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  • Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered
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Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered

20 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 21, 2004
$46.69 $3.87

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Product Description

We are here to confirm truth to the rumors that we are currently working on a compilation of Daniel Johnston covers songs. What we won't tell you is the names of the Artist and bands that will be on it. This compilation we surely blow your mind. You'll see it on the shelves in your favorite record sooner then you think! Oh yeah the producer of this project is Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse.

Here we have a flawed but interesting introduction to the songs and recordings of one of the twentieth century’s great, maudlin pop musicians, Texas-based Daniel Johnston. This double CD has a pack of alt-rock superstars--among them Beck, Tom Waits, Vic Chesnutt, Bright Eyes and Calvin Johnson--tackling Johnston’s idiosyncratic and visionary songs, while the other disc has the originals, in the same order. With the exception of TV on the Radio’s Ubu-ish take on "Walking the Cow" and Waits' over the top version of "King Kong," there’s not much to say about the covers CD. Sincere indie-rock takes on Johnston's amazingly strong, emotionally intimate songs? How obvious and boring is that? Why have the work of one vocally eccentric artist interpreted by a bunch of wimpy dudes? However, as a sampler of his work, disc two is exemplary, focusing primarily as it does on his '80s home recordings. If you look at this as a great mixtape that comes with some silly covers, you’ll enjoy it plenty. --Mike McGonigal

Disc: 1
1. My Life Is Starting Over Again/Teenage Fanclub with Jad Fair
2. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Grievience/Clem Snide
3. Impossible Love/Gordon Gano
4. Living Life/Eels
5. Walking The Cow/T.V. On The Radio
6. Good Morning You/The Rabbit
7. Sorry Entertainer/Calvin Johnson
8. Devil Town/Bright Eyes
9. Dream Scream/Death Cab For Cutie
10. True Love Will Find You In The End/Beck
See all 18 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. My Life Is Starting Over Again
2. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievience
3. Impossible Love
4. Living Life
5. Walking The Cow
6. Good Morning You
7. Sorry Entertainer
8. Devil Town
9. Dream Scream
10. True Love Will Find You In The End
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 21, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Gammon
  • ASIN: B0002MH3KQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,052 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Death of Rats on October 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I first heard about Daniel Johnston when I learned that Eels would be contributing a song to this collection, and did some minimal background research on him. What I turned up put him in that category of artists that I permanently mean to "check out sometime."

I didn't even know this album had been released until I saw it on the shelves of my local record store. I picked it up, looked at the artists featured on it, and found several names I'm happily familiar with (Eels, Beck, and Bright Eyes, most notably), and figured that if I were ever going to listen to Daniel Johnston, this would be the way to do it, so I bought the CD and listened that night. I was, quite honestly, blown away.

At first, I was wary of the 2-disc format at such a low price, because I didn't want just two CDs full of exactly the same thing, but despite being technically the same songs, the versions found on the two discs are vastly different from one another, though it's sometimes difficult to pinpoint exactly why. While listening to the originals, I had what seems to be the standard Daniel Johnston first reaction, which is "Man, this guy can't sing, can barely play his instruments...but it seems like there's something I'm missing." As the songs progressed and I grew accustomed to the lo-fi recording (which I'd expected, and in my opinion is an essential part of many of the songs, but still takes some getting used to), I found myself really enjoying the music, more than I could remember enjoying any CD I've heard recently.

The Daniel Johnston Effect is still something of a mystery to me.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 14, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"My fame is spreading cross the land/my life is starting over again," sings Daniel Johnston at the start of this unusual tribute album. Surprisingly, it stands way above your average tribute album, most of which involve numerous mediocre bands covering old favorites. But here the selection is excellent, and the choices are

The first disc here is a selection of several songs by Johnston, with his lo-fi indiepop, wavery instrumentation and high vocals. Songs like "My Life is Starting Over Again" highlight his poppier melodies, while more melancholy songs like "Dream Scream" deal with the sadder aspects of love, breakups and reminiscences.

The second album is the true tribute material: the very same songs are covered by myriad singers and bands. Bands such as Beck and Bright Eyes stick closely to the original type of song, although their versions are far more polished. Expect harmonicas and slow-moving melodies. But other bands like TV on the Radio and Mercury Rev give new spins to old tunes. Two of the best are the Starlight Mints' catchily sweet cover of "Dead Lover's Twisted Heart," and Mark Linkous and the Flaming Lips' delicate cover of "Go," sparkling piano and strings taking center stage.

Mark Linkous, frontman of Sparklehorse, definitely knew what he was doing when he co-produced this tribute album. One of the best things is that it allows listeners to know what the songs originally sounded like, while also allowing them to hear the tribute covers. Not a lot of tributes do that, and it adds to the loving feeling of the covers.

Regardless of what the various bands sound like normally, they tone down their sound here. Most of the songs are softer and mellower, and a few of the singers even seem to be imitating the vocal quirks that Johnston had.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Popa on May 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Wow, I thought from the title of this that Daniel had passed away. Glad to discover that that is not the case. I really enjoyed most of the covers but I still prefer the originals myself. They have that Nebraska (Bruce Springstein)intimacy to them which I love. For anyone who likes Daniel Johnston I recommend you go looking for a version of Speeding Motorcyle with Yo La Tengo. (It's on Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo) It is probably my favorite thing he has ever done. Brilliant.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Gastelo on August 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the first review I ever write and what better way to start than with an unrecognized artist. I first heard of Daniel Johnson a couple of months ago when the trailer for the documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnson" appeared on apple's website. I since then had probably seen that trailer at least 20 times and after all that those views it stills brakes me down and puts me emotional. I have not seen the documentary yet but I ordered this CD a couple of weeks ago and boy was I shocked. The feelings I achieve from hearing his humble recordings are far greater than I expected, it is very hard for me to cry when watching a movie or even hearing a song, but I couldn't hold it with him and I have to admit I cry more than once while going through these songs. If you carefully listen to "Dream Scream" you can hear Daniel breathing so fast that it makes you feel as if he is going to break down in any second.

"Story of an Artist" and "The sun Shines down on me" are simply beautiful lyrically and melodically and my personal favorites, but all the songs are great except "King Kong" which in my mind can not even be called a song.

Many people would say that he is not a great singer or a good musician and they would be right, but let me tell you this, very few musicians can transmit the type of emotion Daniel can deliver, and that is his true gift.
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