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It's a Shame About Ray by Lemonheads (1992)

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

It's A Shame About Ray by The Lemonheads

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rockin Stroll
  2. Confetti
  3. It's A Shame About Ray
  4. Rudderless
  5. Buddy
  6. The Turnpike Down
  7. Bit Part
  8. Alison's Starting To Happen
  9. Hannah & Gabi
  10. Kitchen
  11. Ceiling Fan In My Spoon
  12. Frank Mills
  13. Mrs. Robinson


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 21, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: February 3, 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Atlantic 0191
  • Run Time: 33 minutes
  • ASIN: B000002IUZ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,823 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Lemonheads-It's a Shame About Ray (1992) My all-time favorite feel-good album, all songs are under four minutes long. The Boston-based band churns out the most catchy tunes I've ever heard. Singer/guitarist/lyricist Evan Dando's songs have an air of innocence and wonderment that always leaves me feeling happy to be alive. Juliana Hatfield was a member of the band at this time, and Johnny Depp and Faye Dunaway starred in the video for album's title track. "Rockin' Stroll" is sung from the perspective of a baby in his stroller: "People's knees and trunks of trees smile at me." "My Drug Buddy" is about scoring some dope and just enjoying a female friend's company. Lyrics like, "Thrilled to be in the same post-code as you.../Smile at me, I'll hold you really tight/Follow you into bed," are practically irresistible. And "Rudderless" must be one of the most catchiest songs ever made. I pop this cd in when I'm feeling low, and it never fails to cheer me up.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A professor of mine once suggested that a good short paper was always better than a good long one. The same, I think, can be said of CDs (even though I consider the 76-minute "Blueberry Boat" to be one of the best releases of 2004). The original release of The Lemonheads' CD "It's A Shame About Ray" was under 30 minutes long, and was later padded by the cover of Mrs Robinson. When a short record is done right, it leaves no space for throwaways or wasted moments. Having said that, "It's A Shame About Ray" is, in short, done right.

Released 10 months after "Nevermind," "Ray" is kinder, gentler release of the grunge era ("bubblegrunge" was the term applied to it). Singer/songwriter Evan Dando does a fine job of mixing all of his influences into the record: jangle pop, country rock, power pop, and punk. He sings in an understated and unpretentious manner that succeeds all the same in bringing his clever lyrics into full relief. The jangley acoustic strumming and crisp arpeggios that come to the fore give the CD a very autumnal feel, one that makes the setting seem more like a wealthy, wooded bedroom community than suburbia.

The first half of the CD alternates among slow (My Drug Buddy), mid (Confetti), and up tempo (The Turnpike Down) numbers, and then climaxes to perfection with the drum-propelled tracks Bit Part and the magnificent Alison's Starting to Happen. Simply put, these songs are two of the best pieces of evidence to suggest that the three-minute pop song is one minute too long. (The latter contains what is probably the best lyric on the entire record: "She's the puzzle piece behind the couch that made the sky complete.") But it is hardly all downhill from there.
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By KD on September 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The oversaturation of "alternative" bands that went mainstream in the early '90's produced very little worth mentioning today. The Lemonheads are an exception, and this, their second major-label effort (5th overall) is their shining moment.
It's too bad Evan Dando has never received his due as a songwriter, most of the band's well-known songs are covers. Originally, this album closed with "Frank Mills", from the musical "Hair". Atlantic later tacked on their rocking cover of "Mrs. Robinson", which became their biggest hit.
But the real gems on this disc are Dando's - "It's a Shame About Ray", "Confetti", "Allison's Starting to Happen", "My Drug Buddy"....all classics in the Lemonheads catalog. The music is catchy and the lyrics are clever -- great straightforward pop-rock.
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By A Customer on October 15, 1999
Format: Audio CD
You know how you have some albums in your collection that you're especially fond of? Not because they're necessarily the 'greatest" artistic achievements or the most influential groundbreakers but just because you never get tired of listening to them? This is one of those records for me. It's absolutely perfect in its low-key, effortless melodicism and I'll always love it.
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Format: Audio CD
Now this is a great album. Every song is a potential single. Everything is short enough for you too wish it would go on. Every tune is catchy, but after 8 years I'm not bored yet! And did Evan say things never said before? What about this, "She's the puzzle piece behind the couch that makes the sky complete"! Yeah, she is too. This is great and it will make you happy. What more can you want from a guitar band?
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Format: Audio CD
The big problem with cds is that they're too darn long. Seriously, if you look at the albums on most all-time best of lists, they're about 45 minutes long. Since cds came out most discs are intent on running to the maximum 74 or 80 minutes. To put it in context, that's longer than Exile on Main Street, London Calling and Zen Arcade. The point is, every time you buy a cd you can bet on at least a half hour of filler. That's annoying.

No such problems with "It's a Shame About Ray." Its only 27 minutes long, 32 if you get a later version with their silly but catchy cover of "Mrs. Robinson" attached. What it lacks in running time, it more than makes up for in quality. Its a dozen slightly countrified punk pop gems, which occupy a paradise somewhere between Green Day and Gram Parsons. That is to say every song is immediately catchy yet instantly familiar on first listen. Its the kind of record where,if it stays in your rotation for awhile (and it most certainly will), it will yield a new favorite track every few days. 10 years after its release, it still delivers the goods every time.

High points include the title track, Hannah and Gabi, My Drug Buddy and Confetti, but there's really not a weak number in the bunch. Most tracks are mid to slightly uptempo and dominated by acoustic guitar and Evan Dando's wonderfully warm singing. If the songs have any weakness its that they can be lyrically slight but they're so bouncy, charming and relentlessly catchy that hardly distracts at all. This one deserves a spot in any collection and stands as one of the most memorable albums of the 90's.
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It's a Shame About Ray by Lemonheads (1992)
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