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Songs in the Key of Z, Vol. 2: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joseph McCombs
If you've heard of this album, you undoubtedly know its predecessor, 2000s Songs in the Key of Z, is an astonishing compilation of the most notable and/or bizarre "outsider" recordings. 2002s companion volume picks up where the first left off, but does not follow the easy path of simply plucking additional songs from the same artists. Most prominently, cult heroes Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston are absent this time, suggesting that producer Irwin Chusid sought to avoid the vaguely uncomfortable feeling of appearing to make fun of the mentally ill. Thus, most of the "outsiders" in this set are dubiously talented hacks who issued their recordings out of sheer nerve. The...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Joseph McCombs
If you've heard of this album, you undoubtedly know its predecessor, 2000s Songs in the Key of Z, is an astonishing compilation of the most notable and/or bizarre "outsider" recordings. 2002s companion volume picks up where the first left off, but does not follow the easy path of simply plucking additional songs from the same artists. Most prominently, cult heroes Wesley Willis and Daniel Johnston are absent this time, suggesting that producer Irwin Chusid sought to avoid the vaguely uncomfortable feeling of appearing to make fun of the mentally ill. Thus, most of the "outsiders" in this set are dubiously talented hacks who issued their recordings out of sheer nerve. The results are sometimes comically entertaining, as in the case of Shooby Taylor's psycho-scat rendition of "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," and the sadly anonymous striptease warble "Curly Toes." Even better, though, is Congress-Woman Malinda Jackson Parker's "Cousin Mosquito #2," nearly eight minutes of obsessing over mosquitos like Nina Simone on the brown acid within an interpolation of Rachmaninoff's "Prelude in C sharp Minor." The remaining selections include a few solipsistic iconoclasts who just don't care how bizarre others think their work is -- Thoth Shmack's fascinatingly titled "The Herma, Scene 5: Recitation/An" being the most curious of the lot -- but a few too many are merely dim and untalented, poorly played, sung and recorded. A rating of sonic quality obviously does not apply to a curiosity collection such as this one, which is valuable to purveyors of pop culture but should not, and cannot, be listened to with any regularity.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/29/2002
  • Label: Gammon
  • UPC: 805240210420
  • Catalog Number: 2104

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing - Shooby Taylor (2:41)
  2. 2 You're Out of the Computer - Bingo Gazingo (3:14)
  3. 3 America (3:01)
  4. 4 You're Driving Me Mad - Alvin Dahn (3:37)
  5. 5 Cousin Mosquito, No. 2 - Malinda Jackson Parker (7:54)
  6. 6 I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) - Space Lady (4:24)
  7. 7 Touch of Light - Luie Luie (4:52)
  8. 8 Curly Toes - Unknown (2:55)
  9. 9 Stepping High Dance - Eddie Murray (2:16)
  10. 10 Five Feet Nine and a Half Inches Tall (3:43)
  11. 11 Recitation About Roy Acuff - Gary Mullis (2:50)
  12. 12 Deep Bosom Woman - Wayne (3:15)
  13. 13 High Speed - Bob Vido (3:33)
  14. 14 The Herma, Scene 5: Recitation/An - Thoth (4:01)
  15. 15 Jet Lady - Tangela Tricoli (3:48)
  16. 16 The Birthmark Story (7:51)
  17. 17 Heart of the Heartland - Mark Kennis (4:32)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Composer
Antonin Dvorak Composer
Neil Diamond Composer
Sammy Johns Composer
Irwin Chusid Producer, Liner Notes, Cover Design
David Greenberger Art Direction
Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor Composer
Eddie Clarke Composer
Jordan Trachtenberg Executive Producer
Sam McCall Mastering
Lemmy Kilmister Composer
Barbara Economon Cover Design
Taylor Clyne Executive Producer
James Weldon Johnson Composer
Jason Timoll Composer
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