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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 21, 2012
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$27.96 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions (3CD/DVD)
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Digital Booklet: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
Digital Booklet: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 21, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B0072X2NHQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,040 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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2 Comments 31 of 33 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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.
1 Comment 32 of 39 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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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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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...

http://www.amazon.com/Mermaid-Avenue-Vol-III/dp/B007SQC8W2/ref=sr_shvl_album_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346705741&sr=301-1
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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
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