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Captain Swing

Michelle ShockedAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store


Image of album by Michelle Shocked


Image of Michelle Shocked


Michelle Shocked - traveller, troubadour, a “picker-poet,”as they say in Texas. As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony Walkman. Released in England as ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ without ... Read more in Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store

Visit Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store
for 15 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

Frequently Bought Together

Captain Swing + Arkansas Traveler + Short Sharp Shocked
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 16, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mighty Sound
  • ASIN: B0001EFU64
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #264,625 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. God Is a Real Estate Developer
2. On the Greener Side
3. Silent Ways
4. Sleep Keeps Me Awake
5. Cement Lament
6. My Little Sister
7. Looks Like Mona Lisa (Smells Like Tuna Fish)
8. Too Little, Too Late
9. Streetcorner Ambassador
10. Must Be Luff [Acoustic Demo]
11. Russian Roulette [*]
12. Must Be Luff [Acoustic Demo][*]
13. Sleep Keeps Me Awake [Acoustic Demo][*]
14. Cement Lament [Acoustic Demo][*]
15. Silent Ways [Acoustic Demo][*]
16. Streetcorner Ambassador [Acoustic Demo][*]
17. Early Morning Saturday [Acoustic Demo][*]
18. God Is a Real Estate Developer [Acoustic Demo][*]
19. Too Little, Too Late [Acoustic Demo][*]
20. Barefootin' [Live][*]
See all 26 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your usual Michelle Shocked approach, but good! April 2, 2002
Format:Audio CD
Michelle Shocked certainly shocked a lot of fans with this tribute to swing music. While some think her vocal style doesn't fit swing, it's a testament to her voice that she sounds just great here--even if you prefer her on country/folky stuff more than on swing, you have to admit that she sounds wonderful and her joy in the music comes across amply.
"God is a Real Estate Developer" is a weirdly titled swing tune that opens the album, and things get even stranger with "On the Greener Side," a samba-influenced tune that somehow reminds me of Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia" with its lickety-split beat and hummability. Strange, yes, but this is still great stuff! On "Silent Ways" Shocked harkens back to her bluegrassy roots with a sly, witty song about sex--"loving in a silent way" as opposed to the words her lover pleads for. Shocked manages to convey a smile at her lyrics almost better than any other singer out there today:
"When you asked me,
'Michelle, do you love me?'
I didn't know what to say
So I just laid down beside you and
I loved you in a silent way.
And when you asked me to forgive you
For all your cheating days
I just laid down beside you and
Forgave you in a silent way.
Silence is golden
Words are made of lead
And in the alchemy of love
Some things are better left unsaid."
"Streetcorner Ambassador" ROCKS with a propulsive beat and Shocked's incisive portrait of what goes on in the streets near her apartment. "Too Little Too Late" provides an aural impression of Shocked lolling atop an upright piano in the middle of a saloon, flicking her feather boa back and forth lazily as she sings.
Once again, Shocked includes the lyrics for only some of the songs, not all of them--odd, but what the heck, if you don't mind that, this is a wonderfully strong album and a departure for Shocked. Good for her for having the strength of her convictions to try something a little offbeat.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A musical tour-de-style June 6, 2004
Format:Audio CD
As music lovers, we all have certain styles or similarities that mark our musical tastes. This was illustrated for me recently when my friend Steve made me a mixed CD that was heavy on multi-part harmony, something I'm not sure Steve even realized when he was selecting favorites to include, but which makes sense as Steve himself is a bass in a local a cappella group called BlueLine. My wife, although she jokes that the only musical instrument she can play is the radio, tends to favor songs that feature a solo piano and even fell for my poor keyboard skills when we were courting. I personally love music with horns, possibly a result of my high school band days when I played both the baritone and trombone. While I like plenty of songs without a brass section, that sound will likely make me pay closer attention to it.
