Escape Artist

Escape Artist

by Garland Jeffreys
     
 

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Garland Jeffreys had been a favorite with critics since he released the brilliant "Wild in the Streets" as a single in 1973, but his albums had failed to reach a large audience, largely due to production and arrangements that often fell short of bringing out the tunefulness of his songs. But with 1981's Escape Artist, Jeffreys and producer See more details below

Overview

Garland Jeffreys had been a favorite with critics since he released the brilliant "Wild in the Streets" as a single in 1973, but his albums had failed to reach a large audience, largely due to production and arrangements that often fell short of bringing out the tunefulness of his songs. But with 1981's Escape Artist, Jeffreys and producer Bob Clearmountain finally hit on the right combination; a set of tough, witty songs that dealt with the personal and the political, backed by an exceptional studio band that included members of Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band and Graham Parker's Rumour. With Jeffreys' rock and reggae songs given a slight new wave sheen and a pulse that was strong but danceable, Escape Artist had a sound that was polished but full of life, and the many moods of the songs -- the edgy stutter of "True Confessions," the upbeat reggae of "Christine," the fist-pumping, anthemic "R.O.C.K.," and the wiry and streetwise "Mystery Kids" -- reflected the energy of Jeffreys' home town of New York, where a neighborhood could change completely when you turned a corner. Jeffreys also came up with one of his strongest sets of songs to date, melodically forceful while telling stories that were both passionate and mature, and his vocals were muscular and full of soul (Lou Reed and David Johansen guested on the sessions, but Jeffreys showed he could sing rings around them). The guitar-fueled cover of "96 Tears" pushed Escape Artist into the charts and made it Jeffreys' first real hit in the United States, but there isn't a single tune on this album that doesn't sound great and have something to say; with the possible exception of Ghost Writer, this is Garland Jeffreys' finest hour. [Most releases include the EP Escapades, which includes a reworked ballad version of "Christine" and two powerful reggae tracks recorded in London with producer Dennis Bovell, "Miami Beach" and "We the People."]

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Product Details

Release Date:
12/29/1990
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0074643698320
catalogNumber:
36983

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Garland Jeffreys   Primary Artist,Guitar,Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals
Big Youth   Vocals,Toaster
Linton Kwesi Johnson   Vocals,Narrator
Adrian Belew   Guitar
Lou Reed   Vocals,Background Vocals
Michael Brecker   Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Jimmy Maelen   Percussion
Maria Vidal   Vocals,Background Vocals
Dennis Bovell   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards
Robert Athas   Bass,Guitar
Roy Bittan   Piano
Eaton Blake   Bass
Andrew Bodnar   Bass
Randy Brecker   Trumpet
Bob Clearmountain   Vocals,Background Vocals
Larry Fast   Synthesizer,Bagpipes,Guitar
Danny Federici   Organ,Accordion,Keyboards
Alan Taff Freedman   Guitar
Artie Funaro   Guitar,Keyboards
Steve Goulding   Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Diana Grasselli   Vocals,Background Vocals
Webster Johnson   Percussion,Keyboards
John Kpiaye   Guitar
Earl Lindo   Organ
Errol Melbourne   Drums
Seyoum Net Fa   Melodion
G.E. Smith   Bass,Guitar,Mandolin,Fuzz Bass
Augustos Tenyue   Horn
Patrick Tenyue   Horn
Myriam Naomi Valle   Vocals,Background Vocals
Jimmy Maeulen   Percussion
Roy Brittan   Piano
Arty Funero   Organ,Guitar
Augustus "T" Tenyve   Trombone,Saxophone

Technical Credits

Big Youth   Contributor
Garland Jeffreys   Arranger,Composer,Producer
David Johansen   Contributor
Nona Hendryx   Contributor
Dennis Bovell   Producer
Robert Athas   Guitar Arrangements
Bob Clearmountain   Producer,Engineer
Alan Taff Freedman   Arranger
Bob Ludwig   Mastering
Seyoum Net Fa   Contributor
G.E. Smith   Arranger
Patrick Tenyue   Contributor
Paula Scher   Art Direction
Susan Blond   Contributor
Dick Wingate   Executive Producer

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