Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead [Bonus CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
After releasing the album Adam's Apple in 2004, John Wesley Harding took a step back from his career in music, publishing two novels under his given name Wesley Stace, but after a five-year layoff, Harding returned to the recording studio to make his 12th album, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, and it's not difficult to hear the influence of Harding's literary career in this batch of songs. Harding has always been a clever tunesmith who's consistently shown a way with words since he released his first album in 1988, but Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead reveals a greater maturity and lyrical polish than much of his previous work. The playful arrogance of Harding's early ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
After releasing the album Adam's Apple in 2004, John Wesley Harding took a step back from his career in music, publishing two novels under his given name Wesley Stace, but after a five-year layoff, Harding returned to the recording studio to make his 12th album, Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, and it's not difficult to hear the influence of Harding's literary career in this batch of songs. Harding has always been a clever tunesmith who's consistently shown a way with words since he released his first album in 1988, but Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead reveals a greater maturity and lyrical polish than much of his previous work. The playful arrogance of Harding's early albums has faded in favor of witty but pointed meditations on the failings of both God and man, with the former receiving a few well-aimed satirical pokes on "A Very Sorry Saint" and "Congratulations (On Your Hallucinations)," and several specimens of the latter examined in "Sleepy People," "Sick Organism," and "The End." This set confirms Harding's craft is as strong as ever while the lyrics cut deeper into the personal and philosophical puzzlements that confound his characters while displaying a genuine compassion for their foibles, and Harding's vocals are graceful while his instrument sounds as flexible as ever. The Minus Five (including Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey) back up Harding on Who Was Changed, and while the quirkier side of their musical personality doesn't get an airing here, they prove once again that they're gifted and versatile musicians who mould their talents to this music with skill and confidence, and the eternally underappreciated Kelly Hogan pitches in with some lovely backing vocals; from a musical standpoint, this may be the most pleasing album Harding has made since his first studio effort, Here Comes the Groom. And "Top of the Bottom" is a quite funny and not entirely inaccurate bit of twisted autobiography, chronicling Harding's musical career to date. Maturity suits John Wesley Harding better than one might have expected in the early '90s, and Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead is good enough that he should consider taking more time away from his literary labors as soon as possible.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/10/2009
  • Label: Rebel Group
  • UPC: 615493012524
  • Catalog Number: 30125
  • Sales rank: 194,764

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Wesley Harding Primary Artist, Guitar, Kazoo, Vocals
Earl Slick Guitar
Scott McCaughey Bass
Steve Berlin Baritone Saxophone
Kurt Bloch Guitar
Deni Bonet Violin, Viola, Vocals
Peter Buck Guitar
Kelly Hogan Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Robert Lloyd Mandolin, Keyboards
Ken Lovelett Percussion
Bill Rieflin Drums
Chris Von Sneidern Guitar, Vocals
Fred Chalenor Upright Bass
Mike Viola Background Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Stephanie Winters Cello
Jim Brunberg Banjo
Benjamin Herrington Trombone
Josh Ritter Vocals
Zach Brock Violin
Sycil Mathai Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Piccolo Trumpet
Mike Block Cello
Olivia DePrato Violin
Scott Maccaughy Bass Guitar
Frederick Chalenor Upright Bass
Sycil Mathai Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Lev "Ljova" Zhurbin Viola
Technical Credits
John Wesley Harding Arranger, Composer, Producer, Engineer
Paul Bevan Live Sound
Deni Bonet String Arrangements
David Seitz Producer, Engineer
Chris Von Sneidern Composer
Mike Viola Composer
Emily Lazar Mastering
Joe LaPorta Mastering
Rob Seidenberg Producer
Asia Mei String Arrangements
Abbey Stace Artwork
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