Allen Ginsberg Reads Howl and Other Poems

Allen Ginsberg Reads Howl and Other Poems

by Allen Ginsberg


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Allen Ginsberg Reads Howl and Other Poems

This is arguably the best-known recording to feature any beat-era poet. Fantasy Records originally issued Howl and Other Poems in 1959 and the title was kept in print until the late '80s, when CDs replaced traditional vinyl records and cassettes. Prior to this 1998 release, the contents were available in the digital domain on the Howls, Raps & Roars (1993) multi-disc box set. Although "Howl" is the centerpiece, the peripheral works -- especially the mantra-like "Footnote to Howl" and "Howl (Part One)" -- are given empowering presentations that magnify the greatness that's inextricably inherent in both art and artist. Indeed, the genesis of Allen Ginsberg's brilliance as both poet and performer has rarely been equalled. The modern listener remains entranced by his vaudevillian sense of provocation as it couples with an unspoken, yet palpable obsession of a postmodern amphetamine-fuelled Shakespeare. The material is split between the live recitations of "Howl," "Sunflower Sutra," and the opening section from "Kaddish," which had been collectively documented at Ginsberg's "Big Table" readings during the 1959 Shaw Festival in Chicago. The other works consist of studio recordings made in June of 1959 in the Bay Area -- where the poet resided semi-permanently. Although a majority of the titles featured on Howl and Other Poems also appear on the four-volume Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Songs & Poems (1994) box set, they are not the same performances. Of particular note are full-length versions of both "Howl" and "Kaddish," which are otherwise only available on the previously mentioned and highly recommended compendium. Literary enthusiasts are greatly encouraged to compare and contrast the respective readings as they offer additional insight to the schizophrenic embodiment of the poet and performer.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/25/1998
Label: Fantasy
UPC: 0025218771320
catalogNumber: 7713
Rank: 66325

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