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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album from a band that is truly missed...
In the early 90s, it looked like good music was finally about to take back the radio waves. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, and Soul Asylum, all offering passionate rock and roll and putting to rest years of drek like Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, and Motley Crue. Sadly, ever since the mid/late 90s, bands like Soul Asylum are rarely...
Published on May 26, 2004 by Kevin Caffrey

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Grave Dancer
There are only about 3 or 4 cuts on this CD which are worth the price you pay for it. After the first 4 cuts, the rest seems like written crap that whoever wrote, produced & decided to put them on a CD only was in it for the money. I'm sure the group could have done better, if they put more input into the decision making of an album CD concept. Whoever felt that this...
Published 19 months ago by Richard Levin


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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Album from a band that is truly missed..., May 26, 2004
By 
Kevin Caffrey (Fredericksburg, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
In the early 90s, it looked like good music was finally about to take back the radio waves. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, and Soul Asylum, all offering passionate rock and roll and putting to rest years of drek like Bon Jovi, Poison, Warrant, and Motley Crue. Sadly, ever since the mid/late 90s, bands like Soul Asylum are rarely heard on mainstream radio. It's a shame because Dave Pirner & co. know how to write and arrange songs, something that often seems lost on the current crop of bands like Nickelback and Linkin Park that have taken over the airwaves.
What I love most about this album is that there's no formula to it. Songs didn't have to resort to the "soft verse, heavy chorus, soft verse, heavy chorus" mode of a lot of late 90s and current rock. A song that starts with acoustic guitars as the main instrument STAYS with the acoustic guitars throughout the whole song. "Runaway Train" definitely ranks up there as one of the best songs of the 90s. "Black Gold" & "Somebody to Shove" are also exquisitely arranged songs that were so well produced that they sound just as fresh now as they did over ten years ago. "Get on Out" is the best song The Who never wrote. An eclectic album, it features great Aerosmith-like hard rock riffs in "April Fool," but also country-tinged numbers like "New World" and "Homesick."
What this album really makes me think of is how much passion is missing in rock today. Sure, there's tons of great new music out there today, but it is harder to find than it was in the early 90s. _Grave Dancer's Union_ is an example of a band that knows how to inject songs with melody, passion, and originality.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Breakthrough Album, July 18, 2002
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
Until the release of "Grave Dancer's Union," Soul Asylum looked fated to labor fruitlessly in the wilderness like fellow Minneapolis rockers The Replacements. That all changed with the 1991 Nirvana revolution and "Union," thanks to some excellent songwriting and a way-overplayed hit single. "Runaway Train," is that single, a throwback to a 1980s power ballad. Fortunately, the album also contained the punkish single "Somebody to Shove," and a storytelling single in "Black Gold." The rest of the material alternates between rockers as ballads, with highlights such as the catchy refrain of "Keep it Up," the nostalgic "Homesick," "Without a Trace," and a superb closing track in "The Sun Maid."
Overall, Soul Asylum's breakthrough album is one of the better things to follow in the wake of Nirvana in the early 1990s.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Minnesota rocks, January 20, 2005
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
GRAVE DANCERS UNION vaulted Soul Asylum to previously unattainable heights of popularity. Their first effort for Columbia Records after years of neglect from A&M Records. Rhetoric doesn't do justice in describing the vast package here. Quite simply, Soul Asylum is/was? a great rock and roll band with an expanse of tastes, influences and styles. All are effective when applied to their own songs. "Somebody To Shove," "Black Gold" and "Runaway Train" are as different as three songs can get. They are also as great as three songs can get. The totally awesome Replacements tried but not enough of you paid attention. The torch as Minnesota's next great band was passed to Soul Asylum.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Epic Album From A Band That Is Missed., August 26, 2004
By 
Steve Wastka (Eden Prairie, MN) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
1992 is the year that Soul Asylum became the talk of the town, and by buying Grave Dancer's Union, you will see why. Soul Asylum was one hell of a band, and this is one hell of an album. Of course, it includes the hits "Somebody to Shove", "Black Gold", "Runaway Train", and "Without A Trace", but what here in between in some pretty amazing music. The Country-Music like vocals and guitars on "Homesick", and "New World" are pretty amazing to hear. Not to mention the incredible old-school-Aerosmith-like tone of hard rock anthem "April Fool". And the pleasant orcherstrated tones of "The Sun Maid" is pretty beautiful. Anyway, this is an album you can listen to again and again and enjoy it everytime. This is a great album for those of you who want to get to know the Minneapolis born Soul Asylum, who will be forever loved, and missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first exposure to Soul Asylum and that's not a bad thing at all., January 15, 2013
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (MP3 Music)
As "the grunge era" music had almost completely taken over all the rock stations play lists, I first heard this gem of a song called "Somebody To Shove", and "Black Gold" came soon after. I was getting burned out on Soundgarden and the like so it was a much needed change when I finally bought "Grave Dancers Union" - and I still love it today.

It's disappointing to hear that many of the hard-core fans never fully accepted "GDU" and thought that Soul Asylum had "sold out" to commercial radio or MTV. I have to disagree because of one thing that they did for free, just for the love of the music. In the summer of '94, while nearly every popular music artist was getting paid to play at the 25th anniversary Woodstock concert, Soul Asylum was not there. Instead after the concert, Soul Asylum made an unannounced visit to the original Woodstock site in Bethel, and jammed out for the sparse crowd that was there to see the local bands play in a "live concert" trailer. It was almost like they were there playing just for me...because it seemed like I was the only one young enough to have owned their music and at that moment I was living in a dream.

