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  • Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972
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Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972


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Audio CD, February 5, 2013
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Frequently Bought Together

Sunshine Boy: The Unheard Studio Sessions & Demos 1971-1972 + Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas [Vinyl] + Texas Troubadour
Price for all three: $61.46

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 2013)
  • Original Release Date: 2013
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Omnivore Recordings, LLC
  • ASIN: B00AQ6J3HO
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,620 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. T For Texas
2. Who Do You Love
3. Sunshine Boy
4. Where I Lead Me
5. Blue Ridge Mountains
6. No Deal
7. Pancho & Lefty (Alternate 1972 Mix Without Strings And Horns)
8. To Live Is To Fly
9. You Are Not Needed Now
10. Don t Take It Too Bad
See all 16 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Heavenly Houseboat Blues
2. Diamond Heel Blues
3. To Live Is To Fly
4. Tower Song
5. You Are Not Needed Now
6. Mr. Mudd & Mr. Gold
7. Highway Kind
8. Greensboro Woman
9. When He Offers His Hand
10. Dead Flowers
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

The art of Townes Van Zandt reveals itself a little at a time. Every hearing brings forth something you can t believe you missed all the other times, or something that rings even truer today than back when. The alternate versions add an entirely new dimension, like seeing someone you thought you knew so well in a new light. The new songs are simply good to have when it seemed as if the barrel was empty. And so here are more than two hours of Townes Van Zandt music unheard since the engineer peeled off a little splicing tape to seal the box around forty years ago.
28 Previously Unissued Tracks!
Unheard Versions of Legendary Songs by One of Our Most Treasured Songwriters!
All Songs Drawn From Van Zandts Most Prolific And Great Period 1971-1972!
Liner Notes by Colin Escott!

Customer Reviews

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See all 24 customer reviews
Very nice indeed.
Surferofromantica
The fans will get it immediately but even people new to TVZ will appreciate this double treat.
Once a soldier...
It is even better than a greatest hits package.
A. Woodley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

73 of 74 people found the following review helpful By K. H. Orton VINE VOICE on February 6, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For an artist who's been anthologized as much as Townes Van Zandt, what's the point of yet another posthumous collection? There's so many out there it's almost impossible to get your bearings in terms of an introduction.

If you're seeking such, I'd direct you to Rearview Mirror but considering most of Townes' finest is represented herein, you could do worse.

But this is not just another "Greatest Hits". As with In The Beginning, these are recently discovered studio & and demo recordings which have laid in the vaults for over 40 years. Rabid fans and archivists, hit the purchase button now.

The chief selling point is the long lost Van Zandt original from where this collection takes its title. To my knowledge, "Sunshine Boy" has never been heard or released in any form. It's a find to say the least. Townes' trademark dark introspective lyrics featuring some surprisingly choice 70's Country Funk backing. Trust me, you've never heard him like this before.

Other rarities include a feverish take on Bo Diddley's, "Who Do You Love" and a deft stab at "Dead Flowers" which takes the Stones' tongue & cheek original to heart. A version which has graced many a soundtrack of late, I might add.

As for the rest, fans have heard a lot of it before, but never quite like this. In most cases they outdo the established album versions. If you felt much of Townes' studio work suffered from over production here's your chance to leave all that behind. Here you can hear the same Late Great take on "Poncho & Lefty" without the horns and all the other noodling. One listen and the definitive studio version is here. I'd say the same for the stark and lonesome demo version of To Live Is To Fly on disc 2.
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A. Woodley on February 11, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first reviewer did an amazing job reviewing this set. I just wanted to dog pile onto their review. This is an awesome set. It is even better than a greatest hits package. Let me explain. My favorite Townes Van Zandt album has always been Live at the Old Quarter House. This is due to the fact that it is a great selection of songs, and even better, it is not overly produced. I will listen to any Townes album, and I enjoy every Townes album, but his albums have a tendency to be a little over produced. I know not everyone agrees with me on this, but I really prefer Townes in a raw performance setting without any production. That is why this set is so good. It features some of Townes' best-known songs, from his creative peak, without any production. You can't do better than an amazing songwriting and guitar player just playing his instrument and singing his songs. Plus, I believe that this is the only studio release of Townes' version of The Rolling Stone's song "Dead Flowers". Townes does a better deadpan interpretation of the song than Jagger ever did, and Jagger does it very well. "Pancho and Lefty" without the strings outshines the version your used to because it is that untouched Townes Van Zandt which allows his craftsmanship to shine even brighter than it normally does. Now, before I finish, I should mention that disc two (the demos) is really the raw recordings I have been going on about. Disc one is studio outtakes, and there is production on this disc. I would say it's an average amount of production for a Townes Van Zandt album, but you are getting songs that you haven't heard or are different from the version you know. Disc one is still a very intriguing listen. Essentially, you're getting both halves of this great artist. The bottom line: if you're a Townes fan, you'll want to buy this album. If you feel that Townes can be overproduced, this is the set for you.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Once a soldier... on February 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not a single song here is a filler. The quality of the sound is very good even the demos. The performances are professional, nothing to do with some live recordings recorded later in Towne's life. You get "Sunshine boy" and "Diamond heel blues" as new songs and that is of course good. But in my opinion is even better to listen to the old, trusty workhorses been recreated under a different light. "White freight liner", "Standin'", "When he offers his hand", "Tower song" and almost all of them get your attention like they were new songs. Not bad for recordings that we know so well. The fans will get it immediately but even people new to TVZ will appreciate this double treat. It's all good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Walter C. Lee on March 12, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Townes was a friend, or at least a friendly acquaintance. Lots of memories of campfires and living rooms were brought back in this album. (Actually these songs were well established in his act by the time I knew him-- think 10 years-- down the road.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By tikcuf on March 10, 2013
Format: Audio CD
The late Townes van Zandt was a revered Texas singer-songwriter. Despite his mental illness and alcoholism, he produced an enduring legacy of classic songs, such as Pancho and Lefty, and To Live is to Fly, which have been widely covered by the likes of Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and many others. The popularity of his songs has only increased posthumously and he has found many new fans among newer generations of musicians and music fans.

Townes van Zandt is considered one of the fathers of the Texas singer-songwriter movement and more broadly contemporary roots based genres such as folk and alt-country. It is difficult perhaps to categorize him strictly within a particular musical genre, however, he apparently considered himself first and foremost a folk musician. Unfortunately, much of his studio work was marred by overzealous production in an attempt to market him as a country musician.

This double CD contains previously unreleased studio recordings of Townes from the early 1970's and contains a number of his best known and most popular songs. All of the back-up arrangements are simple, at most guitars, bass, drums, and, occasionally, piano and fiddle. There are no strings, no drenching reverb effects and so on. In addition, perhaps a quarter of the songs are simply Townes accompanied by a guitar. These recordings have a genuine, elemental feel about them which is as compelling and deeply satisfying than many of the recordings released during his lifetime. One can only wonder whether this is how Townes envisioned these songs to sound when he wrote them. It certainly sounds like they do.
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