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Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure & Unknown Recordings

10,000 ManiacsAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Price: $17.59 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon's 10,000 Maniacs Store


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One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the last three decades, 10,000 Maniacs, was founded by Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo and Natalie Merchant in the fall of 1981. Jerry Augustyniak joined in 1983. Together with artists like R.E.M., they defined college rock and created the first wave of alternative rock bands and what became know as the alternative rock ... Read more in Amazon's 10,000 Maniacs Store

Visit Amazon's 10,000 Maniacs Store
for 23 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 27, 2004)
  • Original Release Date: 2000
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B0000CDLLJ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,324 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Planned Obsolescence
2. My Mother the War
3. Tension
4. Scorpio Rising
5. Like the Weather
6. Don't Talk
7. What's the Matter Here?
8. Hey Jack Kerouac
9. Verdi Cries
10. Trouble Me
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Poppy Selling Man
2. Can't Ignore the Train (Demo Version)
3. Peace Train
4. Wildwood Flower
5. Hello in There
6. To Sir With Love
7. Everyday Is Like Sunday
8. These Days
9. I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love With You
10. Starman
See all 14 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

First-ever anthology for the folk-pop/alt-rock band that introduced the world to Natalie Merchant! Their hits Trouble Me; Because the Night; These Are Days; Like the Weather , and more join unissued finds like the 1983 outtake Poppy Selling Man ; demos of Can't Ignore the Train and Noah's Dove ; alternate-lyric demos of Circle Dream and Eden , and more. 31 tracks of thinking-people's rock!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sing Around The Campfire February 4, 2004
Format:Audio CD
Oh, to be young and alternative again. I used to love 10,000 Maniacs, having seen them 5 or 6 times in concert and having met Natalie Merchant at a couple of shows. (My heart about stopped when she came up to me and remembered my name...) While I still have a serious soft spot for their music, this was a group that made great albums that held together as wholes. So a "Best Of" is probably more for the uninitiated than a long time fan. It sure is nice to have a disc loaded with the best known songs all culled to one CD, with the however obvious title "The Most Popular Recordings."
I'm most heartened that "Verdi Cries" is included on disc one, because it was long a fan favorite at 10,000 Maniacs' shows. Natalie would usually perform this as an encore on solo piano. The first time I saw her play this one as the show closer, I was absolutely mesmerized by its grace. I've never tired of hearing it since. And since "Wishing Chair" and "Hope Chest" are pretty much devout fan recordings only, having selections on both of "Campfire Songs" double discs is a bonus.
So if you're a die hard, then having disc two is what you're really buying this for. I'm glad to have the covers of Bowie and Morrissy, since they are of spiritual kin to 10,000 Maniacs' sound and general demeanor, but "Wildwood Flower" and "Hello There" really aren't a match. Having R.E.M. pal Michael Stipe chime in on "To Sir With Love" works as novelty, but he and Natalie would have been better represented by their duets on "Candy Everybody Wants" or "(Don't Go Back To) Rockville.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Job Collecting the Essentials and More February 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
At last here is the long promised "best of" 10,000 Maniacs collection. Apparently all (surviving) band members were involved in one way or another in the process of putting this compilation.
CD1 (17 tracks, 65 min.) collects "the Most Popular Songs" (meaning: the greatest hits, yea!). Thankfully, the songs are compiled chronologically, which, among others, show the amazing musical leap the band took from the early stuff to the first full-fledged album "In My Tribe". It remains the band's best album after all these years, and is rightfully represented by 5 tracks, including the delicious "About the Weather" (Natalie's best moment ever?). "Blind Man's Zoo" gets 4 tracks, including the seminole "Trouble Me". "Our Time in Eden" (the band's biggest commercial succes) gets 3 tracks, including of course "Candy Everybody Wants". "Because the Night" (from the "MTV Unplugged" album) concludes CD1.
CD2 (14 tracks, 49 min.) covers "The Obscure & Unknown Recordings" and is more of a mixed bag. There are some real nuggets here, including the cover of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" and David Bowie's "Starman" (Natalie continued covering Bowie tracks in her solo career). Lacking unfortunately in the liner notes are details about the dates of these "obscure" recordings.
