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  • Twenty Twenty - The Essential T Bone Burnett
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Twenty Twenty - The Essential T Bone Burnett

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Audio CD, May 16, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The first T-Bone Burnett retrospective collection. 2 CDs featuring 40 career-spanning songs.

Nobody writes better about surface and depth, illusion and essence, through parable and paradox, than T Bone Burnett. Though he's had more influence as a producer and catalyst (from his days with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Review to his visionary masterminding of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack), this two-disc, 40-song retrospective dating back to 1977 celebrates his accomplishment as a unique recording artist. Burnett's range extends from the purest of plain-spoken country songs ("No Love at All," "River of Love," "The Bird That I Held in My Hand," "I'm Coming Home") to spoken-word enigmas such as "House of Mirrors" and "Hefner and Disney" (with the two switching identities as soulmates in Never Wonder Land) that challenge the listener to resolve the complexities. Among the other standouts are the surging rock of "I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance" and "Boomerang," the roadhouse rockabilly of "Driving Wheel," the teaming with Elvis Costello (as the Coward Brothers) on "The People's Limousine," and the deadpan reading of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Rather than following a chronological or musical progression, the anthology dares fans to connect the dots and risk stylistic whiplash in the process. With the simultaneous release of The True False Identity, Burnett's first album of new material since 1992, listeners can discover where he's been as well as where he's going. --Don McLeese

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Disc 1:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Humans From Earth (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Born In CaptivityThe Alpha Band 4:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Primitives (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Power Of Love (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:55Album Only
  5. Fatally Beautiful (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:33Album Only
  6. Monkey Dance (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. The Long Time Now (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:59$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. River Of Love (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:34Album Only
  9. Shut It Tight (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:56Album Only
10. Tear This Building Down (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. The Murder Weapon (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 5:14Album Only
12. Image (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. Kill Zone (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:05Album Only
14. Hula Hoop (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:25Album Only
15. Criminals (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
16. Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:04Album Only
17. No Love At All (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:57Album Only
18. When The Night Falls (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:23Album Only
19. Over You (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
20. The Bird That I Held In My Hand (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:10Album Only

Disc 2:

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Every Little Thing (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. House Of Mirrors (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:34Album Only
  3. The DogsThe Alpha Band 4:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. Shake Yourself Loose (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:04Album Only
  5. Kill Switch (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:48Album Only
  7. Hefner And Disney (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:53Album Only
  8. Drivin Wheel (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:13Album Only
  9. Boomerang (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:19Album Only
10. Euromad (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:12$0.99  Buy MP3 
11. Strange Combination (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:50Album Only
12. East Of EastThe Alpha Band 3:11$0.99  Buy MP3 
13. The People's Limousine (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:41Album Only
14. Trap Door (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:11Album Only
15. I'm Coming Home (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:02Album Only
16. It's Not Too Late (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
17. Song To A Dead Man (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:09Album Only
18. After All These Years (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:12Album Only
19. Man, Don't Dog Your Woman (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 3:44Album Only
20. Bon Temps Rouler (Album Version)T Bone Burnett 4:58Album Only

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 16, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000F8DBDU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,092 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Gord Wilson VINE VOICE on May 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Not only has Van Morrison still not gotten the Nobel Prize, but T-Bone's Proof Through the Night and Trap Door albums aren't out on CD. Until that second faux pas is rectified, however, here's an eclectic look into his varied repertoire. It's a comment on T-Bone's prolific songwriting skill to note that most of my favorite songs didn't make the forty song cut.

Disc one starts off with "Humans from Earth" from the Wim Wender film Until the End of the World, which also appears on Criminal Under My Own Hat. "Born in Captivity" and "East of East" come from the second Alpha Band album, Spark in the Dark, with "The Dogs" from the band's first self-titled disc. "Monkey Dance", "Euromad" and "Image" come from The Talking Animals.

Songs from Truth Decay include "Hall of Mirrors" "Power of Love", "Boomerang" and "Drivin' Wheel". "River of Love" is best known in the version done by T-Bone's wife, song writer Sam Phillips on The Turning, her last album as Leslie Phillips. Trap Door was only a six song E.P. ("extended play" record) but it nevertheless contained some of T-Bone's best songs. A different album called Behind the Trap Door was released by Nick Lowe on his Demon Records label in Britain. From Trap Door here is T-Bone's talking blues take on "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," the title song "Trap Door" and "I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance".

