A Brief History

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason MacNeil
Although known for years as one of Australia's best folk-pop bands around, the Waifs slowly but surely made inroads in North America with albums such as Sink or Swim and Up All Night. This two-disc collection of live performances, A Brief History, shows the band at the top of their game while liberally choosing tracks from all their albums. Kicking things off is the swinging, jazzy crowd pleaser "Lighthouse" that is hard not to replay often. This swinging nature is revisited with Josh Cunningham sharing vocals on "Love Serenade." Recorded throughout Australia over a period of three years, the group veers from pop to folk to Americana easily with the strong "London Still" ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason MacNeil
Although known for years as one of Australia's best folk-pop bands around, the Waifs slowly but surely made inroads in North America with albums such as Sink or Swim and Up All Night. This two-disc collection of live performances, A Brief History, shows the band at the top of their game while liberally choosing tracks from all their albums. Kicking things off is the swinging, jazzy crowd pleaser "Lighthouse" that is hard not to replay often. This swinging nature is revisited with Josh Cunningham sharing vocals on "Love Serenade." Recorded throughout Australia over a period of three years, the group veers from pop to folk to Americana easily with the strong "London Still" featuring harmonies from sisters Vikki Simpson and Donna Simpson. Yet the pop element is still present for the bouncy, roots-riddled "Take It In" that has the audience singing along. The same can be said for the toe-tapping and engaging "Lies." Knowing a melody or hook, gems such as "The Waitress," with its concluding Mexican flair, shine instantly. The alt country or rootsy nature the band has moved towards in later albums is quite audible in the somewhat bluesy folk of "Fisherman's Daughter," which brings to mind Lucinda Williams while "Crazy Train" has an excellent harmonica solo early on. The Waifs slow things down somewhat for "Haircut," which is a pretty yet dark ballad, while "Gillian" is a gentle, warm, folksy tale. Perhaps the biggest asset is how the two discs are equally, consistently strong, whether it is the sultry, sexy "Willow Tree" or the mid-tempo, breezy "When I Die" that shows off the sisters' great harmonies. Perhaps the best of the lot comes through during the tender, retrospective "Sunflower Man" and also the hushed, whispered "Spotlight." And the Americana nature of this Aussie group comes through predominantly on disc two, especially with "Highway One" and the live version of "Bridal Train" a studio version is also included. The home stretch is of the slower, singer/songwriter style, particularly during "Here If You Want," even with Cunningham's cell phone ringing near its conclusion. The only poppy tunes are "Company" and "Shelter Me" that falls in line with songs on the first disc. Regardless, it's a fantastic collection from a band with what will hopefully become a much longer history.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/11/2005
  • Label: Compass Records
  • UPC: 766397439426
  • Catalog Number: 974394
  • Sales rank: 62,262

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lighthouse (4:17)
  2. 2 London Still (4:29)
  3. 3 Take It In (3:40)
  4. 4 Love Serenade (3:11)
  5. 5 The Waitress (2:37)
  6. 6 Fisherman's Daughter (6:35)
  7. 7 Papa (2:58)
  8. 8 Crazy Train (8:02)
  9. 9 Brain Damage (4:59)
  10. 10 Don't Think Twice, It's Alright (3:52)
  11. 11 Lies (4:43)
  12. 12 Haircut (4:23)
  13. 13 The River (4:02)
  14. 14 Gillian (4:41)
  15. 15 A Brief History... (5:03)
  16. 16 Bridal Train (4:21)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Willow Tree (4:06)
  2. 2 When I Die (Introduction) (0:40)
  3. 3 When I Die (4:28)
  4. 4 Sunflower Man (4:11)
  5. 5 Flesh and Blood (5:16)
  6. 6 Highway One (5:17)
  7. 7 Bridal Train (Introduction) (0:35)
  8. 8 Bridal Train (4:20)
  9. 9 Since I've Been Around (4:44)
  10. 10 Here If You Want (3:53)
  11. 11 Billy Jones (4:15)
  12. 12 Company (4:16)
  13. 13 Spotlight (5:46)
  14. 14 Shelter Me (3:12)
  15. 15 Shiny Apple (3:16)
  16. 16 Crazy/Circles (9:51)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Waifs Primary Artist
Jen Anderson Violin
Josh Cunningham Guitar, Vocals
Vikki Simpson Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Donna Simpson Guitar, Vocals
Ben Franz Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
Willie Nelson Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Chris Thompson Engineer
Phil Stevens Management
James Cadsky Engineer
James Hewgill Engineer
The Waifs Composer, Producer
Steven Schram Engineer
Joseph Carra Mastering
Anton Koch Engineer, Live Sound, Live Sound Engineer
Simon Cowling Cover Photo
Brian Wise Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great band

    I had never heard of The Waifs until a friend gave me some tickets to their show. We took a chance and went, not knowing anything about them or what type of music they played. They were great! Loved their music, their amazing voices, and they were fun to watch in person. I listen to this 2-CD collection over and over. A definite recommend!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews