It's for sure that we'll have more opportunities to deal with Edgar Allan Poe in the future, so I'll keep a number of related albums for a future tribute. For the time being, enjoy this Lou Reed tribute release to Poe to whom he seems to have found a kindred spirit. There are numerous famous participants here among which are Laurie Anderson, Antony, the Blind Boys Of Alabama, Ornette Coleman, Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe and Hal Willner as the producer, who was also responsible for the brilliand compilation of Closed on Account of Rabies: Poems and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe uploaded earlier in this blog. Finally, these are the liner notes Reed wrote for this album:
For sure Edgar Allan Poe is that most classical of American writers—a writer more peculiarly attuned to our new century's heartbeat than he ever was to his own. Obsessions, paranoia, willful acts of self-destruction surround us constantly. Though we age we still hear the cries of those for whom the attraction to mournful chaos is monumental. I have reread and rewritten Poe to ask the very same questions again. Who am I? Why am I drawn to do what I should not? I have wrestled with this thought innumerable times: the impulse of destructive desire—the desire for self-mortification. To my mind Poe is father to William Burroughs and Hubert Selby. I am forever fitting their blood to my melodies. Why do we do what we should not? Why do we love what we cannot have? Why do we have a passion for exactly the wrong thing? What do we mean by "wrong"? I became enamored of Poe—once again—and when given the opportunity to bring him to life through words and music, text and dance, why I leapt at it. I surged towards it like a Rottweiler chasing a bloody bone. I read and then recited him out loud and for the first time understood "The Tell-Tale Heart." I dreamt and imagined and then saw the early performance come to life in the Thalia Theatre in Germany (who commissioned me to write this) where the thrill of its existence only made me hunger even more ardently for its American counterpart, its final rewrite, the yearning finally fulfilled by the mad presence of Willem Dafoe, Steve Buscemi, Fisher Stevens, the magnificent Elizabeth Ashley, the transcendental Amanda Plummer and castigating Katy Valk of [the Wooster Group, musicians magnificent galore—D. Bowie, the gospel glory of the Blind Boys of Alabama, the mind-tearing heart-rending sax playing of the incredible Ornette Coleman, the ethereal vocals of Antony, a descendent perhaps of Little Jimmy Scott, Jane Scarpantoni's passionate cello-loving arrangement by her of my guitar solo—strings, real strings—Rob Mathes taking my guitar line and building a universe with it, Steve Bernstein's power-melodic horns—all these pieces together forming for me a universe of sound I'd only dreamed of. My fellow artists...I thank them all from the bottom of my heart and reel with happiness at the CD's existence. My band—Mike, Tony and Fernando, the magnificent production of Hal Willner. I owe them all the greatest thanks.
This is a record made of love, - Lou Reed/NYC 2003"
review link: here
download link: here (cd1) and here (cd2 with liner notes & credits)
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