I believe "Grave Dancers Union" opened the door for millions of new fans like myself, it's certainly one of the best cd's of that era, and has stood the test of time. A true modern classic in my opinion.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Bit of Nostalgia., May 13, 2007
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This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
I purchased thia CD for one song "Runaway Train" and whenever I am having a bad day I enjoy listening to it to put things in there proper perspective!The other titles are very good if you are in the right mood to listen to them...
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Won't you fill up the tank, let's go for a ride", May 23, 2008
By 
ctrx ('bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks...) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
Soul Asylum's "Grave Dancers Union" is one of the better alt-rock albums of the early 90s. Coming from Minnesota, frontman Dave Pirner and the band had enjoyed steady careers as a successful regional act before "Grave Dancers Union" spawned multiple hits. Soul Asylum can rock with the best of the early-90s alt bands, and Dave Pirner is an artistic and passionate songwriter who also has a great feel for a melody and arrangement. The song structures are excellent and are all quite appealing. What I like most about "Grave Dancers Union" is the variety within the tracklist. The songs range from midtempo ballads to heavy rockers, and from catchy pop tunes to experimental numbers. Musically, there are elements of classic rock in Soul Asylum's approach, but the arrangement and Dave Pirner's performances result in a style that is quintissential 90s alt-rock. Overall "Grave Dancers Union" showcases an overlooked band with some of their best material on their hands, and the album is quite enjoyable from start to finish.

The disc opens with one of its best songs, the upbeat and catchy "Somebody to Shove," a song with enough pop sensibility to stay in your head for hours but enough artistic merit to satisfy any longtime fan. It has a great hook and well-structured verses. Another single, "Black Gold," is equally appealing, and with its whimsical lyricism and twinkling guitar lines has proven to stand the test of time. However, the best single is "Runaway Train," a bittersweet number that showcases Soul Asylum at their best. "Keep It Up" is fun and upbeat, while the mournful "Homesick" is soulfully great, as Pirner laments, "I'm so homesick, but it ain't that bad / 'Cause I'm homesick for the home I've never had." The Tom Petty-esque "Get On Out" and the philosophical "New World" are both excellent, as is the snarling hard rock of "April Fool." "Leave Without a Trace" is cut from the same mold as "Runaway Train," and after the nice "Growing Into You" comes the experimental "99%," which uses a bullhorn effect on the vocals and clashing instrumentals for an unsettled sounding track. The album closes with perhaps my favorite song, the absolutely charming ballad "The Sun Maid."

Soul Asylum is not so celebrated today, but with "Grave Dancers Union" they established themselves as one of the most potent bands in the 90s alt-rock scene, and made their presence felt with some excellent singles. The album does the singles complete justice, though, and is a great full listen. I highly recommend "Grave Dancers Union" to any 90s rock fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars not my kind of music, so was surprised, July 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
i bought the cd solely for runaway train. could have cared more if i like the other songs. got it home listened to it... hey! they're not bad. i'm not a die hard fan of theirs. don't have any of their cds. probably wouldn't like them as much as this one.
this cd is a combination give and take. from what i see of the other reviews of their other cds, they're a hard rock group. i kind of like rock... kind of not. depends on the mood. this cd had some smooth melodies like those found in "runaway train" it had some of [i think] what is their usual style. it's good. based on the lyrics alone man.... i'd give them 5 stars, but because i'm more of a smooth melody girl [ie. mckennit, brinkman, anggun, savage garden, trans-siberian orch, wallflowers] and this isn't really my style of music, it's a 4. i think that says a Lot about the band. hell they won me over.
if another band ever did a cover of this album only with more drums and piano and guitar melodies like in "runaway train" but keeping the ragged edged vocals oh man! would i be gone for it. the lyrics are That good.
the cd has some soft spots [relative to the rest of the cd] like in "black gold" and some hard spots. i don't know. it's a good cd. regular fans might not like it as much because it's not as hard as their previous ones... but in betweens like me will. i think the cd's worth a shot anyway you look at it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Songwriter's album, July 12, 2006
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
I was brought back to this album after hearing Soul Asylum's latest release, Silver Lining.

I forgot how truly good this album is. The songwriting is outstanding. Dave's voice is not always in tune, but it adds so much character and emotion that it can't be dismissed.

So many incredible songs on this album. "Runaway Train", "Black Gold", "Somebody to Shove", and "Without a Trace were all FM sweethearts. But there were many other gems on this album. "Keep it up" is a great upbeat pop song. While "Homesick" isn't a favorite of mine, it did well on the charts. "Get on Out" is a cool rocker. To me, "New World" is simply filler". "April Fool" may be my favorite song on the album, it has a harder rock groove, and some great phrasing. The rest were fillers as well to me.

Four big commercial hits, and some hidden gems. Listen to amazon's samples and it might be for you. A big step up from their previous six albums (although I am a fan of those as well).
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest albums ever produced, August 1, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Grave Dancers Union (Audio CD)
I'm not one to casually throw out 5-star ratings, but "Grave Dancers Union" warrants one. It is a superb album, blending powerful rockers like "Somebody to Shove", "April Fool", and the biting "99%" with melancholy classics like "Runaway Train", "Homesick", and "Without a Trace". This is not a straight rock album, nor is it light rock or any such fluff. Except for the kick-your-face-in songs mentioned above, however, many of the songs are a little slower and lighter than rock fans may be used to. Rest assured, its worth listening; the music is put together beautifully and the lyrics really speak to the listener -- about loneliness, love, hope... if you don't give this album a chance, you're missing out on one of the best albums you'll ever have a chance to hear.
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Grave Dancers Union
Grave Dancers Union by Soul Asylum
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