Retrospective: 1995-2005 [Deluxe Edition]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
In compiling the best tracks from her four solo studio albums for Retrospective 1995-2005, Natalie Merchant calls attention to both the remarkable consistency and the subtle variety of her post–10,000 Maniacs career. Merchant sings songs of political discontent and social consciousness: She can sound disillusioned or disappointed, frustrated or hopeful, wistful or wondrous, but she's always passionate and sincere, and her alluring alto sometimes disguises hard truths. Retrospective moves chronologically through Merchant's projects. "Wonder" and "Jealousy" from 1996's classic Tigerlily show Merchant at her most upbeat, and the single versions included here kick up the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Klinge
In compiling the best tracks from her four solo studio albums for Retrospective 1995-2005, Natalie Merchant calls attention to both the remarkable consistency and the subtle variety of her post–10,000 Maniacs career. Merchant sings songs of political discontent and social consciousness: She can sound disillusioned or disappointed, frustrated or hopeful, wistful or wondrous, but she's always passionate and sincere, and her alluring alto sometimes disguises hard truths. Retrospective moves chronologically through Merchant's projects. "Wonder" and "Jealousy" from 1996's classic Tigerlily show Merchant at her most upbeat, and the single versions included here kick up the energy several notches compared to the original album tracks. As she notes in the anecdotes she penned for this compilation, on 1998's Ophelia, she consciously challenged herself to vary her approaches for each song: "Break Your Heart" with vocalist N'Dea Davenport and trumpeter Chris Botti owes a bit to Sting in its mix of smooth jazz and quiet funk, while "Kind & Generous" is joyfully slinky. "Build a Levee" from 2001's Motherland is soulful and dark, aided by Mavis Staples' harmonies. The stripped-down folk of "Owensboro" and "Sally Ann" from 2003's The House Carpenter's Daughter cap the album perfectly: They form a soft, earnest coda to the first decade of Merchant's solo career.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Natalie Merchant was with 10,000 Maniacs for four full-length albums before she departed for a solo career. Four albums and ten years into her solo career, she released Retrospective 1995-2005, a 13-track collection of highlights, containing no rarities or B-sides those were reserved for the simultaneously released deluxe edition of the album, which had a 15-track bonus disc containing all notable non-LP tracks, including three unreleased cuts, plus duets with the Chieftains, R.E.M., Billy Bragg, and Susan McKeown. Her solo career began on a high note with Tigerlily, a continuation of the sound of latter-day 10,000 Maniacs records, heavy on the polish and laid-back atmosphere and light on jangling guitars. It entered the charts at 13, spawned the Top Ten single, "Carnival," and its Top 20 follow-up, "Wonder," and garnered generally positive reviews. But her momentum began to slow on her 1998 sophomore effort, Ophelia, which may have climbed higher on the Billboard album charts, but it failed to produce any big hit; "Kind & Generous" peaked at 18, but it never gained the same popularity as either "Carnival" or "Wonder." From there, Merchant settled into a comfortable cult, turning out variations on the Tigerlily template on 2001's Motherland and getting a little folkier on 2003's collection of traditional tunes, The House Carpenter's Daughter. Retrospective balances these four albums nicely, selecting four cuts each from Tigerlily and Ophelia while taking three from Motherland and two from House Carpenter. It not only takes the obvious highlights from these albums, but it draws an accurate, representative picture of her solo career. Which is not to say that it will please 10,000 Maniacs fans looking for music in a similar vein -- after her solo debut, Merchant's music got a little too small and insular, a little more concerned with mood and lyrics than with pop hooks to appeal to a broader audience. Those fans will likely want to stick with Tigerlily, which is a more satisfying listen overall than Retrospective, but for those who want an overview of Natalie Merchant's solo career, this does a fine job of providing that.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/27/2005
  • Label: Rhino/Wea Uk
  • UPC: 081227312220
  • Catalog Number: 273122

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wonder (4:24)
  2. 2 Carnival (5:59)
  3. 3 Jealousy (2:44)
  4. 4 San Andreas Fault (3:58)
  5. 5 Kind & Generous (4:05)
  6. 6 Break Your Heart (4:53)
  7. 7 Life Is Sweet (5:14)
  8. 8 The Living (3:18)
  9. 9 Build a Levee (4:48)
  10. 10 Not in This Life (5:22)
