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Black Letter Days


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Audio CD, August 20, 2002
$25.49
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$25.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by Big_Box_Bargains and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Black Letter Days + Devil's Workshop + Dog in the Sand
Price for all three: $65.47

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

"I could make albums all day," boasts the rotund Frank Black in the cover letter accompanying Black Letter Days. He's not kidding. Like fellow '80s post-punk icons Paul Westerberg and Bob Mould, Black has relaxed his production values and become ridiculously prolific. Between this album and the simultaneously released Devil's Workshop, he's pushed out 29 fresh songs, with each session recorded live to a two-track tape amid minimal fuss. Much of the spark that once made the Pixies one of Kurt Cobain's most beloved bands has evaporated. But it has been replaced by an efficient, workmanlike approach that yields the kind of raw, rowdy rockers the Pixies were turning out in their early days. The pedal-steel-swathed "Valentine and Garuda" and brusque country rock of "Jet Black River" provide some of the most satisfying moments of Black's solo years. With a hard-nosed producer and some serious editing, there's no doubt that Black would have another classic album on his hands. In the meantime, Black Letter Days and Devil's Workshop will do. --Aidin Vaziri

1. The Black Rider
2. California Bound
3. Chip Away Boy
4. Cold Heart of Stone
5. Black Letter Day
6. Valentina & Garuda
7. How You Went so Far
8. End of Miles
9. 1826
10. The Farewell Bend
11. Southbound Bevy
12. I will run after you
13. True Blue
14. Jane the Queen of Love
15. Jet Black River
16. 21 Reasons
17. Whispering Weeds
18. Black Rider

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Spin Art
  • ASIN: B00006BSUX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,748 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

God Bless Frank Black!
Jeremy Deviney
There are some really great songs on here.
Vandarren
I STILL listen to it on every road trip.
William C. Courtney

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Hamster Army on November 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I don't know what else to say about Frank Black, one of the most creative, talented musicians and writers of our generation.
He may write an unlisteneable song or two, but that's just him, he is just off on his own musical tangent and all us fans are benefiting from it.
Yet Black Letter Days is quality from start to finish, as was Dog In The Sand and his Catholics' release in '98. Frank Black has matured, grown and is one of the best kept secrets in the music industry.
Listen to this CD nice and loud, and soak it up, Black Letter Days and Devil's Workshop are Black's "Exile On Main Street." And Black Letter Days has to be one of the better CD's that I've ever had the pleasure of listening to.
California Bound, Chip Away Boy, 21 Reasons, God Of Miles, Black Letter Days, Southbend Bevy, The Farewell Bend, Cold Heart Of Stone, Jet Black River, Jane The Queen Of Love...easily some of the best music I've heard in a long time.
Take a trip into our minds, the everyday working man losing track of time, the days, divorce, a cold heart of stone, chipping away at debt, at the end of miles..please pardon me sir, you have 21 reasons at least to listen to this masterpiece!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By The Stalker on September 12, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Ok, I'll admit, I had both Black Letter Days and Devil's Workshop a few months before their actual release date (and was first in line the day of their release as well). Truth is, I simply could not wait. I saw Frank perform in Louisville Ky. April 29 (I think that was the correct date), and throughout his long, and might I add, fantastic performance, I heard several songs that were new to me. Turns out those songs were "Cold Heart Of Stone", "21 Reasons", "Black Rider" and a couple more, I think maybe Whiskey In Your Shoes" from DW being one of them. I was totally blown away. "Cold Heart Of Stone" sounded amazing live and "21 Reasons" is one of the best songs ever written IMO. I simply could not wait until Sept. to hear the new material and eventually managed to track down advanced copies of both albums. Upon first listen the songs that totally blew me away were "Chip Away Boy", "Cold Heart Of Stone" and "21 Reasons". I could'nt seem to get over these three songs and I played them over and over.....
After a week or so, I began exploring the other material (and there's a lot of it here, and combined with DW, there's REALLY a lot of material to digest). Like all of Frank's albums, I knew that "Black Letter Days" would only get better and better with age. It was not long before the genius of the title track, "End Of Miles", "Jane the Queen Of Love" (what an amazing song) and "Southbound Bevy" revealed itself. Other tracks ("California Bound", "Jet Black River", "True Blue", "I Will Run After You") slowly crept into the pleasure center of my consciousness as well.
The only complaints I have about BLD is the overlong, monotonous "1826", and the 2nd version of the cover of "Black Rider".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Herb Mallette on August 31, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album and "Devil's Workshop" on the same day, and at first listen, my response included some of the reactions in other reviews here -- "could have been edited together into 1 awesome album" and "some songs make you wish for the old, highly-produced Pixies days." But I haven't been able to stop listening to either album in the week since I got them, especially "Black Letter Days." The idea that some of these songs could have been cut is unthinkable to me now. Likewise, glitzing this material up with studio fairydust would completely miss the point. These are raw, organic songs with a terrific range from bittersweet beauty to angry iconoclasm, and taking any one of them out or dressing any one of them up would be like editing a color out of the rainbow.
I don't know whether this album is a "good" or a "bad" place to start if you're unfamiliar with Frank Black. He's an artist whom you have to really listen to in order to appreciate. But if you're going to like Frank Black, I can't imagine that you won't end up loving this album, and at 65 minutes, it's a steal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Leighton on August 26, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Upon first listening of this album I sank my head in dissapointment and was thinking that Frank Black had finally made an 'average' album. I live in Beijing, China but had managed to get a copy of the two albums a couple of days before their release date via Cooking Vinyl. However, my first impressions were very wrong (like most times I listen to Frank Black for the first time). He is one of the rare breeds of musicians who have the knack of writing albums, which at first sound nothing spectacular but after a few listens proceed to come up from behind and bite you on the [posterior], with no sign of letting go.
Black Letter Days is along the same lines as Dog in the Sand with the country style guitars, but with less of the punk that was present on the previous album. The songs which at first stick out (and bear in mind I have only had this album for 2 days) are California Bound, Cold Heart of Stone, Black Letter Day, End of Miles (this is a trully beautiful song), Southbound Bevy, Jane Queen of Love, and 21 Reasons (an old favourite of mine which Frank showcased during the Dog in the Sand tour of England last year).
For Frank Black fans who appreciate the way Frank writes his albums, this will be warmly recieved. Frank is a genius and his hardwork and love for music are displayed as he continually tries to change his style with each album. However for people who have not heard much of Frank Blacks material, this is an album which takes some listening before you appreciate it's worth (like all good albums in my opinion). I would recommend this album to anyone, and any other Frank Black album for that matter (including the highly underrated 'Cult of Ray').
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