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Black Sheep Boy (Definitive Edition)

Okkervil RiverAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $14.70 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, 2007 $14.70  
Vinyl, 2009 $22.84  

Amazon's Okkervil River Store


Image of album by Okkervil River


Image of Okkervil River


Wake and Be Fine by Okkervil River


'The Silver Gymnasium' takes place in 1986 in the small town of Meriden, NH.

Okkervil River bandleader Will Sheff grew up in this isolated hamlet of fewer than 500 residents. His parents taught at a boarding school there. But when he went away to college, his father accepted a new job in Worcester, MA. Will had no reason to return to Meriden again, yet it held sway over his ... Read more in Amazon's Okkervil River Store

Visit Amazon's Okkervil River Store
for 15 albums, 6 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Black Sheep Boy (Definitive Edition) + Stage Names + The Silver Gymnasium
Price for all three: $39.97

Buy the selected items together
  • Stage Names $11.88
  • The Silver Gymnasium $13.39

Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2007)
  • Original Release Date: 2007
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Jagjaguwar
  • ASIN: B000MRA6K0
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #139,689 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Black Sheep Boy
2. For Real
3. In a Radio Song
4. Black
5. Get Big
6. A King and a Queen
7. A Stone
8. The Latest Toughs
9. Song of Our So-Called Friend
10. So Come Back, I Am Waiting
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Missing Children
2. No Key, No Plan
3. A Garden
4. Black Sheep Boy, Pt. 4
5. The Next Four Months
6. Another Radio Song
7. A Forest
8. Last Love Song for Now

Editorial Reviews

When Okkervil River released Black Sheep Boy Appendix in 2005, it seemed like the band just couldn't stop themselves. Folk icon Tim Hardin's tune had both opened and provided the name for the preceding full-length album, and the "Black Sheep Boy" was too compelling a concept to leave behind. Ouch, you sigh, a concept album: But here, the concept disappears, replaced by Will Sheff's fantastic narrative songwriting and a mix of electrics and acoustics--guitars, pump organs, mandolins, vibraphones, and more. Then there's this 2-CD Black Sheep Boy Definitive Edition, merging the original album with the Appendix EP. It's a spare-beauty-turned-turbulent thing. On "Another Radio Song," Sheff's an imagist, bellowing and pleading alongside a cresting string section: "There is no escaping it / The way an unborn baby's ear unfolds in your belly / There is no escaping the thing that is making its home in your radio." It all becomes a bursting emotional leap. And for the Definitive album, you find that classic rock gem: an unreleased track whose easy brilliance seems effortless. "The Next Four Months" is a pill-popping, husband-ditching classic, "We're driving down the interstate/ You're feeling great / You scratch your wrist / And we pretend your kids, your husband / All you left does not exist," the story goes. You can guess the ending. But it's the whole piece, words and music, that you have to hear to imagine. --Andrew Bartlett

Product Description

This is the definitive double-disc set which brings together Okkervil River's ground-breaking "Black Sheep Boy" project in its entirety, including the original album, the 7-song "Black Sheep Boy Appendix" EP, the song "The Next Four Months" (originally released on the "For Real" CD single), the "For Real" video, and a new video of an alternate slower take of "No Key, No Plan". Enjoy this panoramic perspective of a modern masterpiece and one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the new millennium. "Black Sheep Boy" is Okkervil River's most ambitious and cinematic record to date, a love story and an adult fable carved in lacerating rock and roll, desolate late night country weepers, and a few shining moments of sheer, shameless pop.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Creature All Its Own July 6, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Okkervil River is one of those rare bands that came on the scene like a crippled child in a street race, tons of ambition and heart in a limping fragile frame. With each reappearance their stamina shines through however, as every album they release is an exponential improvement over the last. With Black Sheep Boy they have, not only come to full maturity as a band, but have grown into a powerful creature of immense musical talent aswell. They are without a doubt miles ahead of their competition. On par with bands such as The National, Arcade Fire, and The Decemberists, as far as talent and personal voice, if not also in style (Think: The child of The National and The Decemberists trapped inside of a very troubling dream).

The Album does not stick to a single genre, sometimes it's alt-county, sometimes it's straight up rock, but it's always musically inspired and rewarding to listen to. But the part that makes this an excellent Album, rather than a collection of songs, is the epic scope of the story it contains.

The songs collect the thoughts and experiences of a true struggle with evil. The physical turmoil of a rotten relationship, the very real vices and temptations of humanity, the sickly excitement and victories that evil enjoys, all of these things are brought together to form the black sheep boy, the devil inside us all. The story is extremely personal, and Okkervil River's great strength is the injection of emotion into every line, and every note of the songs. But even for an album completely covered with the struggle with evil, it never gets bogged down in the darkness, and is more often triumphant in it's victories over the enemy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great on vinyl November 21, 2013
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
I had this album on mp3 already, but bought it on vinyl for my collection. I love this album. The opening song is one my father used to play on his guitar at gatherings of friends when I was a kid, so it has a soft spot in my heart. The rest of the songs are originals. This band is a unique sound & I absolutely love them. The records themselves are in great shape, with no skips whatsoever & a warm sound. Very glad I bought this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this album September 22, 2011
Format:Vinyl|Verified Purchase
If you like feeling something when you listen to music, this album is for you (unless you were planning on feeling happy, in that case please listen to something else). There's just something about the rawness of the lead singers voice and the simple melodys that the guitar wails by with. This album is even better on vinyl (not to be one of those snobs) the way the music randomly pops or has minor changes in speed add to the sheer random distortion (hopelessness?) of the album and in particular, the song For Real.

Even if you have the mp3. Buy it on vinyl, dammit!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DrD July 9, 2009
By Dr D
Format:Audio CD
F***in awesome!
I crave this album. Been obsessed with Okkervil River for about a year now and feel more passionately about them now than I did when I started. Great poetry. Rockin, dance-worthy music. My mom and boyfriend are also in love with them.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Solid April 10, 2014
By Martin
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
There isn't a particualar standout song, but the album as a whole is very cohesive and excellent. I have a few minor gripes, for example I don't think "For Real" lived up to the potential it had, but this album still deserves 5/5. There are many repeating themes, and there seems to be a story in album, but I haven't focused on the lyrics enough to put it together.
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