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Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys

3.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 19, 2013
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Editorial Reviews

Producer Hal Willner has made a specialty of matching maverick artists, often in unexpected pairings, with surprising material; in 2006, he offered up a supreme example with the first volume of Rogues Gallery, hatched up on the set of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with actor Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski, who serve as executive producers of both volumes. Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys features exclusive performances by Tom Waits, Keith Richards, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, Richard Thompson, and many many more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 19, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: ANTI Records
  • ASIN: B00AITV2NM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,142 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I really enjoyed the first Rogues Gallery record, a very interesting collection of disparate artists and songs that somehow worked - it was also a favourite with my grandchildren (although I didn't let them hear Loudon's version of the "Good ship Venus"). This second volume is understandably not quite as good but it also has an unlikely collection of artists including Macy Gray, Tim Robbins, Iggy Pop and Shane MacGowan, who again interpret a similar collection of chanteys and ballads.

This certainly isn't real 'folk' music and many tracks are almost theatrical cabaret-style presentations from the likes of Marianne Faithfull, Dr. John, Iggy Pop and more understandably Anjelica Huston. Elsewhere there are really good musical performances from Richard Thompson, Marc Almond, Michael Stipe and Courtney Love, Petra Haden, Sean Lennon and Todd Rundgren. I also really enjoyed the contributions from Ed Harcourt, Patti Smith, Ivan Neville, Macy Gray and especially the combination of Tom Waits and Keef Richards singing "Shenandoah". Don't worry though, as on the first volume there is also plenty of the oddball and the weird here as well, including a nightmare rendition of "Barnacle Bill the Sailor".
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Format: Audio CD
I had been waiting for this album to release for months. My girlfriend and I had made a plan to relax and spend the entire evening listening to this album on it's release date. Well, we heard the Tom Waits and Keith Richards rendition of "Shenandoah" online and loved it. I guess I was hoping for acoustic versions of sea faring songs done in a traditional fashion. Instead it is a mixture of cabaret, sixty's pop, and honky tonk piano backdrops that do the lyrics no justice. Don't get me wrong, there is a handful of decent songs on this collection, but they are few and far between. I was expecting to hear powerful songs to the caliber of David Grisman and Jerry Garcia's "Off to Sea Once More," and felt short changed at the end. Oh well. Hopefully someone will get it right and create a compilation album of sea songs and ballads that has a real traditional nautical vibe. We will see.
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Format: Audio CD
YES! This is a much better modern take on sea shanties than Rogue's Gallery. The other was a good start, but this is an album I can definitely listen to all the way through whenever wherever.

Sea Shanties are a really fun genre to get into! They are classic, old, authentic songs about life of the sea - sometimes humorous, often tragic. I was really impressed by how the modern artists expressed this in their music. My favorite songs are the ones by Tom Waits, Macy Gray, and Frank Zappa.

I recommend those diehards out there to get the book "What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor? Unexpurgated Sea Chanties." For strictly traditional music renditions, you should check out:Blow Ye Winds in the Morning and Blow Boys Blow - Frank Zappa was very inspired by this album actually, said it "blew his mind!"
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first Rogues Gallery set was a mix of unknown, oddball, and a few big-name musicians doing classic and original sea chanties. It was excellent, and rumors abounded that Johnny Depp and crew had enough material for a second set to back up the first. This is that second set. It's top-loaded with famous talent, losing the quirkiness the unknown and regional artists brought to the first. With that said, this is a real gem. Beautifully produced (not over-produced, and I'm sure it was a strain for the producers to restrain themselves, I'm just glad they did), great songs. Sort of the professional fillip topping off the looser first set. Highly recommended--no household should be without!
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Really interesting album. I like the modern treatment of classic sea shanties. There are some true classics on it. Rolling Down to Maui by Todd Rundgren, Leaving of Liverpool by Shane McGowan, Wild Goose done by Broken Social Scene are just a taste of the great versions on this record.
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There's less emphasis on the strange (often bad) "joke" cuts that tended to ruin things for me last time, resulting in a sadder and less tightly-interpreted collection of mayhem-packed piratical sea songs (and river songs, and boat songs). This is the kind of thing you know Hal can do but generally only get most of the time on a particular project of his: evocative and well performed interpretations, music for adventurous, intelligent listeners (of a cetain age demo, I'm guessing) featuring many of our musical heroes. Marianne Faithful, you are completely great and can "sell it" like few others are able to. Sean Lennon, good job, you surprised me pleasantly (I've heard other music of yours...stick with Hal) and Ivan Neville, you nailed it perfectly. Many tunes sent me to look up the lyrics. A few wistful selections deal with the loss of a loved one, be them lovers or bosuns, rather than the outright murders and rapes from volume 1. Another bonus is the way the songs appear to be written by them scallawag seamen that lived the life and freely throw the pirate slang around like empty rum jugs (and after a few listening sessions you start talking this way). I thoroughly enjoyed this CD and consider it his best project in years.
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