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  • By the Dawns Early Light
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By the Dawns Early Light


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Audio CD, July 23, 1991
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 23, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Opal/ Warner Bros
  • ASIN: B000005JB8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #202,258 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Poem: Aztec Hotel
2. Boy About 10
3. Arcadia
4. Dead Horse Alive With Flies
5. Photo Of Santiago Mc Kinn
6. Corpse At The Shooting Gallery
7. Albion Farewell (Homage To Delius)
8. Distant Lights Of Olancha Recede
9. Down The Slopes To The Meadow
10. She Dances By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
11. Blind Bird
12. Saint's Name Spoken
13. Place Of Dead Roads
14. A Child In A Sylvan Field
15. Boy About 10
16. Wings
17. No Name
18. Advent

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Always an outlier, Harold Budd enjoys confounding conventional wisdom about ambient music, new age, what have you. Hence his decision in the early '90s to record an album, for Brian Eno's Opal label, devoted to the American landscape--an album of often vaporous melodies intent on figuring the land's geography and history. Budd's a self-admitted devotee of soundtrack composer Ennio Morricone, and his titles alone help conjure the mythical west ("Distant Lights of Olancha Recede," "Place of Dead Roads"), as well as its odd, modern developments ("Aztec Hotel"). Occasional spoken material, a kind of existential cowboy poetry read by Budd, benefits from guitarist Bill Nelson and pedal-steel player B. J. Cole, not to mention viola, harp, and the composer's own array of keyboards. --Marc Weidenbaum

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brad Torgersen on July 5, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I know, I know, hard to make that statement, given Budd's remarkable work over the years; especially with Brian Eno. Still, if I had to pick out a single Budd album to give to a non-Budd listener, as an example of Budd in top form, I'd go with this one.

Budd's signature piano blends beautifully with Bill Nelson's guitars, B.J. Cole's slider, Mabel Wong's viola, and Susan Allen's harp. Intentionally evocative of the dusty Southwest which Budd called home as a boy, the album also features a series of Budd's quirky spoken word poems, which begin and end the album in appropriate fashion.

The highpoint, in my opinion, is 'Saint's Name Spoken', featuring Budd on piano and vocals and Bill Nelson on string guitar. Slow, melancholy, evocative, it's right there with some of the best blue Jazz and, yet, is not jazz at all, but something else entirely.

Like most of Budd's work, it's not easy to describe this album, suffice to say that it is among my top ten ambient/instrumental albums of all time. I can't say enough good about it.

I often play this back-to-back with Budd & Eno's ambient classic, "The Pearl".
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James A. Winchell on April 28, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This disc represents a high-water mark in the soon-to-ebb tide of Harold Budd's inspiring career (he announced his retirement last year). Deeply affecting and emotionally brilliant, the ensemble playing evokes memories of longing, caring and compassionate non-attachment to things unattainable. Several tracks feature the composer reading his own poems over intermittent accompaniment and, unlike some of my relatives who find them odd or incongruous, I find the content and tone of the artist's voice and poems a resonant sign of his commitment to the overall composition and the "subjects" of his work: the desert, the Native Americans, childhood and the unsurpassable feeling of intuition that links all living and non-living things.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kumar A. Desai on February 29, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I don't think I could add much more about this cd to what has been written by other reviewers.

My brother and I just got back from Nevada looking at ghost towns in the middle of empty barren landscapes. This cd was the background music to that trip and fit perfectly.

Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By martin on September 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD
When I first bought this CD some seven years ago, I was immediately put off by the viola that somehow dominates many of the tracks. I put the CD on the shelf and never listened to it until recently. What I found now was a richly textured Ambient/Minimal CD, packed with very emotional pieces. It sounds alot like Harold Budd, but since he gets som extra help from other musicians, this turns out to be something more. I can see parallells between this and for instance Gavin Bryars "After the Requiem" as well as the instrumental extension of David Sylvian's "Gone to Earth", where Bill Nelson's guitar playing is featured as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Harold Budd's output is normally top-notch. This is no exception. Recorded at Daniel Lanois' studio in New Orleans and featuring guitarist Bill Nelson, pedal steel player BJ Cole, and others, this is a haunting work full of gorgeous ambience. Budd's poetry on several tracks works perfectly alongside the instrumental pieces. A great album to listen to on late nights.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By DAC Crowell on January 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Harold Budd's body of work since the mid-70s has been concerned with a lush, beautiful area of sound. It's worth noting that Budd's work was one of the first things released by Brian Eno on his influential and aptly-named Obscure label. And while this album is a lush, dark, and beautifully atmospheric effort, I find that the occasional poetry...as also occurs on his collaboration with Andy Partridge of XTC...detracts from the atmosphere that the pieces themselves build up. It would've been more effective, I think, if the music had been left to just flow and the verbal bits had been left for perhaps another release where they could've been merged with the music in a more effective manner. But by no means does this mean you shouldn't buy this work; there's a lot here that's more than worthwhile.
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