Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead [Bonus CD]

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead [Bonus CD]

by John Wesley Harding

CD(Bonus CD)

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Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead [Bonus CD]

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.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/10/2009
Label: Rebel Group
UPC: 0615493012524
catalogNumber: 30125
Rank: 217579

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 De Prato   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
Rob Seidenberg   Producer
Asia Mei   String Arrangements
Abbey Stace   Artwork

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