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  • To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet
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To Understand: The Early Recordings of Matthew Sweet Extra tracks, Original recording remastered


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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, October 1, 2002
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 1, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Fontana a&M
  • ASIN: B00006K09F
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #239,585 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Southern
2. Christmas
3. Briar Rose
4. The Story Of Love
5. Ninety-Six Sheets
6. Quiet Her
7. Blue Fools
8. We Lose Another Day
9. Save Time For Me
10. Something Becomes Nothing
11. Easy
12. When I Feel Again (Single Remix)
13. Wind And The Sun
14. Love
15. Vertigo
16. Having A Bad Dream
17. To Understand (12 Inch B-Side/Demo)
18. You Gotta Love Me (12 Inch B-Side/Demo)
19. Silent City (12 Inch B-Side/Demo)
20. Divine Intervention (12 Inch B-Side/Demo)
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Matthew Sweet's career can be neatly divided into three parts: before "Girlfriend," "Girlfriend," and after "Girlfriend." His transcendent 1991 power-pop album has remained the defining release of his career, and fed by the earlier musical explorations cataloged here, proved to be a peak that he's never fully duplicated. This pre-"Girlfriend" work charts the course to power-pop nirvana, beginning with his second band, Buzz of Delight, continuing through a pair of solo albums and culminating with on-the-cusp-of-"Girlfriend" demos.

This collection skips his earliest released work, performed as a sideman (rather than a front-and-center singer-songwriter) with Lynda Stipe's band, Oh OK, but that work's residue can still be heard clearly. In particular, the DIY-sound forged by Oh OK and Mitch Easter in his North Carolina Drive-In studio, and the connections Sweet made with other Athens-based musicians (notably, Oh OK's original drummer, David Pierce), lingered on.

This album picks up with Sweet's work with David Pierce in Buzz of Delight, represented here by two cuts from their out-of-print 1984 EP, "Soundcastles," and a trio of previously unreleased titles. The band's sound brings mind then-contemporaries such as Let's Active, Love Tractor, and The Neats. Chris Stamey dropped by the sessions that produced the unreleased tracks, lending a hint of the dB's sound. Of the unreleased tracks, "Briar Rose" is especially fine, most closely anticipating later directions.

Sweet's Athens connections (specifically, REM manager Jefferson Holt) led to contact with Columbia Records, which in turn resulted in his first album deal as a solo artist.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2002
Format: Audio CD
You aren't likely to be looking at this page if you aren't a hardcore Matthew Sweet fan. This combines tracks from his 1986 album (likely to stay out of print), his 1989 album for A&M (also hard to find), along with impossible to find early tracks from his studio duo Buzz of Delight. The Buzz of Delight tracks included sound much more like the Matthew Sweet of later years than the synth-drum machine phase he went through later. There are also tracks from an - again - impossible to find 12 inch promo that was released just before A&M dropped him; it included early versions of "Divine Intervention" and "Silent City." And, the track with Michael Stipe (as "Community Trolls") will make you wish Matthew had stayed in Athens a little longer. This isn't the place to start for a potential Matthew Sweet fan, but is well worth the money for long-time fans - even if you already have dug up "Inside" and "Earth."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Blackberry Tea on October 11, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I am a pretty big Matthew Sweet fan and this CD does a nice job culling the best of his early music. It has the besat cuts from his first two pre-Girlfriend albums as well as a bunch of Buzz of Delight tracks. These are pretty interesting and have more a dbs/REM/B-52s/Let's Active feel than anything. Makes sense since Sweet was part of the early 80s Athens scene. There are also a number of B-sides/demos, plus a duet with Michael Stipe. Very enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ah, I waited a long time for these old recordings to finally see the light of day on CD and I'm very ecstatic to hear them again, especially the material that Matthew Sweet recorded when he was a member of the Buzz of Delight and based in Athens, GA. Five Buzz of Delight songs lead off this album, three of which are previously unreleased tunes, including the incredible "Briar Rose" and "The Story of Love." In my humble opinion, those are two of the best songs that he ever wrote. Majestic power-pop creations that stick in your head all day and all night. And there's more where that came from, that being demos he did back with Buzz of Delight back in the mid-80s that were never released. But this is a start.

The other material on this CD includes some fantastic tunes from Sweet's debut album for Sony, "Inside," stuff from the following album that came out on A&M, "Earth", and some other odds and sods, including a track he did with the Golden Palominos, and a cool remix of the catchy "Divine Intervention." And the last track on this CD is a fun little number, one recorded as Community Trolls with REM's Michael Stipe.

Another nice feature to this compilation is the booklet that comes with the CD. There is an informative essay by Jeff Calder (the leader of Atlanta's fabulous Swimming Pool Q's --- check out their CDs too!) along with an interview with Matthew Sweet. Included with the track listings are recording dates and who played on each song. Very well documented. If you are a Matthew Sweet fan, you need to have this. This shows that he was recording some dynamite songs well before he broke out with "Girlfriend."
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Me So Horner on November 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Is it me or does this music have Let's Active written all over it. It has been a while, but I think he even sounds like Mitch Easter here, which I would never say about GF.

Also note that the 3 star rating doesn't mean much. I wrote the above based on the sound clips.
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