  11. 11 Motherland (4:46)
  12. 12 Owensboro (4:25)
  13. 13 Sally Ann (5:49)
Disc 2
  1. 1 She Devil (5:55)
  2. 2 Cowboy Romance (8:03)
  3. 3 Children Go Where I Send Thee (5:15)
  4. 4 Birds & Ships (2:13)
  5. 5 The Lowlands of Holland (3:49)
  6. 6 One Fine Day (2:47)
  7. 7 Photograph - R.E.M. (3:32)
  8. 8 Party of God (4:17)
  9. 9 Thick as Thieves (6:24)
  10. 10 Bread & Circuses (4:26)
  11. 11 Because I Could Not Stop for Death (3:51)
  12. 12 Tell Yourself (5:09)
  13. 13 But Not for Me (3:28)
  14. 14 I Know How to Do It (4:29)
  15. 15 Come Take a Trip in My Airship (4:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Natalie Merchant Primary Artist, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocals
Tony Trischka Banjo
Billy Bragg Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
Dr. John Piano
Van Dyke Parks Accordion
Karl Berger Conductor, Vibes
Bill Harris Saxophone
Tom Varner French Horn
David Sancious Piano
Gary Smith Bass, Percussion, Electric Bass
Jim Keltner Drums
Walter Booker Bass, Electric Bass
Cyro Battista Percussion
Chris Botti Trumpet
Peter Buck Guitar
Matt Chamberlain Percussion, Drums
Steve Cooper Guitar
N'Dea Davenport Vocals
Donald "Duck" Dunn Bass, Electric Bass
Fima Ephron Electric Bass
Bob Glaub Bass, Electric Bass
John Holbrook Electric Guitar
Judy Hyman Fiddle
Wayne Jackson Trumpet
Booker T. Jones Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Katell Keineg Vocals
George Laks Piano, Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3
Greg Leisz Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Electric Guitar
Andrew Love Saxophone
Graham Maby Bass, Electric Bass
Paddy Moloney Penny Whistle
Molly Mason Acoustic Guitar
Val McCallum Guitar
Susan McKeown Vocals
Mike Mills Bass, Electric Bass
John O'Brien Piano
Máirtín O'Connor Accordion
Julia Palmer Cello
Lenny Pickett Saxophone
David Ralicke Horn, Baritone Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Craig Ross Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Terry Silverlight Drums
G.E. Smith Guitar
Mavis Staples Vocals
Michael Stipe Vocals
Jay Ungar Fiddle, Harmonica, Mandolin
Patrick Warren chamberlain, Pump Organ
Wiggy Electric Bass
Peter Yanowitz Drums
Jason Yates Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Garo Yellin Cello
Michelle Kinney Cello
David Narcizo Drums
Joel O'Brien Piano
Matt Henderson Electric Bass
Joe Trump Drums
Lokua Kanza Acoustic Guitar
Bill Berry Drums
Lindsey Horner Acoustic Bass
Richie Stearns Banjo
Schiavone McGee Vocals
Mike Elizondo Acoustic Bass
Adrian Lopez Guevarra Percussion
Joakim Lartey Percussion
Pete Toigo Acoustic Bass
Krystof Witek Violin
Jennifer Turner Guitar, Background Vocals
Metropolitan New Testament Missionary Baptist Church Choir Vocals
Conway Kuo Viola
Hector Falcon Violin
Ralph Farris Viola
Paddy Maloney Penny Whistle
Gabriel Gordon Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Electric Guitar
Keefus Hammond B3
Dave Woodward Trumpet
Allison Miller Drums
The Bill Harris Quintet Saxophone
Elizabeth Steen Organ, Piano, Hammond Organ, Hammond B3
Barry MaGuire Bass, Electric Bass
Erik Dellapenna Electric Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Rebekka Gonzales Children's Voices, Spoken Word
Matt Henderson Bass, Guitar
Donnie Ward Electric Guitar
Cyro Battiste Percussion
Schiavone McGee Vocals
Metropolitan New Testament Missionary Baptist Church Choir, Albany, NY Vocals
James Gonzales Spoken Word
Jon Spurney Acoustic Guitar, Piano
Technical Credits
The Chieftains Arranger
George Gershwin Composer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Billy Bragg Composer
Carole King Composer
Karl Berger String Arrangements
Leonard Feather Composer
David Sancious Producer, Audio Production
Gary Smith Producer, Audio Production
Sammy Price Composer
Peter Buck Composer
T Bone Burnett Producer, Audio Production
Jeff Claus Composer
David Austin Cook Engineer
George Cowan Engineer
Don DeVito Producer
Ira Gershwin Composer
Michael Joyce Art Direction
Steve Haigler Engineer
Dan Hersch Remastering
David Hewitt Engineer
John Holbrook Engineer
Judy Hyman Composer
Bill Inglot Remastering
Scott Litt Producer, Audio Production
Paddy Moloney Audio Production
Brian Masterson Engineer
Susan McKeown Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Natalie Merchant Arranger, Composer, Producer, Art Direction, Audio Production
Dirk Powell Composer
R.E.M. Producer, Audio Production
Grant Showbiz Producer, Audio Production
Michael Stipe Composer
Oliver Strauss Engineer
Nora Guthrie Producer, Audio Production
Mike Piersante Engineer
Matthew Ellard Engineer
Steve Woolard Discographical Annotation
Emily Dickinson Composer
Todd Vos Engineer
Paddy Maloney Producer
Scott Eisenberg Engineer
Traditional Composer
José Picayo Cover Photo
Jon Spurney Audio Production
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