Jacobites [Bonus Tracks]

Jacobites [Bonus Tracks]

by Jacobites


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The run of British band the Jacobites has been a haphazard, shambolic one that has produced some of the finest -- and most ignored -- music recorded during the 1980s. Dave Kusworth and Nikki Sudden reunited in the 1990s, and as far as it can be known, are still playing together when their schedules permit in the 21st century. The self-titled debut of the Jacobites was recorded in a number of sessions and originally began as a Sudden solo set, but the addition of Kusworth's guitars and voice was invaluable. It was issued in 1984 on the Glass label (that also had Robyn Hitchcock on its roster). Secretly Canadian, the excellent indie label from Bloomington, IN, has reissued the entire catalog of the original Jacobites period, as well as numerous Sudden side projects, all with glorious sound, deluxe packaging, and most importantly, bonus tracks. On this debut, we get the original 11 cuts, plus five from the Shame for the Angels EP issued on the Pawn Hearts label. Many of the songs that appear here were recorded for other projects later or issued on the compilation Ragged School, the band's introduction to American audiences on the Twin/Tone label. The original "Big Store" is here, as well as the Faces-like "Hurt Me More," complete with a Ron Wood-styled acoustic guitar solo. "Jacobites Grave" is a track that never appeared anywhere else, and with chord structures and a melody so hauntingly beautiful, it feels as if it's an intro to the track that follows it, Dave Kusworth's finest moment to date, the stunningly beautiful, elegiac song of mortality "Kings and Queens." These tracks are raw, loose, even seemingly disorganized, but the point is one thing and one thing only: to get the deep emotional content in these songs transferred to the listener in as immediate a manner as possible. "Kings and Queens" is devastating, with the strummed guitars, textural sonic backdrops, and Sudden's out-of-the- ether backing vocal. One can feel the cigarette smoking in the studio, the vodka bottles falling off the tables and amplifiers, and the inhibitions falling off the band; their embrace of the overly, even excessive romantic notions in these songs becomes total commitment to them. There is no druggy or sophisticated irony or detachment between performers and material. The following number, "Silver Street," could have come from the Faces' songbook if Ronnie Lane had been the singer instead of Rod Stewart. The entwined, behind-the-beat guitars droop their changes as Sudden plaintively offers heartbreaking lyrics full of observation and uncertainty ("Jodie she's as pretty as your mother used to be/With her dark lantern stare."). In the grand rock & roll tradition, when Kusworth joins in on the chorus, the pair tears down every barrier between performer and listener with their out-of-sync, out-of-key harmonies that are more endearing than any Lennon and McCartney sweetly sung ballad: "Black velvet jacket and a hat of antique lace/She moved down to Silver Street/Kisses like rings of the purest uncut gold/I couldn't help but see her face/The girl with the leather in her shoes/She's always crawling through my head." "Angels in My Arms" is simply another illustration of how deadly serious acoustic rock & roll can be. And make no mistake, this is everything rock & roll has prided itself on being: loose, hardscrabble, full of tenderness and swagger, and caving in on itself with infectious melodies and switchblade hooks. On "For the Roses," Kusworth sings: "And everyone around me says I broke everybody's hearts/But it's only me who's got no shoes to wear," closing the album with one of its more haunting images. The bonus material here is far from filler, given that "Shame for the Angels" is a Jacobites classic, as are "Heart of Hearts" and "Fortune or Fame." This is the stuff -- it's what rock fans dream about and live for -- and it seems, in retrospect, the most ardent of rock musicians, whose only goal is getting at the pearl, do too.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/19/2002
Label: Secretly Canadian
UPC: 0656605005423
catalogNumber: 54
Rank: 64832

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jacobites   Primary Artist,Track Performer
Nikki Sudden   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Epic Soundtracks   Organ,Percussion,Drums,Background Vocals
Kevin Wilkinson   Bass Drums,Tabla,Tambourine
Dave Kusworth   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
David Barrington   Electric Guitar
John Cockrill   Bass
Tyla   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Slide Guitar
Mark Lemon   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Tambourine,Background Vocals,Snare Drums

Technical Credits

Joni Mitchell   Composer
Nikki Sudden   Producer,Liner Notes
Jack Douglas   Composer
Epic Soundtracks   Feedback
Jerry Jeff Walker   Composer
Joey Kramer   Composer
Steven Tyler   Composer
Brad Whitford   Composer
Dave Kusworth   Producer
John A. Rivers   Engineer
Tom Hamilton   Composer

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