A to Z Recordings

The A to Z Recordings

by Paul Kelly
     
 

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Back in 1990, Texas songwriter Butch Hancock staged a massive, six-night event entitled No Two Alike, wherein he played six straight evenings at Austin's Cactus Cafe. In the process, he recorded 140 of his own songs without repeating one. He then released the output later on cassette tapes. The reason for citing Hancock in a Paul Kelly review, particularly this

Overview

Back in 1990, Texas songwriter Butch Hancock staged a massive, six-night event entitled No Two Alike, wherein he played six straight evenings at Austin's Cactus Cafe. In the process, he recorded 140 of his own songs without repeating one. He then released the output later on cassette tapes. The reason for citing Hancock in a Paul Kelly review, particularly this one, is simply to establish the only precedent for this wonderful eight-disc live box set, the A to Z Recordings. Between 2004 and 2010, the revered Australian songwriter would perform his now legendary A to Z concerts, during which he would play two (largely) unplugged sets per evening for four nights, performing many of his songs, all in alphabetical order. Issued in Australia in 2010 and re-released in Europe and the United States in 2012, The A to Z Recordings is quite literally a staggering document. Kelly displays here that even in the maddening sprawl of alphabetical order, he is a master storyteller who understands the balance of drama, humor, romance, tragedy, and history. The simplicity and economy of his melodies underscore a poet's gift for sensory impression that morphs into nearly physical detail with startling accuracy, gritty yet romantic resonance, and depth. His complex yet recognizable characters and conjured scenes and circumstances are rife with the conflicts, joys, pleasures, sorrows, griefs, celebrations, and the amorous and familial loves and losses of everyday life. His songs can be gritty and graceful, sometimes simultaneously. Check "Beggar on the Street of Love," "(The Ballad Of) Queenie and Rover," "Blues for Skip," "Other People's Houses," "Shane Warren," and "Standing on the Street of Early Sorrows," for a few examples of these 105 selections. The recording quality here is consistently warm, precise, even pristine. The booklet contains loads of artwork, and single and double sentence observations about these songs. The A to Z Recordings is indispensable for Kelly fans. Hearing these songs in stripped-down form is to aurally glimpse them as they were written, revealing the songwriter's resonance and considerable depth. This box set is being re-released along with remastered versions of Kelly's early catalog, and his 2012 album, Spring and Fall. What The A to Z Recordings accomplishes in total, is to reveal to the rest of us what Kelly fans have known for decades: that he is a songwriter whose peers are few; they include Townes Van Zandt, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Ronnie Laine.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/09/2012
Label:
Cen
UPC:
0766929998827
catalogNumber:
100
Rank:
18415

Related Subjects

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Adelaide
  2. After the Show
  3. Anastasia Changes Her Mind
  4. Be Careful What You Pray For
  5. Beautiful Promise
  6. Before Too Long
  7. Beggar on the Street of Love
  8. Behind the Bowler's Arm
  9. Big Fine Girl
  10. Blues for Skip
  11. Bradman
  12. (The) Cake and the Candle
  13. Careless
  14. Change Your Mind
  15. Charlie Owen's Slide Guitar
  16. Cities of Texas

Disc 2

  1. Coma
  2. Cradle of Love
  3. Deeper Water
  4. Desdemona
  5. Difficult Woman
  6. Don't Explain
  7. Don't Harm the Messenger
  8. Dont Stand So Close to the Window
  9. Don't Start Me Talking
  10. Down to My Soul
  11. Dumb Things
  12. Emotional
  13. Every Fucking City
  14. Everybody Wants to Touch Me
  15. Everything's Turning to White

Disc 3

  1. (The) Foggy Fields of France
  2. Foggy Highway
  3. Forty Miles to Saturday Night
  4. Forty-Eight Angels
  5. From Little Things Big Things Grow
  6. From St Kilda to Kings Cross
  7. Gathering Storm
  8. Gold Told Me To
  9. (The) Gift That Keeps on Giving
  10. Glory Be to God
  11. Going About My Father's Business
  12. How to Make Gravy

Disc 4

  1. I Can't Believe We Were Married
  2. I Close My Eyes and Think of You
  3. I Don't Know Anything Anymore
  4. I Keep on Coming Back for More
  5. I'd Rather Go Blind
  6. If I Could Start Today Again
  7. I Wasted Time
  8. I Won't Be Your Dog
  9. Jandamarra/Pigeon
  10. Jump to Love
  11. Just About to Break
  12. King of Fools
  13. Lately
  14. Leaps and Bounds

Disc 5

  1. Little Boy, Don't Lose Your Balls
  2. Love Is the Law
  3. Love Never Runs on Time
  4. Luck
  5. Maralinga (Rainy Land)
  6. Meet Me in the Middle of the Air
  7. Midnight Rain
  8. My Way is to You
  9. No You
  10. Nothing But a Dream
  11. (The) Oldest Story in the Book
  12. One More Time
  13. Other People's Houses

Disc 6

  1. Our Sunshine
  2. Please Myself
  3. Pretty Place
  4. (The Ballad Of) Queenie and Rover
  5. Rally Round the Drum
  6. Randwick Bells
  7. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  8. Shane Warne
  9. Smoke Under the Bridge
  10. Somebody's Forgetting Somebody
  11. Somewhere in the City
  12. South of Germany

Disc 7

  1. Standing on the Street of Early Sorrows
  2. Stolen Apples
  3. Stories of Me
  4. Stupid Song
  5. Summer Rain
  6. Sweet Guy
  7. Sydney from a 747
  8. They Thought I Was Asleep
  9. Thoughts in the Middle of the Night
  10. To Her Door
  11. Until Death Do Them Part

Disc 8

  1. When I First Met Your Ma
  2. Winter Coat
  3. Won't You Come Around?
  4. Would You Be My Friend?
  5. You Broke a Beautiful Thing
  6. You Can Put Your Shoes Under My Bed
  7. You Can't Take It with You
  8. Your Little Sister Is a Big Girl Now
  9. Young Lovers
  10. You're 39, You're Beautiful and You're Mine
  11. Your Loving Is on My Mind
  12. Zoe

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Paul Kelly   Primary Artist
Mary Jo Kelly   Piano,Vocal Harmony
Dan Kelly   Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Sian Prior   Clarinet,Vocal Harmony

Technical Credits

Paul Kelly   Composer,Liner Notes
Reg Mombassa   Drawing
Simon Polinski   Engineer
Tim Millikan   Engineer
Marc Royal   Stage Crew
Adam Rhodes   Engineer
Spencer Jones   Paintings
Shannon Ward   Stage Crew
Greg Weaver   Engineer
Aaron Cupples   Engineer
Michael O'Connell   Engineer
Tony David Cray   Engineer
Tim Matthew   Engineer
Chris Thompson   Engineer
Russell Shakespeare   Cover Photo
Lucas Cranach (the Elder)   Paintings
S. Hadley   Composer
Benjamin Lyons   Stage Crew
Robert Miles   Engineer
Andrew Lawson   Stage Crew
Simon Blanch   Stage Crew
Queenie McKenzie   Paintings
Joe Yammouni   Stage Crew
Craig Bird   Stage Crew
Chris Dyson   Drawing

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