Not every song on Michelle Shocked's Captain Swing has horns, but those that do are my favorite moments on this album and also responsible for making this my favorite Shocked album, although I also quite like Short Sharp Shocked and Arkansas Traveler. The inclusion of a brass section also underscores how much of a metamorphoses Shocked went through on her first three albums, from the recorded-on-a-Walkman (and basically released without her permission) The Texas Campfire Tapes to this multitrack, multi-instrument album. That first album, where one can even sometimes hear crickets in the background, was just Shocked's voice and her guitar, recorded live during the Kerrville Folk Festival. Her second album didn't add much in the way of instruments, but Short Sharp Shocked was made in a studio with multiple takes that smoothed out imperfections while maintaining her intimate style.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just Listen and Enjoy May 11, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I had heard of Michelle Shocked but had never heard her until I heard a couple of cuts from this CD on the radio while driving through central Arizona. I liked what I heard so when I got home I sought it out at my favorite music store.
It was enjoyed but forgotten until recently when my eye caught the label as I was going through my wall of CDs looking for some stuff I hadn't heard in a while.
Despite it being nearly ten years since I bought the CD, I have still not heard any of her other music so I have no points of comparison it. It doesn't matter to me that she is considered a folk/country/bluegrass musician. I like her fine in her guise as a swingmeister. My favorites here are the opening cut God Is A Real Estate Developer, the sexy, slinky and romantic Silent Ways, the bluesy Sleep Keeps Me Awake, Looks Like Mona Lisa, Too Little Too Late, the horn-driven swinger Must Be Luff and an unnamed/unlisted acoustical bonus piece at the end (possibly entitled Russian Roulette) that features some excellent guitar work.
There is enough musical variety here to make anyone happy. If you are taken aback because Captain Swing does not sound like the Michelle Shocked you are used to, don't be. Just listen to it and enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MICHELLE BEING MICHELLE July 15, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I prefer Shocked sticking more with her strength which is Country, Folk and Rockabilly. This release though solidified her genius in music. Michelle didn't take the safe route and was years ahead of Brian Setzer, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Royal Crown Revue doing Swing/Rock before the late 90's craze. A couple of her better songs are only found here. "Sleep Keeps Me Awake" is a roof raising Blues number showcasing Michelle's vocal range by over powering a horn section. "Looks Like Mona Lisa" is arguably her best pop song with a nice story. "Captain Swing" was not a commercial sellout, it's Michelle being creative and rebelling against any categorizing of her music. It makes for a good addition if you already own "Self Sharp Shocked", "Arkansas Traveler" and "The Texas Campfire Tapes". I hope somebody does the right thing and this cd gets reissued.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Docked two stars for the San Francisco incident
No, sorry, when the singer chooses to self-destruct in front of my eyes, I can't just say, "oh, gee, just listen to the songs, never mind the singer. Read more
Published 18 months ago by jblyn
5.0 out of 5 stars SHOCKING BLUES
MICHELLE SHOCKED-CAPTAIN SWING: Although her name implies punk, hard to pigeon-hole Texas folkie MICHELLE SHOCKED's third album is a charismatic cornucopia of western swing, big... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jukebox Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars 'nuff said
It's Michelle Shocked - like all of her albums - great to listen to at any time... - nuff said...
Published on July 17, 2012 by 4figments
4.0 out of 5 stars wrong dates
The release date on this is soooo wrong - should be maybe five or more years earlier? I notice a lot of release dates on Amazon are incorrect. Released on CD? Read more
Published on January 9, 2009 by Teri Yaki
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocked Swings!
Excellent songs here in a multiplicity of styles. From a country sound (On The Greener Side, and Too Little Too Late), to big band blues (Sleep Keeps Me Awake), to jazz (Cement... Read more
Published on November 20, 2007 by Captain Z
5.0 out of 5 stars Played this so much that...
...the cassette it was on blew up in my tape deck. I had to save up my waitress tips when I bought Captain Swing on tape almost (gasp) twenty years ago -- it was one of the best... Read more
Published on August 15, 2007 by Victoria Compton
4.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Breezy Beauty
This album, Michelle's second major label album, is full of breezy beauty and sparkling moments. The atmosphere is airy, less intense than Short Sharp Shocked, and has a fuller... Read more
Published on June 5, 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars the same only more so
It's an interesting experiment, but her voice and style simply don't fit swing. She sounds shrill where she should sound soulful, strident where she should sound slinky. Read more
Published on September 19, 2001 by oldbollweevil
3.0 out of 5 stars Only so-so
I really, really like "Short Sharp Shocked" and "Texas Campfire Tapes". "Captain Swing" has too much instrumentation, too much orchestration. Read more
Published on July 29, 1999
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