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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions [CD]

Billy Bragg, WilcoAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Price: $30.29 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 47 Songs, 1 Digital Booklet, 2012 $28.49  
Audio CD, CD, 2012 $30.29  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0072X2NHQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,875 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions (3CD/DVD)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here's the deal: the majority of this material has been available for years now. If you're looking at this, then you probably already own Mermaid Avenue volumes one and two. You may even own the documentary Man in the Sand, but there is no way you own Mermaid Avenue Volume Three. I won't go into depth about Volumes one and two. They are awesome, but you already know that. The documentary is truly entertaining. It follows Billy Bragg as he tries to track down the real life of Woody Guthrie and starts to work to create music for the already penned Guthrie lyrics. The lyrics are amazing. It is easy to forget that Woody Guthrie was such an amazing lyricist and truly ahead of his time, but this set will drive that point home. I know what question you're asking: Why the heck should I buy a box set where I already own 2-3 of the disks? The answer is Mermaid Avenue Volume Three. This volume is filled with out takes from the Mermaid Avenue sessions. Some of the tracks like Bug-Eyed Jim, My Thirty Thousand, and When the Roses Bloom were maid available on an EP years ago. They are some of the stronger tracks on the album, but there are still 14 tracks you've never heard. All 17 tracks are worth your time though. Like me, you might resent having to pay thirty bucks to rebuy albums you already own. I get it. I really do wish they sold Volume Three as a stand alone album too, but that's the nature of the music biz. Sell you the same stuff over and over at inflated prices. We all resent it, but if you're a fan of the Mermaid Avenue stuff, you'll want this album. I do believe Amazon offers Volume Three as a stand alone purchase but for download only. I'm outdated. I don't mind downloading, but I truly would rather own a hard copy. Plus, I don't mind supporting Billy Bragg or Wilco a little more. Read more ›
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth Getting for One New Vol.? April 30, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I won't waste time reviewing the quality of Vol. I and II or speak of the faults of Man in the Sand, the previously available documentary included here. Instead, I want to talk about the content of Vol. III for anyone who already has the first two volumes but is considering the hard copy of this set (NOTE: You don't have much to consider if you purchase it digitally because Vol. III is available separately.). This review is also for those who already have some of the content from Vol. III on the She Came Along to Me EP and bootlegs.

The content of Vol. III has never been officially available in one package. However, several of the songs were available on bootlegs for years, while others were released on the She Came Along to Me EP in 1998. "When the Roses Bloom Again" was released on the Chelsea Walls soundtrack in 2002. The sound quality of Vol. III is better than previous sources and consistent with Vol. I and II. Does the addition of Vol. III really complete the sessions? Pretty much. It would've been nice if Jeff Tweedy's solo/acoustic version of "At My Window Sad and Lonely" (from the She Came Along to Me EP) was included, as it is superior to the full band version on Vol. I, but you still can and should seek it out.

The package is a multifold digipack. It's not very sturdy for the amount of discs and thick booklet that it holds, but it should be fine for a while. Inside the booklet there is a new lengthy introduction from Nora Guthrie, lyric sheets, photos by Woody Guthrie and full lyrics with song credits. The old intros/notes from the previous releases of Vol. I and II are not here. For anyone picky about the vocal duties throughout the first two volumes, Vol. III's count is: Billy Bragg (10), Jeff Tweedy (5), Corey Harris (2).
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars woody would hate this. April 30, 2012
Format:Audio CD
already owning the 1st two volumes, i will not lay down 30 bucks for out takes. they should have just released a vol.3 and that would be that. this is nothing less than boosting profits for a label i used to respect. woody would be angered by this BS.
however, i will still give the set 5 stars for the music, but nonesuch should be ashamed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By awg
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
that the only way to get a Vol. 3 on CD is to rebuy volumes 1 and 2 in this set. These clearly are the leftovers. I can't think of any song that jumped out and made me think, "How did this not make Vol. 1?" But it's a likable collection of a music that I'm glad they made available.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody Guthrie reincarnated June 24, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Woody's daughter Nora sought out Billy Bragg & Wilco to write songs to Woody's unpublished lyrics. The result is really good, especially the Billy Bragg numbers. Wilco's modern sound provides an interesting contrast to Bragg's folksy approach.

Many here are criticizing Volume III as "leftovers" and "outtakes," which is fair since Volume III was released over a decade later than the previous volumes. However, Volume III is great listening, especially if you like blues.

Overall, the experiment is a critically acclaimed rousing success, fascinating on many levels. If Woody really has tons of unpublished lyrics as reported, there is no reason they can't keep making more of these volumes, it can become its own franchise.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Here's how to download only Volume 3.... September 3, 2012
Format:MP3 Music
I love the Mermaid Ave sessions and it's wonderful to have the new songs released.

I've read that some are not able to find a way to download just the new songs.

You can download the new songs here...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely love the cds..good adaptation of woody's songs
Published 3 months ago by hman
5.0 out of 5 stars What's not to love about Woody?
What can one say? Woody Guthrie is still an icon to people in the know. And now to find some hidden gems among the volumes he left behind is certainly worth the price. Read more
Published 10 months ago by T. Mocarski
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This is one of the best CDs I have had the pleasue of listening to in a very long time. Billy Bragg and company brings great life to this body of work.
Published 12 months ago by Roger W. Macdonald-evoy
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Disc 3 is great. Far better than I expected. DVD - take it or leave it. Not sure this would be worth it if you already own disc 1 and 2, but I only had the original one.
Published 14 months ago by Yooper
5.0 out of 5 stars it's good
i mean real good. really really really really good. i cannot stand the minimum word requirement. i really sucks balls.
Published 17 months ago by Stephen
2.0 out of 5 stars We don't like this kin of music
We had hoped for a different kind of music based on a review we'd read. This album did not correlate well with the review.
Published 18 months ago by H. Schulte
5.0 out of 5 stars Tunes
First 2 CDs great, as others have expounded on. I don't listen to the 3rd. I definitely enjoy the DVD and the little booklet.
Published 18 months ago by kcar
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
This is a great way to get all three recordings plus a DVD about the making of the project. I highly recommend it.
Published on August 13, 2012 by E. Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
Classic Americana from start to finish. This is the music I think of when I think of the Midwest. Great stories and good times, hopes, dreams, life and everything in between.
Published on May 31, 2012 by Keivn
5.0 out of 5 stars Volume III IS available separately
To the reviewers complaining that the 17 tracks not on Vol I or II should have been released separately, Vol III IS available as an MP3 download. Read more
Published on May 5, 2012 by Daryl Eriksen
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