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Short Sharp Shocked

4.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
$19.88 $0.05

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Widely considered one her finest records, 1988's 'Short Sharp Shocked' features 10 folksy, autobiographical tunes. Also includes a cover of the track 'Fog Town' with a little help from the hardcore punk rock group (MDC, a.k.a. Millions of Dead Cops, Millions of Damn Christians and or Multi-Death Corporation).

The '80s folk revival yielded a diversely talented generation, some reared on the aesthetic and ideology of punk, some on their '60s singer-songwriter predecessors. They were looking for the directness of expression and connection with audience that stripped acoustic music promised. Michelle Shocked built an audience through her strident activist messages and raw, almost naked songs; she had the sincerity that the audience craved. Despite the militant cover--in which a cop is seen choking a protesting Shocked--the record is memorable for its reveries of childhood, its simple sense of hope, and Shocked's minimalist guitar and hoarse, youthful voice. --Roy Francis Kasten

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. When I Grow Up
  2. Hello Hopeville
  3. Memories Of East Texas
  4. (Making The Run To) Gladewater
  5. Graffiti Limbo
  6. If Love Was A Train
  7. Anchorage
  8. The L & N Don't Stop Here Anymore
  9. V.F.D.
  10. Black Widow
  11. Bonus Track

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Mercury/Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001FOH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,684 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
( THE PACKAGE ) - The re-release comes in a mini-box set format with a 52 page booklet, plenty of pictures and a good introduction by producer Pete Anderson. The album cover is misleading, but then again her last name is Shocked. So maybe it makes sense. If you're wondering about the orIginal cover with the policeman, don't worry none because he can be found on the backside. ( DISC# 1 ) Spanning the rock era for almost 50 years from Bill Haley to Dave Matthews, "Short, Sharp, Shocked" is one of the 5 best albums of all time. The songs range from rockabilly, folk, blues, country rock, and punk folk with superb continuity. The bluesy "Graffiti Limbo" is my personal highlight with Rod Piazza playing great harmonica complimenting Michelle's distinctive vocal style about a poor man who got no justice. The only lowlight on this album was the last song, the original hidden track "Fogtown". It's a straight punk number that didn't fit now or then. A better version can be found on "The Texas Campfire Takes". The sound quality on the 1st CD is a medium improvement from the original release. ( DISC #2 ) A very good selection of almost all acoustic live songs from festivals, shows and home recordings. The sound is 90% professional. The length - 79 minutes. Michelle shows off her down home side with fun conversation and stories between songs. The performances have a hootenanny feel more like "Arkansas Traveler", my favorite cut being "Strawberry Jam" which captures what a brilliant live performer Michelle Shocked is. ( CLOSING ) This woman from Texas has always challenged her fans by releasing something different. ( folk, roots, swing, bluesgrass, dark and gospel CD's ) "Short, Sharp, Shocked" is the definite starting point.
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Format: Audio CD
In this reissue, she added a whole CD worth of bonus material. Great material too, and all for a reasonable price. I think I listen to Disc #2 as much or more than Disc #1. It came in a cool box with new liner notes. All handwritten it appears. I wonder if she did the writing herself?

I had the original back in 1989. It was a favorite back then. It's just one of those albums you can play over and over. Somehow, I sold it with my whole CD collection about 10 or 12 years ago.

Then, one day I was downloading some stuff on Kazaa and I ran across a couple of songs from the reissue and checked out Michelle's web site, because I hadn't followed her too closely in recent years.

Now, this is where the record companies got it wrong. They think everybody's just ripping the everything off. Well, not everyone. I bought this, BECAUSE I heard it on the internet! I feel it's worth every cent it cost. I happen to think that artists are entitled to the profit from their hard work. And the hard work is apparent here.

What makes this even better is the fact that Michelle fought for the rights to own her material and won. So I hope she'll stand to make what's due to her, instead of some record executives in LA. If you're thinking about getting this, don't hesitate. Because, you never know, it may go out of print again. Another two thumbs up. Happy listening!
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Format: Audio CD
It's a mystery as to why an album of this quality is an import, but we'll lay that aside for the purposes of this review. The essential point is that Ms. Shocked produced, with "Short, Sharped Shocked," an album of uncommon lyrical poignancy and hard-edged musicality.
The power of this album lies in Shocked's wonderful voice, which serves a broad variety of musical styles. There is the hard-core rock of "When I Grow Up" and "If Love Was a Train," the talking blues of "Graffiti Limbo," the folk strains of "Anchorage" and "Memories of East Texas," and the mountain melancholy of "The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore."
Shocked's voice is wonderfully expressive, and the arrangements allow her to tell her stories in a way that draws us into her many musical worlds. There are so many high points on the album that one hesitates to single out a single cut, but "Anchorage," for me, symbolizes Shocked's musical power.
The song is about the writer taking "some time out" to write to her old friend, who has moved to Anchorage and taken up a new life as a "housewife," as she describes herself. It takes great skill for a songwriter to duplicate the rhythms of everyday speech, but Shocked accomplishes it in her song, which captures the pleasure of discovering a friend's new life at the same time that one feels the pain of realizing that friend has moved on. It's a great performance.
Why do so many American artists only find recognition of foreign labels? Maybe that's a new song for Michelle Shocked to explore. In the meantime, do her and yourself a favor and buy this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
I ordered this on a whim based on other reviews. What a great purchase, and what an addition to my music library. I sat on my porch here and savored each song...having lived in Texas, having been to the Paradiso in Amsterdam, having lived in Atlanta and been to the old (sigh) Metroplex (God I'm old)...having...well, you get the other words, this CD touched me, which doesn't happen often. Thank you Michelle for such a wonderful production. Keep up the good work, I'm planning on buying more an more of your are truly talented. HIGHLY recommended!
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