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Catholic Boy [Import]

Jim Carroll Band, Jim CarrollAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 10 Songs, 2008 $9.49  
Audio CD, Import, 1989 --  
Vinyl --  
Audio Cassette, 1990 --  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Wicked Gravity ( LP Version ) 4:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Three Sisters ( LP Version ) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Day And Night ( LP Version ) 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Nothing Is True ( LP Version ) 3:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. People Who Died ( LP Version ) 4:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. City Drops Into The Night ( LP Version ) 7:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Crow ( LP Version ) 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. It's Too Late ( LP Version ) 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I Want The Angel ( LP Version ) 2:48$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Catholic Boy ( LP Version ) 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 30, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Atco
  • ASIN: B000002IB6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,059 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Teenage junkie, basketball addict, and literary shooting star (he completed the justly revered Basketball Diaries when he was 16), Carroll transforms himself into a postpunk lead singer on his debut album. And a fairly successful transition it is. Crisp, rhythmic guitar lines set the stage for his tales of New York City lowlifes, junkies, and three rather salacious sisters. It's a bleak record and a hopeful one--a peculiar and peculiarly Catholic mix; at least, that's how Carroll accounts for it in the title track ("I'm a Catholic boy, redeemed through pain, not through joy)." The formula really comes together in the unforgettable "People Who Died," as Carroll salutes a litany of ODs, suicides, and other fatalities. If this isn't one of the '80s' greatest albums, it certainly has one of the decade's greatest songs. --Percy Keegan

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Underrated Classic April 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD
Jim Carroll delivers his finest work, out of three releases, here on Catholic Boy. Everything about this album is perfect: sharp songwriting, great lyrics, and playing that scorches. In a sense, Carroll has created an album that is direct, to the point and eloquenty captures the lives of the downtown NYC outsider; it's an album that Patti Smith should have recorded but didn't. Catholic Boy somehow is not mentioned in the pantheon of punk classics (due to the fact it was released in 79-80 not 1977)but it is deserving a greater merit.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This disc is as difficult to classify as its main architect is. Is this a Punk disc? If so, then what's the keyboard guy from Blue Oyster Cult doing playing on a couple of the songs? Is it a straight early 80's Rock album? Not with scorching guitar sounds, unconventional vocals and brutally "street" New York subject matter like this. Is it some sort of hip-hop precurser? No way, although reporting on life in the seedy urban jungle, as this disc does constantly, later became a rap music hallmark. And this Jim Carroll guy--confessional author? bowery poet? former junkie? lead singer of a smokin' band? This disc gives an emphatic "all of the above" answer to these questions. The disc occupies a rare stand-alone subcategory in the Rock world that defies further pigeon-holing, and its intensity and drive make it one of the best things to ever crawl out of New York in the past 22+ years.
Jim's singing is actually 80% Lou Reed-style speak-singing (mostly in tune with the music) , with about 20% of Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" era phrasing and tendency to change the pitch upward at the end of a phrase thrown in for good measure. The words matter to Jim: his voice is mixed up front, and he speak-sings clearly to make sure you get what he's written. He even repeats the entire lyrics of "Three Sisters" and "People Who Died" twice. The words are funny, thought-provoking, harrowing, surreal and sometimes disturbing. There are lots of strange vignettes taking place on the lower side of New York life. There are clever double meanings and quoteable rejoinders. There are no 'We're Gonna Rock Tonight' songs, no songs about cars, no 'I Want You, Baby' songs--the disc is nearly free of Rock cliches.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not background music October 15, 2002
By samco
Format:Audio CD
On Catholic Boy, Jim Carroll uses his words well. It is hard for listeners to get his voice out of their heads. For those of you who are not familiar with his work, Catholic Boy is a great introduction. Jim Carroll's songs are biting narratives with th intellectual force of Lou Reed, and with as much rock hard soul as The Ramones. A great buy for anyone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't listen to dev1 August 19, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
"Catholic Boy" is one of those inexplicable records were everything works perfectly. I don't think anyone on it really understands why. Otherwise they would have made more. Totally unique and extremely poetic. You must have a feeling for the New York underground art experience. Some how the amalgam of ingenious poetry works perfectly with the rather straight ahead rock. Not for everyone. A razor edge. I worked at Tower Records for a year and a half and listened to everything, Jazz, Classical, Rock. I have a real open mind. This is one of the few albums out of thousands I previewed that totally caught my attention and still has it 20 years later. Most popular music is junk.
"I Write Your Name" is not as strong, but still a worth while addition. Like I said, non of 'em knew why "Catholic Boy" came out perfect. They wisely stopped recording more after this one when they realized "Catholic Boy" was one of those inexplicable perfections that cannot be equaled.
Give Jim credit for not overloading us with crap after these two albums like he could have.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of those inexplicable masterpieces. January 7, 2001
Format:Audio CD
One of the best Rock Albums of all time. He never got close again. For some strange reason the poet and the band just clicked on this one. I don't think any of them know why. Some of the best lyric poetry ever written, unbelieveable, hard, funny and touching at the same time combined with straigh ahead honest rock. Very New York street city sound. Art at it's most honest level, no pretension.
Not everyone will like this one though. It's not avant, it's just what it is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I totally agree with blahblah January 26, 2007
Format:Audio CD

