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I Died Today

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 20, 1996
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$12.99
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$12.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Tzadik
  • ASIN: B000003YUQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,165 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's Rodd Keith Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Don Bolles has described the song poem industry as "one of the richest motherlodes of pure unfiltered glorious wrongness to be found in any field of human endeavor", but the emphasis of this CD is on the music, which is totally right. Rodd Keith was kind of a low-budget Brian Wilson, taking lyrical inanities and investing them with meaning by wrapping them in some of the most evocative, creative, and occasionally funny musical sounds imaginable. The range here is wonderful. You get the the Chipmunk- sounding novelty of "The Music Man from Mars", the late 60s Elvis feel of "Don't Throw My Love Away", the mesmerizing riff 'n' recitation of "I Died Today" and the heartbroken minimalism of "In the Stillness of the Night". You can laugh at the words and marvel at the musical invention at the same time. Great melodies, great arrangements, not too much polish, some laughs, what's wrong about that?
Yeah, a lot of this stuff is silly, goofy and strange, but most of it is no worse than the average pop, rock or country hit that's gotten played to death over the years. There's nothing here any more inept than America's "the heat was hot" or that Fleetwood Mac song with the imortal lines "thunder only happens when it's raining" (it doesn't), and "when the rain waSHES you clean you'll know" (horrible scan). Stevie Nicks and the America boys made tons of money from those clunkers, so it's maybe not so naive for the people who sent in their lyrics in response to a song poem ad to think that maybe lightening could strike them too (even if it isn't raining).
The song-poem industry is often depicted as kind of a scam that preyed on poor dumb talentless people hoping to become the next Johnny Mercer.
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Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
In the 60's and early 70's Rodd worked for several of the "we'll create a song from your lyrics or poems" companies whose advertisements were so pervasive in the back of TV Guide. A small portion of these tunes are attempts by amateur songwriters to jump on a particular bandwagon (animal dance crazes, monster songs, etc.) and aren't really all that interesting. But the balance of his efforts are truly engaging struggles by Keith to extract some sort of entertainment value out of rather poorly metered lyrics. He subverts revisionist historians ("General Custer's"), religious 'patriots' ("Real American"), muddled political satirists ("Our Senators") and lonely lovers ("Dreamed Too Long") with his simple but compelling tunes and a skewed vocal style. The true joy of this disc comes from listening to him struggle with and eventually overcome each of his songwriter's intentions.
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Format: Audio CD
Rodd was the kind of megawatt musician who can't help but to vandalize himself. History is littered with men just like him: brilliant ne'er-do-wells who hit the wall with pyrotechnic penache. What redeems Rodd--from obscurity, at least--is his sense of humor. It is apparent in every line of every song he sharked. You will hear it, too, and perhaps something more. I do. To me, Rodd's song poems are like tinsel on an artificial tree: irrelevant,yes, but oddly memorable. Even haunting. When I listen, I don't hear a dead man. I hear a man who failed to bear up under life's perplexing ironies.
Comment 17 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
In the 60's and 7o's, when normal people like you and I had a hankering to write a poem aqbout the turmoils and joys of their lives, they had a way to turn it into a song. Send fifty dollars to an organization and they would write a song and produce it. One of those composers was the amazing Rodd Keith. Woe is us. We have no outlet when we have to write about global warming, or Brad and Jennifer.....But the people in the 60's had the ultimate outlet to talk about such things as the hippie movement, America, General Custer....Ok, this work is a fantastic time capsule of a different era. Is the music great? Yes. Rodd Keith manages to find a way to turn peoples poetry into cheaply produced wonder...Are the songs great? No. Not at all. In fact they are hilariously bad. Hilariously bad.(How about the Dance Songs Do The Pig and Do The Turkey..,..) but they are so innocently written by people who thought they might be discovered that you can help but laugh and cry. These are songs by us....For something extremely different...check this baby out....and do the turkey now.
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Format: Audio CD
Like most music I like, this isn't for everybody, but if you like true musical invention ....it's like a well of ideas! This, combined with the American Song Poem cd (which Rodd is all over), the song poem compilations "Beat of the Traps", "I'm Just the Other Woman" and "Human Breakdown of Absurdity" ...all which feature Rodd....and the almost 200 mp3's on aspma.com, also featuring lots of Rodd Keith stuff, is like all I am listening to! It's like I'm in some bizzarre underworld! What is more than ever evident on this cd is that Rodd was an ingenius arranger and fantastic keyboardist! Whenever he sang, he totally went for it, no matter what the style, always imbuing it with his personality and humor, and totally changing his voice to suit the style of the song. And just when you think it's all about the ridiculousness of amateur lyrics earnestly sung, Rodd hits you with a masterpiece like Cloud 9 (stunning, a great record for ANYBODY), In the Stillness of the Night (almost heartbreaking....no, it IS heartbreaking), the second to last song which is an amazing jazzy tune that defies description but sports a very complex arrangement (i forget the title), and I love the stuff that he just does on the Chamberlian (precursor to the Mellotron)....he really knew how to play it to make it sound like the instruments he was sampling...so much so that you don't always realize that it's a keyboard and not a horn section or a flute solo or even a guitar! If you want to check out the general gist before buying this disc, you can download some tunes (that are NOT on this cd, but it will give you an idea of what it's all about) on aspma.com.Read more ›
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I Died Today
This item: I Died Today
Price: $12.99
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