- Audio CD (October 4, 1994)
- Number of Discs: 2
- Label: Rhino
- ASIN: B0000033C2
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,202 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Return Of The Repressed: The Anthology
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"This collection represents nearly 30 years of my recordings with the acoustic guitar, an instrument that I dearly love and continue to play. To my fans new and old, thank you for letting me share my music with you and permitting the return of my repressed subconscious." --John FaheyThe late John Fahey holds a unique place in the history of popular music. In the early 1960s, as the folk boom was turning listeners on to such musical pioneers as Woody Guthrie, Fahey was tuned to Delta blues icon Charley Patton. John Fahey captured both the purity of the blues and its intimations of mortality on 20 albums of instrumental compositions, most for his own Takoma label, and the "American Primitive Guitar" style he created has been enormously influential. The two-CD Return of the Repressed is the first comprehensive collection of this master acoustic guitarist's best work. Spanning nearly 30 years, the 42 tracks on these two CDs are primarily Fahey originals and arrangements of traditional tunes played on solo acoustic guitar. The accompanying booklet was written by Barry Hanson (aka Dr. Demento), a friend of Fahey's since the beginning of his career, making this anthology the definitive look at the fretsman extraordinaire.
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The cover of the album appears to be the American southwest, and I dare declare that this is fully a document of America in its subtle ways, in ways akin to Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, in its quaint sublime appearances of calm and beauty. Fahey seems to be in touch with the land and its people, the music is majestic, like rolling hills and valleys.
Fine, fine music. Also extremely good for roadtrips through this great country of ours.
The forty-two tracks on this album are culled from twenty albums beginning with the original recording of Blind Joe Death in 1959 (although it is the 1967 rerecordings that are used) through 1992's Old Girlfriends and Other Horrible Memories. Since only a handful of Fahey's albums are still in print, this compilation offers an opportunity to hear many songs that are otherwise unavailable.
Fahey's unique blend of blues and folk music make for some of the most arresting finger-style guitar playing you'll ever hear. Fans of Leo Kottke, the late Michael Hedges or countless other guitar players influenced by Fahey, owe it to themselves to listen to this generous sampling of songs from the master. Highlights are too numerous to mention, but I especially enjoy "Desperate Man Blues," "I'm Gonna Do All I Can for My Lord," "On the Sunny Side of the Ocean" and "In Christ There Is No East or West." ESSENTIAL
It is hard to get your arms around such a sprawling body of work, but this 2 CD anthology does a pretty good job. On the plus side, it includes a generous 6 cuts from Blind Joe Death. On the other hand, there is only 1 cut from America -- an inexplicable shortcoming fortunately remedied by the subsequent release of an extraordinarily expanded version of America. Anyone interested in Fahey should at least supplement this anthology with America.
Fahey went many places with his acoustic explorations and, frankly, one is unlikely to enjoy all of the songs here. However, the overall batting average is high (more so on disc 1 than on disc 2).