From Proof Through the Night come "Shut it Tight" (originally the last song on the record), "Hula Hoop", "The Murder Weapon", "When the Night Falls" (covered in concert by John Hiatt) and "Hefner and Disney." What's missing? Two of my favorite T-Bone songs from Proof: "Stunned" and "The '60s". From Trap Door: "Poetry" and "Hold on Tight.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By David Pearlman TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a decent compilation, which includes well-chosen tracks from most of the phases of T Bone Burnett's career. There's a lot to discover in his (modest but underheard) discography, and for a neophyte, this is surely a decent start. Some have complained that favorite tracks from his Warner Brothers releases aren't here (and I agree that some of the MIA tracks are among his best), but those omissions don't take away from the value of this anthology as a primer. Based on the track list alone, I'd give it four stars (though I do question why he chose not to include ANYTHING from his debut album, 1972's The B-52 Band and the Fabulous Skylarks).

But based on listening, it only gets two stars. Why? T Bone Burnett has committed the unforgivable sin of re-recording the tracks from his best album, Proof Through the Night. Burnett is on record as stating that he doesn't like the production of the original album at all, and I guess he took this as his chance to re-envision those tracks. BIG MISTAKE. The original album, whether or not Burnett likes it, is a classic, and these re-recordings are simply not as good. Given that Proof Through the Night has yet to be reissued on CD, these substitutions are criminal.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By DKDC on May 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Oh my! I have been waiting for this cd. There was a rumor and in fact a listing for "The Tooth of the Crime" a few years back - that was supposed to be his greatest hits - or was it a soundtrack to a play he was working on? But it never was released. Too busy producing other great artists. Now it is here.

I like all of T-Bone's cds - except for Talking Animals. I have heard each of these songs in their original forms on the previous cds and vinyl. This is a great collection. The re-recordings of the Proof songs are going to be a let down if you are used to the originals, though. Be forewarned. I think they are well done - we are all just so attached to the original versions. If the original is ever released on cd, this won't be a problem at all.

My one peeve - Trap Door was not available on cd up until now - here half of the songs are available. We need the other songs!

Trap Door (EP) Track Listing
Hold on Tight - not on Twenty Twenty
Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend - yes
I Wish You Could Have Seen Her Dance -yes
A Ridiculous Man - not on Twenty Twenty
Poetry - not on Twenty Twenty
Trap Door - yes

Same goes for Proof Through the Night - there are still GREAT songs not on cd!

(edited on May 19th, and June 1 2006)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas E. Davis TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Not bloody likely! He's done more work as a producer than he has as a recording artist. Yet here he butchers his own songs!

These rerecordings sound like they've been filtered through gauze. The instrumentals are muddied by heavy reverb, and they bury the vocals in many instances. Everything just seems off-kilter and out of balance.

What earthly reason could be motivating his refusal to rerelease "Proof Through the Night" and "Trap Door"? Perhaps he's waiting for most of us to tire of waiting and buy this mangled mishmash instead.

I say: No thanks!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on November 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The multitalented Burnett released this 40-track career retrospective on the same day he released his first new album ("The True False Identity") in fourteen years. He's on record as imagining this collection as the summation of a musical period from which he's now somewhat estranged. Having put his solo career on hold in 1992, Burnett expressed himself for over a decade as a producer, sideman, record label executive and soundtrack composer, and revisiting his older catalog wasn't apparently always a comfortable situation.

Burnett cherry picks from his six previous solo releases (1980's "Truth Decay," 1982's "Trap Door," 1983's "Proof Through the Night," 1986's "T Bone Burnett," 1988's "The Talking Animals," and 1992's "The Criminal Under My Own Hat"), as well as two of three earlier albums by The Alpha Band (1976's "The Alpha Band" and 1977's "Spark in the Dark," but nothing from 1978's "Statue Makers of Hollywood"). Also included is "The People's Limousine" with Elvis Costello (as The Coward Brothers), the Wim Wenders soundtrack contribution "Man, Don't Dog Your Woman," and a trio of previously unreleased tunes ("The Tooth of Crime," "Song to a Dead Man," and "Bon Temps Rouler'").

Burnett's selections go especially deep on the hard-to-find EP "Trap Door" (including a terrific stripped-down, half-spoken cover of "Diamonds Are a Girls Best Friend"), the unreissued "Proof Through the Night" and the last LP of his original run, "The Criminal Under My Own Hat." Other highlights include the Everly-esque "I'm Coming Home" (from "Tooth Decay"), the original "Song to a Dead Man," recorded with Norman Blake, Dennis Crouch, Jerry Douglas and Stuart Duncan in Nashville, and an oddly modern take on the second-line rhythms of "Bon Temps Rouler'.
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The old T-Bone is dead?
The cover is a depiction of the song "I Can Explain Everything" from THE CRIMINAL UNDER MY OWN HAT. It is the only song from that album not included on 20/20! The song is a first-person plea by a political/war criminal.
Jun 25, 2006 by Autonomeus |  See all 2 posts
Any way to get the DualDisc version? Be the first to reply
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