Classic Bootleg: The Offender Meets the Pretender (Warren Zevon with Jackson Browne)

The Offender Meets the Pretender is a widely-bootlegged Dutch radio program featuring songs by, and interviews with, Warren Zevon alongside his friend and colleague Jackson Browne. The recordings are from Zevon’s first tour in 1976/77, shortly after the release of his self-titled second album, which included guest appearances in the middle of Jackson Browne’s concerts.
Warren Zevon Wiki

  • Live at the VPRO Studios, Hilversum, the Netherlands; December 8, 1976
  • Live at RAI Congrescentrum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; December 9, 1976

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October 18: The late great Chuck Berry was born in 1926

chuck berry

 “Roll over, Beethoven, and tell Tchaikovsky the news.”

Keith Richards Inducts Chuck Berry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1986):

“Chuck was my man. He was the one who made me say ‘I want to play guitar, Jesus Christ!’…Suddenly I knew what I wanted to do.”
~Keith Richards (1992)

 

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October 17: The Rolling Stones recorded the Brussels Affair in 1973

Brussels-Affair

The Rolling Stones have finally begun to assemble and release their vast archives.  Setting up The Official Rolling Stones Archive online, their first release was The Brussels Affair ’73.

Long hailed by die-hard Stones fans as one of the band’s greatest live performances, The Brussels Affair has been a mainstay in the underground music world for years. The album is pulled from the two gigs that took place at the Forest National arena in Brussels, and was originally recorded by Andy Johns on the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Bob Clearmountain applied the final mix in 2011.

Buy it here

Keith talking about the two shows:

As i said it is compiled from two shows recorded in Brussels on 17 October 1973 in the Forest National Arena, during their European Tour. The album was released exclusively as a digital download through Google Music on 18 October 2011 in the US and through The Rolling Stones Archive website for the rest of the world in both lossy mp3 and lossless FLAC format. The 2011 digital edition has been bootlegged on physical CD.

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October 17: Johnny Cash – American III: Solitary Man was released in 2000

In the liner notes, Johnny Cash writes:

“The song is the thing that matters. Before I can record, I have to hear it, sing it, and know that I can make it feel like my own, or it won’t work. I worked on these songs until I felt like they were my own.”

Released October 17, 2000
Genre Country, americana
Length 42:15
Label American Recordings
Producer John Carter Cash, Rick Rubin

American III: Solitary Man is the third album in the American series by Johnny Cash released in 2000 (and his 85th overall album). The album was notable for being Cash’s highest charting (#11 Country) solo studio LP since his 1976 One Piece at a Time, an album that reached No. 2 Country based on the title cut. To the present day, Cash’s studio albums for American have continued to sell & chart extremely well, as evidenced by the platinum #22 POP, #2 C&W American IV: The Man Comes Around (released one year before his death) and the gold, #1 on both charts, American V: A Hundred Highways.

I see a darkness (with guest Will Oldham, the composer of the song):

Between Unchained and Solitary Man, Cash’s health declined due to various ailments, and he was even hospitalized for pneumonia. His illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. The album American III: Solitary Man contained Cash’s response to his illness, typified by a version of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down”, as well as a version of U2’s “One”.

One (so much better than any other versions!):

American III: Solitary Man, just like Cash’s two previous albums produced by Rick Rubin, was a Grammy winner, taking home the award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for Cash’s version of the Neil Diamond classic “Solitary Man”. Cash continued to receive critical appreciation for his American series of albums—on aggregate review site Metacritic.com the third album in Cash’s American series received a score of 80 (despite middling reviews from publications such as L.A. Weekly and Rolling Stone magazine) (from Wikipedia)

Track listing:

  1. I Wont Back Down
  2. Solitary Man
  3. That Lucky Old Sun
  4. One
  5. Nobody
  6. I See A Darkness
  7. The Mercy Seat
  8. Would You Lay With Me (In A Field Of Stone)
  9. Field Of Diamonds
  10. Before My Time
  11. Country Trash
  12. Mary Of The Wild Moor
  13. I’m Leavin’ Now
  14. Wayfaring Stranger

“You can stand me up at the gates of hell/ But I won’t back down”

Pitchfork:

Ryan Kearney

But American III‘s high point is its two-song centerpiece. The first is Will Oldham’s “I See a Darkness”, on which it becomes clear that, perhaps because of his neurological disorder, Cash’s voice isn’t as sure and strong as it once was. When he quavers, with Oldham singing backup, “Is there hope that somehow you can save me from this darkness?” the effect is absolutely devastating. You won’t listen to the song the same after this. The shivers will eventually leave your spine, but the residue remains.

The Mercy Seat:

That song’s transcendent power also stems from its production, which, although still sparse, is relatively lush. The organ and piano that rise to match the guitar remain in use for Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat”. Chronicling the first-person thoughts of a man being executed, this song, more than any other on the album, was written for Cash. Building to a rumbling crescendo, he belts out, “And the mercy seat is smokin’/ And I think my head is meltin’.” This would’ve brought even Gary Gilmore to tears.

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October 17: Bruce Springsteen released The River in 1980


springsteen The-River

October 17: Bruce Springsteen released The River in 1980

But I remember us riding in my brother’s car
Her body tan and wet down at the reservoir
At night on them banks I’d lie awake
And pull her close just to feel each breath she’d take
Now those memories come back to haunt me
They haunt me like a curse
Is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
Or is it something worse?
~Bruce Springsteen “The River”

Put on your best dress baby
And darlin’, fix your hair up right
Cause there’s a party, honey
Way down beneath the neon lights
~Bruce Springsteen “Out In The Street”

 

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October 16: Emmylou Harris released Brand New Dance in 1990

brand new dance

Brand New Dance was an album which Emmylou Harris released on October 16, 1990. Produced by Richard Bennett and Allan Reynolds, the album mixed a rather eclectic collection of covers, including Bruce Springsteen’s “Tougher Than the Rest”, and Dave Mallett’s “Red, Red Rose”. Though it sold reasonably well, it was Harris’ first studio album in fifteen years to yield no top forty country singles, and marked the beginning of a commercial decline for the singer, which would ultimately lead her to redirect her music away from mainstream country, a few years later.

It was one of my first conscious country music buys, with that I mean that before I had just listened to my fathers record collection when playing country (or radio). This was a big step for me, I had bought country-rock albums and rock albums with country elements, but this was pure country. I still love the album, it has a very special place in my musical upbringing.

…and I think it has one of the best covers of Springsteen’s Tougher than the rest (audio):

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