Overall, this is a very satisfaying compilation, much better than, say, the recent REM "best of" compilation. In case you haven't kept up with Natalie's most recent work, check out last year's independently released "The House Carpenter's Daughter", truly a mesmorising album.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great end to a wonderful band's career April 4, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Even though 10,000 Maniacs are no longer a household name, their music from 1981-1993 has stood the test of time since Natalie Merchant's departure in 1993. After Merchant left the band, Mary Ramsey took over singing duties and the Merchant-less band released two albums without much fanfare. This collection of hits and b-sides appropriately only features songs from the Merchant-era, so if you're a Mary Ramsey fan look elsewhere. The first disc features many of their signature songs like These Are Days, Like the Weather and their live cover of Because the Night. I was quite surprised at the number of songs from their pre-The Wishing Chair days, but they included too many from their In My Tribe breakthrough album. The second disc features b-sides, demos and a few live selections. I suppose the only true rarities are the demo versions of Can't Ignore the Train, Noah's Dove, Circle Dream and Eden, plus the previously unreleased Poppy Selling Man from the early 80's, so if you own a lot of their singles this collection might not be worth it. For those of us who weren't around to witness the impact this underrated band made, Campfire Songs is well worth the investment.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazed me again May 5, 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is a wonderful collection of Maniacs' works. It includes a lot of great songs, popular and obscure alike. Scorpio Rising, Happy Puppet, and a great version of "To Sir, with Love" (w/ Michael Stipe) are just a few of the choice tunes you'll hear on this 2 disc set. The packaging includes several classic photos of the band and the liner notes are written by the Maniacs themselves (including an entry from original band member John Lombardo). Whether you are a Maniacs fan, a Natalie fan, or both - this purchase will not disappoint.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Only place you're likely to find "Peace Train"
Since the band decided to remove "Peace Train" from their discography because of the spat over Cat Stevens' ill-chosen and naive alliance to fatwa-uttering clerics, this is... Read more
Published 3 months ago by R. Kennedy
4.0 out of 5 stars Natalie in alittle different frame of mind.
Wildwood Flower is worth the price for this CD, a compilation of old Maniacs songs arranged quite differently and a pickup sticks of interesting other familiar tunes i.e. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Edward Lovvorn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music
These albums are great old Natalie Merchant music. We've enjoyed them very much since getting them. You can't go wrong if you like Natalie!
Published 14 months ago by Martha
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Mix of 10,000 Maniacs Songs
Expertly assembled & chronologic progression thru the group's college rock music - from early outtakes, thru The Wishing Chair, & In My Tribe. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Russ Gray
3.0 out of 5 stars Campfire Songs
I bought this cd primarily for the song titled : Let the Mystery Be". I really like the lyrics but enjoy the more recent Greg Brown version of the song much more. Read more
Published 19 months ago by D. F. Keese
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic cd. arrived quickly.
great album. delivered quickly. In excellent condition. A combination of a greatest hits package with great covers and rarities. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Avid male reader
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much praise...
10,000 Maniacs deserve to have a comprehensive compilation, but sadly, this is not the compilation it could have been. Read more
Published on April 6, 2012 by Real Music-Not Rap
4.0 out of 5 stars Gift for my Wife
Bought this CD for my Wife. She had some of the original recordings on cassette, and wanted to upgrade to CD. It is perfect. If you are a Maniacs fan, this is a great purchase.
Published on November 28, 2011 by Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonder! this is too good!
Complete CD of the best folk-rock band of all time!
Natalie Merchant ... for me one of the most beautiful female voices of all time!
Published on November 11, 2011 by Rock
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect snapshot of an all-too-brief moment in time
Like everyone else with a TV and / or radio in the 1980s, I knew of 10,000 Maniacs and their core hits like "Trouble Me," "These Are Days," and the MTV Unplugged version of... Read more
Published on November 13, 2010 by Mike
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