But there's just so much out there to listen to these days. I mean, on DIME there is a guy who seeds two Rush shows, day in and day out. I like Rush, too, but...does anyone actually listen to them all?

allan said...

... does anyone actually listen to them all?

Listen? You're supposed to listen to these?


There was a third set of TH songs I had planned to up -- alternate versions and outtakes from Fear Of Music and Remain In Light, but they (and some songs I've never seen) are all on the new CDs.

Zen: If you listen to the '75 ones, do they seem to run fast? Also Byrne sounds so tentative with the vocals, he clearly had not found his style yet.

After RiL, I lost a bit of interest. At the time, I loved Speaking In Tongues and Stop Making Sense, liked Little Creatures, but after that, it was really hit and miss. Listening to Tongues now, it feels too stiff and studio-ized, when compared to RiL.

For my $, their first four albums are hands-down the most amazing run of any rock/pop band or musician -- innovation, creativity, humor, performance -- and they came out in a period of just over three years!

You could point to other bands/musicians who also put up a jaw-dropping four-album run -- Dylan comes immediately to mind -- but they were not his first four.

allan said...

I mean to ask: when you say "early 80s", what albums are you thinking of?

(Also: I thought there was a demo of "And She Was" on that 1984 tape -- I love that song -- but apparently not.)


So many bands are putting outtakes on expanded CDs, I better check track listings before picking the next batch and save myself some work.

Unknown said...

I think I'm with you about the first 4 albums, although I'd put the first (and only) 4 Velvet Underground albums up for consideration as well. And the first 4 Massive Attack albums, if you'll grant "No Protection" proper album status.

Jere said...

Good to see the cheater Pettitte give up two in the first.

Jere said...

Not good to see the Twins give 6 right back in the bottom of the first.

allan said...

I'd say that the four VU albums were not different enough musically to rival Talking Heads.

Just think of how different '77 is from Remain in Light ...

allan said...

I'll go so far as to say my favourite band of all-time -- REM -- can't match it. (Yes, they even top the Stones, only because I lived through it.)

Even ignoring the Chronic Town EP (which I'm not sure you can in this discussion), Murmur-Reckoning-Fables-LRP is amazing, but can it touch 77-MoreSongs-FoM-RiL?

Even being totally biased towards REM, I have no idea. That may be personal taste at that point.

Unknown said...

VU albums aren't distinct enough? & Nico doesn't sound at like WL/WH, WL/WH doesn't sound AT ALL like self-titled (except for the Murder Mystery song, and even that's a stretch) and then Loaded is almost like a straightforward rock album.

I don't really know much about music, but the thing that's always amazed me about them was how distinct their albums are from each other.

Even just looking at the first and last songs on each album is pretty indicative

Sunday Morning; European Son

White Light/White Heat; Sister Ray

Candy Says; After Hours

Who Loves the Sun; Oh Sweet Nuthin'

But I can't say for sure that I don't prefer the Heads output. I think I tend to listen to the Velvets more often, though.

This Jayhawks stuff is cool. I'd never heard of them before.

Zenslinger said...

RS, what I'm thinking is that my awareness of the Heads began with Stop Making Sense, and I haven't made much of an effort to go back & listen to the four albums you are praising so highly. So that's the thing for me to do first, and leave the demos for another day, even though it's unutterably cool that they are so easily available.