Happy Come Home

Happy Come Home

by Victoria Williams


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Happy Come Home

It is indeed a rarity when a debut album is able to distil the essence of any artist. However, Victoria Williams is considerably more than just any artist and Happy Come Home is the personification of the word eclectic -- just like Williams herself. She wasn't alone in creating her eponymous masterpiece, either. A cavalcade of pop and rock music's elite congregated with Williams in the celebration of the varied music on the album. The simple folk tales, sage-like observations, and just plain good advice that she writes about are personified by an unbelievably delicious cast of characters both in the studio as well as in between the lines. There is an undeniable strength and maturity in Williams' songwriting. Like few artists or albums, Happy Come Home reveals an artist fully developed with a style and persona that is uniquely American and arguably irresistible. Another musician fitting that description is Van Dyke Parks -- whose contributions to this disc are almost immediately evident. His signature orchestral flourishes are unmistakable throughout the string arrangements for "TC," "Main Road," and the opening cut, "Shoes." Sonically, his pallet blends the humor and whimsy of Mark Twain with the noir romanticism of George Gershwin. These hues ideally suit Williams' folk-tinged songs. In the case of "TC" -- a legitimate pocket symphony -- there are also a few well-placed nods to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf. The rock & roll pieces -- notably "Animal Wild" and the trippy "Merry Go Round" -- are best described as late-'80s alternative or college rock. A quick rundown of the personnel might best give an idea of the direction Williams found herself and her music in, as it was being somewhat moulded by producer Anton Fier. Among the luminaries are: Syd Straw, Bernie Worrell, T-Bone Burnett, Carla Bley, Peter Blegvad, and Hugh McCracken. Their various -- and unspecified -- contributions are at times typical, but never predictable. It would be futile to attempt a list of all the disparate musical styles that unify Happy Come Home. They range from gospel ("I Will Do His Will") to acoustic folk ("Happy Come Home" and "Lights") and hit upon more subtle influences such as jazz ("Big Fish") and even a sort of bayou travelogue "Opelousas." Concurrent with the release of the album, Williams was the subject of a 28-minute documentary by legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker. The video -- also titled Happy Come Home -- features nine of the 13 tracks from the disc, including a few performed spontaneously for the camera. Originally aired on MTV, it was briefly available on VHS at Williams' live shows.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/07/1993
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0720642414026
catalogNumber: 24140


  1. Shoes  - Victoria Williams
  2. Frying Pan  - Victoria Williams
  3. Merry-Go-Round  - Victoria Williams
  4. Happy  - Victoria Williams
  5. TC  - Victoria Williams
  6. I'll Do His Will  - Victoria Williams
  7. Big Fish  - Victoria Williams
  8. Animal Wild  - Victoria Williams
  9. Main Road  - Victoria Williams
  10. Lights  - Victoria Williams
  11. Opelousas  - Victoria Williams
  12. Statue of a Bum  - Victoria Williams
  13. Poetry  - Victoria Williams

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Victoria Williams   Primary Artist,Vocals,Background Vocals
Syd Straw   Background Vocals
Steven Soles   Background Vocals
Angel Dean   Background Vocals
Lisa Herman   Background Vocals
Stephen Croce   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Bernie Worrell   Contributor
Carla Bley   Contributor
Steve Swallow   Contributor
Peter Blegvad   Contributor
Ralph Carney   Contributor
Bob Cranshaw   Contributor
Steven Soles   Contributor
Lamar Alsop   Contributor
Alfred Brown   Contributor
T Bone Burnett   Contributor
Greg Cohen   Contributor
Tony Conniff   Contributor
Anton Fier   Producer,Contributor
Irwin Fisch   Contributor
Ralph Forbes   drum programming
Danny Frankel   Contributor
Jody Harris   Contributor
Jesse Levy   Contributor
Tony Maimone   Contributor
Hugh McCracken   Contributor
Bobby Previte   Contributor
David Van Tieghem   Contributor
Fats Kaplin   Contributor
Amy Berger   Contributor
"Iron" Mike Krowiak   Engineer
Stephen Soles   Producer

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