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Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

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Audio CD, October 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Fifteen years ago, Arthur Alexander finally made the album that would give him the acclaim he was denied for decades, in spite of being a crucial influence on the two biggest rock groups of all time.

His comeback album, Lonely Just Like Me, was as warm and wounded as a fresh heartbreak, lovingly produced by Ben Vaughn and recorded down South with the musicians who backed Arthur s hits in the 60s and 70s. Upon its release, Arthur was shown all the love an artist could hope for. Entertainment Tonight filmed a full segment. Rolling Stone declared the album stunning in a feature review. NPR s "Fresh Air" broadcast a live-in-studio concert (included in the upcoming disc) and, in an unprecedented move, brought Arthur back two weeks later for a full sit-down interview.

But just as every Arthur Alexander song seemed to end in heartbreak, so did his return to the spotlight. Within days of the album s release, Arthur passed away. In the wake of his death this wonderful album faded into little more than a bittersweet memory shared by everyone he touched.

Now HackTone Records will finally give this album the audience it deserves. Lonely Just Like Me:The Final Chapter tells the full story of Arthur Alexander s triumphant re-emergence. Surrounding the original Elektra/Nonesuch album are never-before-heard demos made in a tiny Cleveland hotel room, Arthur s entire live session for NPR s Fresh Air and even a song from the 1991 Bottom Line concert which landed Arthur his new record deal. Produced with the full participation of everyone involved with the original Elektra/Nonesuch album, this is a loving tribute to a legend s final triumph.

Admired as a songwriter but overlooked as soul singer, Alabama-born Arthur Alexander was in the early stages of a career revival in 1993 (the year he released Lonely Just Like Me on Nonesuch Records) when he died unexpectedly, aged 53, shortly after a performance. Believed to be the only songwriter whose songs have been covered by the Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On"), the Beatles ("Anna"), Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley, Alexander abandoned music at age 40 after he grew disillusioned with the music industry after publishing deals yielded little return for him. He worked in Cleveland at a center for disadvantaged kids and drove a bus, which explains the disc's cover art. Musician/producer Ben Vaughn coaxed Alexander to record again and served as producer for Lonely Just Like Me, a warm, understated collection of storytelling tunes, mostly hard-luck tales of upright men struggling to find a niche in an unfair word. This disc includes the entire '93 Nonesuch recording plus an enlightening interview/live performance (tracks 13-20) originally broadcast on NPR's Fresh Air. Here, Alexander's genuineness and sincerity are memorably chronicled, and for Alexander devotees its inclusion makes this recording an especially inviting package. Alexander's voice did not have the broadest range, he rarely used backup vocalists, and he kept his instrumentation (often accented with a subtle country lilt) quite simple. His most endearing quality as a vocalist was the earnestness, clarity, and dignity of his singing, which deepened the poignancy of his songs' prevailing theme of heartbreak. Also included are five lo-fi hotel-room demos, a live version of "Anna," and liner notes from Vaughn. --Terry Wood

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1. If It's Really Got To Be This Way
2. Go Home Girl
3. Sally Sue Brown
4. All The Time
5. Lonely Just Like Me
6. Every Day I Have To Cry
7. In The Middle Of It All
8. Genie In The Jug
9. Mr. John
10. Johnny Heartbreak
11. There Is A Road
12. I Believe In Miracles
13. Go Home Girl - (live, live on fresh air)
14. Genie In The Jug - (live on fresh air)
15. You Better Move On - (live on fresh air)
16. Every Day I Have To Cry - (live on fresh air)
17. Solitary Man - (hotel demo)
18. Johnny Heartbreak - (hotel demo)
19. Genie In The Jug - (hotel demo)
20. Lonely Just Like Me - (hotel demo)
See all 21 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Alternative Distribution Alliance
  • ASIN: B000SM7QZW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on October 9, 2007
Format: Audio CD
By the time Arthur Alexander cut this comeback release in 1993 he'd been out of the limelight for nearly 15 years. Thirty years earlier he'd authored songs that stoked the imaginations of The Beatles ("Anna"), Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and others. Better yet, his southern soul recording of the latter was the first song ever waxed at the legendary Muscle Shoals studio. His seminal early sides were followed by terrific outings for Monument and Warner Brothers throughout the '60s and '70s, but he never garnered the commercial rewards his artistry deserved. By the end of the '70s, feeling unrewarded and ripped off by the publishers and record labels, Alexander retired from music industry to work with disadvantaged children.

Ironically, it was the same music industry, in the form of A&R executive Danny Kahn, that coaxed Alexander back into the studio. Having spied a rare Alexander performance at New York's Bottom Line in 1992 (represented here by a live take of "Anna"), Kahn signed him to the Nonesuch label and dispatched artist Ben Vaughn to produce an album in Nashville. Stars have rarely aligned so well for a comeback effort. Alexander's new songs were as striking as the originals he re-recorded, and his voice, lightly deepened and weathered by age was even more soulful than thirty years earlier. Original accompanists (plus a few younger players) provided brilliant backings for every track, and Vaughn's production removed the original '60s gloss to focus squarely on Alexander's voice and songs.

Vaughn wrote, "If heartbreak had a sound, it was this voice," and Alexander's final LP drove home the point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam I Am on November 5, 2007
Format: Audio CD
In some respects, this album can be considered a "reissue" - but really, it's more than that. It's the stark, simply beauty of Alexander's voice in the hotel room demos included here; the matter-of-fact 'Fresh Air' interview segments where Alexander discusses (with no bitterness) how the record business basically screwed him years and years ago; the heartening way he sings "Anna" at the Bottom Line.

The people who put this album - nay, this PACKAGE - together are true fans of Alexander's and you can feel it whether you're leafing through the scrapbook pages from his life (included in a nook behind the cover art) or whether you're marveling at how haunting Alexander's voice sounds after so many years.

It's easy to see why high-profile musicians (Rolling Stones, Beatles, Dylan, etc.) have always covered Alexander's music - he had a simple gift for songcraft and an honest heart that came through in his music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill Staley on January 6, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Anna and Really Got to be This Way are my favorites. The studio recordings are worth many listenings. The Fresh Air interview is wonderful. He seems like such a nice guy -- in the interviews and as a singer, writer and in his choice of songs by others. The Fresh Air songs are great. The hotel demos are interesting to hear once. I also bought Greatest Hits, which I also recommend. These simple, direct songs stand up well to the test of time. John Lennon and Mick Jagger did not surpass him in their covers.
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Oddly 'Arthur Alexanders' songs get better treatmant by other artists than when he records them. Don't get me wrong, Arthur can sing and deliver his songs really well but who and what he inspires seems to add a reverance that Mr. Alexander doesn't. Listening to this, his final album, is like doing homework for musicians that love the 3 minute song that doesn't have massive amounts of chord changes just to make the songs "interesting", because they already are. He wrote from the soul and gave folks like The Stones, Beatles, The Derailers and Mr. Willy DeVille some amazing vehicles to express themselves or to let their audience know where they are at. Arthur Alexander gets in your soul and stays there.
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