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40 Odd Years [5 CD] Box set
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40 Odd Years features songs from throughout Wainwright s career, including works of brilliance such as "The Man Who Couldn t Cry" from 1973's Attempted Mustache, which Johnny Cash would record with producer Rick Rubin decades later, to the genuinely weird "Dead Skunk," which became a #16 pop hit and thus a true novelty in the Wainwright canon, to highlights from his most recent projects, including cuts from the Grammy®-winning album High Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project. The 3-hour-plus DVD includes an extremely rare documentary made for Dutch television entitled One Man Guy, numerous TV appearances (for the BBC, Saturday Night Live, Austin City Limits and others), as well as previously unreleased concert performances.
The New York-born Grammy-winning songwriter has traveled a remarkable path. Discovered by Atlantic s Nesuhi Ertegun and John Hammond, Sr., the Columbia A&R man who had already signed Bob Dylan and would soon sign Bruce Springsteen, Wainwright established his literary yet utterly unpretentious take on the grand folk music tradition right from the start. He also has a parallel career as an actor, which credits include M*A*S*H, Undeclared, Jacknife, 28 Days, Big Fish, The Aviator, Elizabethtown, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up.
Top Customer Reviews
I got this handsome box set yesterday and just wanted to say that it's well worth it. If you're a Loudon Wainwright III fan on the fence about whether to spring some of your hard-earned dough for it, let me say that I, for one, am quite happy I took the plunge. This is a well-crafted box set. I wish they all were done this well! It's obviously a work of love. Probably just getting the release rights from all those various labels Loudon has made records for was a monumental task in itself. Thank you, SHOUT! In one month, you released the amazing Ernie Kovacs DVD set, and now this gem. Wow!
Inside, you'll find 4 CD jewel cases and a book. The first 3 CDs offer a huge selection of songs from the start of L III's career to now, culled from almost 30 different records. I'm not sure if they were remastered, or just digitally cleaned up, but these tracks sound really terrific. I hadn't expected that, and was pleasantly surprised. Each CD is about 80 minutes long, and has unique artwork that relates to that period in Wainwright's career. It's a great selection and perfectly sequenced.Read more ›
The DVD -
First the bad news: The DVD contributes significantly to the high launch price (44.99 on Amazon, up to 61.09 in-store if you can find one which stocks it - HMV Manchester, the UK's largest retail music store outside London, only took one copy into stock upon release). But unfortunately many of Loudon's UK fans are discovering the DVD is unplayable. Just whom exactly is responsible is unclear but the advertising/packaging is totally inadequate. A large coloured sticker on the box says "...Also includes a DVD of unreleased TV and Video Appearances" but way down at the bottom a much smaller (10x30mm) inconspicuous white sticker says "DVD Format, MTSC Region 1" - the meaning of which will be lost on most UK consumers. It all smells of a rip-off but I would be willing to bet my last cent that Loudon himself knew nothing about this PR disaster when he landed in Glasgow last weekend (6-May) to commence his 15-gig UK tour. If this had been an import - and labelled as such - then consumers would rightly be wary about the DVD format. But for a UK release to be unsuitable for UK DVD players?! Something has gone seriously wrong.Read more ›
Most of Wainwright's songs are very personal and autobiographical, the product of a privileged childhood and adolescence in what was clearly a high-strung family. He was scarred by his parents' alcoholism and turbulent marriage and later by his own bitter divorce and depression, all of which he deals with in music that seems to function as a kind of public therapy. He mines his flawed relationships and personal failings for creative purposes, a painful process leavened by mordant, often hilarious wit and by the joys of being a father (his late ex-wife Kate McGarrigle and their children Rufus and Martha Wainwright are all well-known musicians). The landscape is littered with lyrics about broken hearts and sexual desperation and mortifying regret, but he also explores politics and current events, music and celebrity, and such weirdness as a dead skunk, a smashed guitar, LSD, and poop. He gives everything a cockeyed, ironic twist.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is worth 3 times the price! If you like Loudon, this set is all you need,Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Loudon is a legend, what a great box set and the dvd is the cream on the cake. Brilliant.Published 20 months ago by Peter
I loved the CDs and the book was fantastic too. The DVD was a surprise because I din't think it would play on my DVD player in Australia. Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Joy Miles
Loudon Wainwright has been writing and recording for more than 40 years, and this collection definitely contains numerous great songs. Read morePublished on February 27, 2013 by Zita Medea
The purchase was a great one for me. I am a big, big fan of LW111. There are some songs I have not heard before.Published on January 21, 2013 by Pappa
I first met Loudon when He was on "M.A.S.H." as Captain Spaulding. What a wonderful story of His life through forty years! Full of old songs I remember & new songs of real life. Read morePublished on September 10, 2012 by Jay Jay
Thanks, Loudon, for selecting these tunes for us. I don't have room for all the regular releases. This encapsulates them down to a managable 4 discs. Read morePublished on May 17, 2012 by Joseph A. Kengor
This collection with very old and pretty new audio material is not only wonderful to listen to, it's got a couple of vids, mainly of the last few years, that show some more... Read morePublished on May 14, 2012 by Yedaki