"One of the best Rock Albums of all time. He never got close again. For some strange reason the poet and the band just clicked on this one."


"I don't think any of them know why."

They couldn't do it again, that's for sure.

"Some of the best lyric poetry ever written"

At the same time sad, funny and scary. EVERY SONG.

"Very New York street city sound."

VERY New York. If you don't get New York you won't get this.

"Art at it's most honest level, no pretension."

Absolutely. Raw honesty. What Carroll does best. Brutal honesty.

"When the city drops into the night there's one moment of light, that's when everything seem clear, the other side, it seems so near."

Lyrics so good many have memorized into my brain. A straight ahead rock sound that somehow just fits the music perfectly.

Note added: RIP Jim who put it best: "before the darkness there's one moment of light, when everything seems clear, the other side, it seems so near"...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks
I chose it because I first heard this in 1980 in New York, then in 1989 I heard it in Florida. I decided to buy 2 CD's and send one to my friend who had heard it before, but at... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Donald
5.0 out of 5 stars NYC
I loved this record as a kid. People Who Died was the reason I repurchased this one, and then realized I forgot all the other songs that made this album sound so great. Read more
Published 6 months ago by taparue
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended.
I think this is one of the least known, underrated great rock albums there is. I listened to it constantly when it first came out and listening to it now on my ipod it has... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Upnorthguy
5.0 out of 5 stars listen to the lyrics
This is good, early punk. Songwriting is great, composition is a little uneven. A band that has been around for awhile.
Published 11 months ago by Candace Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars song: people of died
I was very glad to find this c.d. I had it on L.P. along time ago and when c.d.'s came out I was going to get it but I procrastinated for too long and it took along time to fined... Read more
Published 12 months ago by robert martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic and little-known record
Knew Some People Who Died was the hit song - and a great one - that led me to this record, but the whole thing is at least that good.
Published 13 months ago by Kevin Kraft
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! Love it!
Awesome! Love it! I recommend this to everyone because it is awesome! It is a very cool item to have!
Published 15 months ago by Reuben Gregorian
4.0 out of 5 stars New Wave Classic
I first heard songs from this album in college when I was discovering new wave/punk rock music. "People Who Died" was a favorite among the Devo, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, Dead... Read more
Published 17 months ago by CalM
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Holds Up - Add To Your Collection!!
More than thirty years later, this record is as gritty as the day it was released. Jim Carroll gives us a funny, sad, and ultimately terrifying tour of Manhattan's underbelly. Read more
Published on August 9, 2012 by Howlin' Waters
5.0 out of 5 stars What a life!
For those of you who've read THE BASKETBALL DIARIES (and not just the johnny-come-lately's who just saw the movie) - you know who Jim Carroll was (tragically he just died very... Read more
Published on June 15, 2011 by kmanthie
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