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Mermaid Avenue Vol. II

Billy Bragg, WilcoAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2012 $10.49  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 30, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: May 30, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B00004TBES
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,501 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Airline To Heaven
2. My Flying Saucer
3. Feed Of Man
4. Hot Rod Hotel
5. I Was Born
6. Secrets Of The Sea
7. Stetson Kennedy
8. Remember The Mountain Bed
9. Blood Of The Lamb
10. Against The Law
11. All You Fascists Are Bound To Lose
12. Joe DiMaggio Done It Again
13. Meanest Man
14. Black Wind Blowing
15. Someday, Some Morning, Sometime

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Who knew that after the undeniable, sometimes shimmering, sometimes rustic magic of Mermaid Avenue that there was enough quality material for a second volume? By setting their own music to Woody Guthrie's lyrics, Billy Bragg and Wilco once again offer a 50-minute testament to Guthrie's long, dynamic shadow. This sophomore meeting is as balanced between the up-tempo and the down-tempo as was the first Mermaid. Jeff Tweedy's rasp gives all the Wilco-driven tunes a certain grit, and the songs Bragg takes on have a luminescent, frank earnestness that intensifies the delivery of Guthrie's lyrical social critiques. "Hot Rod Hotel," with Bragg on the mic, melds the two approaches best, and "Secret of the Sea" is the CD's poppiest centerpiece--aptly aimed at radio airplay like the first Mermaid's "California Stars." Natalie Merchant's playful "I Was Born" is brief but sweet, just as bluesman Corey Harris's "Against the Law" is an uplift, with his passionate vocal wail mirroring the political gist of Guthrie's words. The moody closers "Black Wind Blowing" and "Someday, Some Morning, Sometime" end Volume 2 with a pair of sweetly sad gems, one a Bragg-sung folk blues that mourns the loss of cotton crops in the American dustbowl era, the other a Tweedy-sung paean to lost love. At the dawn of a new millennium, with labor and the distribution of wealth as pressing historical issues that disrupt every International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization soiree, the time is right for Woody. --Andrew Bartlett

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: BRAGG,BILLY & WILCO
Title: VOL. 2-MERMAID AVE.
Street Release Date: 05/30/2000
Domestic
Genre: ROCK/POP

