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Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003 [Bonus CD]

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Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Yo La Tengo is the quintessential indie-rock band. Certainly measured by longevity and overall consistency, no one else comes close, as Prisoners of Love amply proves over the course of two generous discs. Subtitled A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003, Prisoners moves seamlessly from the jangly 1985 single "The River of Water" to 1997's signature tune "Autumn Sweater" to the rolling feedback of 1993's "Big Day Coming." Mixing album tracks and singles from throughout the Hoboken band's career, Prisoners includes plenty of pure pop like "Tom Courtenay" and "Sugarcube," sweet meditations like "The Summer" and "Season of the Shark," and distorted ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
Yo La Tengo is the quintessential indie-rock band. Certainly measured by longevity and overall consistency, no one else comes close, as Prisoners of Love amply proves over the course of two generous discs. Subtitled A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs 1985-2003, Prisoners moves seamlessly from the jangly 1985 single "The River of Water" to 1997's signature tune "Autumn Sweater" to the rolling feedback of 1993's "Big Day Coming." Mixing album tracks and singles from throughout the Hoboken band's career, Prisoners includes plenty of pure pop like "Tom Courtenay" and "Sugarcube," sweet meditations like "The Summer" and "Season of the Shark," and distorted freak-outs like "I Heard You Looking" and "Blue Line Swinger." It also collects anomalies like the profane Sun Ra cover "Nuclear War" and the disco-inflected "You Can Have It All." While conventional wisdom states that Yo La Tengo hit their stride when bassist James McNew joined guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley for 1993's Painful, this non-chronological set places "Barnaby, Hardly Working" from 1989's President Yo La Tengo next to 2003's "Little Eyes" with no discernible gap in quality. Prisoners is essential from start to finish. As a treat for fans, the set is available with a third disc of 16 outtakes and rarities, including five previously unreleased tracks, an early cover of Stevie Nicks's "Dreams," and an excellent remix of "Autumn Sweater" by My Bloody Valentine's Kevin Shields.
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
It's a little startling to read the title of this compilation and suddenly realize that Yo La Tengo have been making records for almost twenty years now. As a band who have always followed their own path, Yo La Tengo have been making timeless music ever since they first started out, and if that description sounds a bit grand, little of the stuff on this set suggests the moment in rock history in which it was recorded "Little Eyes" from 2003's Summer Sun sits comfortably beside "Lewis" from 1987's New Wave Hot Dogs, and you can't say that about the work of many other bands who were considered hip in either year, so until the band and Matador Records chose to point it out, few would ever have given much thought to how long they'd been doing this stuff. Still mixing up folk, noise, pop and indie rock after all this time, and still doing it with melodic intelligence and joy, Yo La Tengo don't seem like likely candidates for a career retrospective -- this is a band whose average fan owns all of their albums, and with nearly all of their material in print, it's not as if curious newbies have limited options for checking out their music. But if you've ever dreamed of a Yo La Tengo "Greatest Hits" album, Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003 is that notion made into a fine reality. Featuring material from all of their albums except for their debut, 1986's Ride the Tiger, this two-disc set is an embarrassment of riches, offering one great song after another over the space of 23 tracks and 110 minutes. From the noise-shot jangle rock of "Sugarcube" and the po-mo folk of "Autumn Sweater" to the witty skronk-fest of "The Story of Jazz" and the near-perfect pop single "Tom Courtenay," what's most remarkable about this album is everything bears Yo La Tengo's clear musical personality and emotional warmth no matter which style they choose to follow, and it's all wonderful, engaging and compelling stuff. If you've somehow managed to ignore Yo La Tengo in the first two decades of their existence, Prisoners of Love is the ideal way to get up to speed and acquaint yourself with the catalog; longtime fans won't be surprised, but they will get a potent reminder of what this group does so well. Early pressings of Prisoners of Love are available with a bonus third disc, "A Smattering of Outtakes and Rarities," which does indeed offer manna from heaven for hardcore YLT-heads, including unreleased tracks, rare single sides, demos and remixes. Serious fans will certainly want it, and since they're likely to have all the material on Prisoners of Love, it's a shame they can't buy it separately -- maybe they could just give the other two discs to friends who've been avoiding YLT all these years?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/22/2005
  • Label: Matador Records
  • UPC: 744861064527
  • Catalog Number: 10645

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shaker
  2. 2 Sugarcube
  3. 3 Barnaby, Hardly Working
  4. 4 Little Eyes
  5. 5 Stockholm Syndrome
  6. 6 Our Way to Fall
  7. 7 From a Motel 6
  8. 8 Swing for Life
  9. 9 Tom Courtenay
  10. 10 Lewis
  11. 11 I Heard You Looking
  12. 12 You Can Have It All
  13. 13 Did I Tell You
Disc 2
  1. 1 The River of Water
  2. 2 Autumn Sweater
  3. 3 Big Day Coming
  4. 4 Pablo and Andrea
  5. 5 Drug Test
  6. 6 Season of the Shark
  7. 7 Upside-Down
  8. 8 The Summer
  9. 9 Tears Are in Your Eyes
  10. 10 Blue Line Swinger
  11. 11 The Story of Jazz
  12. 12 Nuclear War (Version 1)
  13. 13 By the Time It Gets Dark
Disc 3
  1. 1 Stay Away from Heaven
  2. 2 Pencil Test
  3. 3 Almost True
  4. 4 Tom Courtenay
  5. 5 Big Day Coming
  6. 6 Dreaming
  7. 7 Bad Politics
  8. 8 Blue-Green Arrow
  9. 9 Decora
  10. 10 Out the Window
  11. 11 Weather Shy
  12. 12 Dreams
  13. 13 Autumn Sweater
  14. 14 Ashes on the Ground
  15. 15 Mr. Ameche Plays the Stranger
  16. 16 Magnet
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Yo La Tengo Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Gene Holder Bass
Steve Michener Bass
Dave Schramm Guitar
Stephan Wichnewski Bass
Dave Rick Bass, Guitar
David Henry Cello
Paul Niehaus Pedal Steel Guitar
Gary Larson Trumpet
Technical Credits
Stevie Nicks Composer
Yo La Tengo Composer
Terry Adams Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
David Fair Composer
Gene Holder Producer
Georgia Hubley Composer
Ira Kaplan Composer
Roger Moutenot Producer
Kevin Shields Remixing
Joey Spampinato Composer
Chris Stein Composer
Fred Brockman Producer
Mark Guenther Engineer
The Dead C Composer
David Henry Engineer
Joe Sacco Poster Design
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Customer Reviews

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