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good May 31, 2000
Format:Audio CD
Mermaid Avenue Vol. II is patchier but no less enjoyable than its predecessor. Tweedy's claim that the album is "less folky" is fairly accurate, as most of the album's highpoints are more rooted in Rock 'N Roll than folk, such as "Airline To heaven" with its tantalizing drum rhythms and chorus, the rollicking and downright fun "Feed of Man" with its joyous guitar licks, or "Blood of the Lamb," an eerie mix of thumping drums and bells that would not sound out of place on Bob Dylan's recent "Time Out of Mind."
These sounds do not appear on vol. I, Tweedy is correct, and the result is stunningly good. The diversity of this album is even more startling than on Mermaid Avenue I. Not only does every song sound different from previous tracks, each song belongs to a different genre. Beyond the album's Rock tunes are some delightfully dirty blues tracks like "All You Fascists" and "Meanest man," which would fit perfectly on the next Tom Waits record. Bragg even touches on some jazzy drum shuffling and vocals on the very slick "Stetson Kennedy."
However, Wilco & Billy Bragg do not entirely ignore the folk roots that pervaded vol. I; "I was Born" is straight from the vein of vol. I's "Ingrid Bergman," and most will recognize "Eisler on the Go" lurking beneath the surface of the gorgeous acoustic ballad, "Black Wind Blowing."
Yes, this album does stretch the listener's attention span a bit more, the music is indeed more challenging, but delicately so. It is difficult to imagine that this talented group could deliver an album of as much meat as vol.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I stumbled upon a gem... July 5, 2003
Format:Audio CD
I was born and bred on rock and roll, but lately I've been more interested in jazz, world music and classical. I'm not really enthusiastic about folk music, but I listen to it from time to time. When I pulled this album from the bin at the library, it was because I had heard some Billy Bragg before and thought it was interesting. I knew nothing of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. This disk blew me away- ecclectic, original, different yet familiar, I think every track is a winner, even though I like some better than others. Certainly if you are sick of listening to the same old stuff, this is a great mixture of rock, blues, bluegrass, folk, and musical styles that should just be filed under "other." I enjoyed this sequqal much more than the first "Mermaid Avenue" disk- but judging from the other reviews this is an issue of personal taste. Then again, isn't music like that to begin with? I appreciate Woody Guthrie a whole lot more now, and I think it's tremendous what modern independant musicians have done with material from a previous generation. Definately check this disk out- I think it belongs in any serious music lover's collection.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Woody Would Be Proud! June 1, 2000
Format:Audio CD
For those of you who had doubts as to whether Billy and Wilco could match the greatness of "Mermaid Avenue 1," you can put those doubts aside. Wilco puts in a series of stellar performances, from the Dylan-tinged opener "Airline to Heaven" to the Petty-ish "Secret of the Sea," to "Blood of the Lamb" which could have been penned and produced by Tom Waits. Billy Bragg, likewise, contributes consistently top-notch performances throughout the album, the highlights being "Black Wind Blowing" (which echoes "Eisler on the Go" from "Mermaid Avenue 1"), the train chugging "My Flying Saucer" and "Stetson Kennedy." Sure, Bragg favors the political and Wilco focuses on the romantic, but that should be no surprise to fans of either or both. In fact, that's the beauty of this album: There's a balance of ideas and sentiments, but an avoidance of didacticism and sentimentality. And it's all cemented together with loose, folky, rocking grooves. If you liked the first collection, you'll like this. If you're unfamiliar with "Mermaid Avenue," go buy it after you buy this one. You won't be disappointed.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short of the initial mark... June 9, 2000
Format:Audio CD
The second volume of that strange collaboration - Wilco, Billy Bragg, and the long-departed Woody Guthrie - is certainly a good album. Had this collection been Volume I, I probably would have raved about them, and marvelled that such an odd project could have been so successful. I would have doubtless mentioned Feed of Man, Hot Rod Hotel, and Meanest Man as exceptional songs. And I probably would have asked (as I did when I heard the actual Volume I) how a singer as talented as Natalie Merchant could do such a poor job on her token track.
But of course, these songs are Volume II. And one can tell. The best material really was picked up for Volume. There is no Walt Whitman's Niece, no California Stars, and certainly no Unwelcome Guest on this record. And so in summary, those who adored Volume I will certainly find their money's worth on Volume. But unlike that first volume, I cannot say that this is an essential record. If one were to buy only one, the first volume is a clear choice.
Or think of it this way. Composed of songs that didn't make the first cut, Bruce Springsteen's Tracks and Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series are both wonderful records for true fans. But if I were just starting out with either artist, they certainly would not be the first records to go and buy. The same holds for Mermaid Avenue II.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Am happy to receive it in a very short period of ...
Am happy to receive it in a very short period of time.
I love the songs after watching the movie Inside Llewyn Davis on my CX flight from London to HK . Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ruby Chong
4.0 out of 5 stars Billy Bragg CD
I bought this CD after hearing the song "Joe DiMaggio's Done It Again" on the radio. I was pleasantly surprised to find that is not the only hopping song on this album. Read more
Published 4 months ago by RosemarieMenassas
5.0 out of 5 stars A Grain of Salt, Please, and a Little Patience
It's interesting to read the reviews by the detractors of this album. I find them very biased and short-sighted and would encourage anyone who doesn't know either Mermaid album to... Read more
Published on July 30, 2008 by J. Delci
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars for remeber the mountain bed
Im writing this because i beleive one song REMEBER THE MOUNTAIN BED is one,if not the most meaningful,sublime, peices of poetry,prose,songwiting i have ever heard.. Read more
Published on May 17, 2007 by dubub
3.0 out of 5 stars Continues winning homage but feels less memorable
3 1/2

Admirable collaboration paying tribute to folk hero Guthrie is a serviceable update to an epic legacy, a hard enough feat in itself that garnered much praise. Read more
Published on April 30, 2007 by IRate
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my most treasured albums
I got this as a present from a friend. I still don't quite like Wilco, but I learned to like Bragg after this. His sarcasm & reticence combines nicely with Guthrie's lyrics. Read more
Published on June 14, 2006 by W. Pott
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but disappointing...3 1/2 stars
My younger brother made a good point, I thought, when he told me this album should never have been made. Read more
Published on October 10, 2005 by Mike Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars What did you expect, it's a sequel!
Of course it's not as good as the first. They took the best material they had and used it on Volume 1. Well, mostly. Read more
Published on July 7, 2005 by Ham On Wry
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overall
Excellent album; would have preferred more with Billy Bragg as lead vocals, but ah well. Solid overall. Too bad the two best songs - "I Was Born" (with Natalie Merchant (? Read more
Published on September 16, 2004 by Spiderfriend
4.0 out of 5 stars remember the mountain bed
remember the mountain bed!!!!!!!!!!!!!awesome!!!!!!!!say what you like, think what you will, but this song is worth the whole album. Read more
Published on June 10, 2003
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