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They've perked my interest, where should I start listening with them?
or Tallahassee. Two of the best records ever made
... you are only going to buy 5 Mountain Goats records this week, then you should spend your money on these (in order of importance):
1. Get Lonely: the one before the most recent one. Musically more sparse than its immediate predecessor, and lyrically far superior, it gets better and better on every successive spin, and it has now become my favourite MG album. Ever.
2. The Coroner's Gambit: until 2 years ago I would have said without a doubt that this was their best album. The restrained arrangements put John Darnielle's lyrics at the forefront and it gives the best overview of his simple but effective guitar playing style.
3. Nine Black Poppies: this was the first ever Mountain Goats album I came across, and therefore I know most of the lyrics by heart these days. Contains classic lines such as "Bill Gates will single-handedly spearhead the Heaven 17 revival" and "if you think I’ll take a bullet for you - you're dreaming"
4. Tallahassee: the first 4AD album, and the first one with a 'high' budget production. It took me a while to get used to, but it has a bitterness that has not been matched on any of his other works.
5. The Sunset Tree: the one before Get Lonely. After being disappointed with the album before it (We All Shall Be Healed) I think that this is a return to form, and when they played loads of it some years ago at Bush Hall, it was revealed that the songs work as well live as they do on record.
The Sunset Tree is much better than Get Lonely. I was quite disappointed with GL. Too Monochrome
not that it's bad per se, but much of it descends into generic sad singer-songwriter stuff, and the songs lack either/both the manic, desperate energy or the aching imagery that mark Darnielle's best stuff.
Still haven't heard The Coroner's Gambit or Nine Black Poppies, must get onto that.
Check 'Moon Over Goldsboro' for an example of vivid imagery. It just seems to me an album that is a lot more personal, where he is opening up a lot more than on his other work.
which Get Lonely is manifestly not.
The Sunset Tree is pretty personal, but that's really bold, visceral, cathartic stuff. Get Lonely is a sad, grey breakup album which does little for me because (IMO obviously) it's pretty one-dimensional. I was actually happy to see him get back to storytelling and fictional narrative on Heretic Pride, and I genuinely love the way that album turned out. It's immensely claustrophobic and atmospheric, and yet full of wild lyrical flights of fantasy and the most unabashedly 'big' tunes of his career.
he's been married for years!
it's still very much a breakup album though, fictional or otherwise.
he finally wrote personal songs?
He's still married to his wife. I think it was fictional
but The Sunset Tree or Heretic Pride would be equally suitable. Then get hold of All Hail West Texas, then We Shall All Be Healed, then all the others. You have a whole world of discovery ahead of you.
Weirdly enough, although I'd never recommend it as a starting point, I think Full Force Galesburg might be my favourite these days.
All Hail West Texas
it has the refined song writing of the later stuff and the lo-fi charm of the early stuff.
Then get Talahassee probably.
Get Lonely is BY FAR the best 4AD release but it takes a few listens to get into. Talahassee is pretty user friendly. but unlike The Sunset Tree or Heretic Pride doesnt get old within three or four listens.
other gems in the back catalogue, Full Force Galesburg, Sweeden, Protein Source of the Future...Now! and We Shall All Be Healed.
who thinks The Sunset Tree is their best album period?
but after that I'd say The Sunset Tree.
In order you should purchase
1. All Hail West Texas
3. Full Force Galesburg
4. Coroner's Gambit
5. Get Lonely
6. We Shall All Be Healed
8. Protein Source of the Future Now
9. Zopilote Machine
10. Nothing For Juice
11. Sunset Tree
12. Bitter Melon Farm
14. Heretic Pride
They're on spotify, so I'll give the few you people have recomended a listen then track them down if I like them.
it will put you off the band
I would recommend We Shall all Be Healed or Sunset Tree.
oh man, i <3 tmg. i'm so annoyed 3 beads of sweat shut down, as i intended to pick up their three compilations years ago and now they're all gone and i only managed to get one in the closing down sale :(
I got into them through The Sunset Tree. After a month of listening to that album I ended up getting every CD release that I could in one day. I spent about £80 on 18 CD's! That was a good day at my old job at the paperclip factory.
i suspect now that they're out of print a lot of sellers will start hawking prices up. i wish 4AD would reissue them all or something.
Re-issues with an extra disc full of stuff not previously released. Though it will be good for you, I bloody hope they don't do that. I'm still a little angry about that Microphones - Glow part two reissue. I'd only got that album a year before the reissue!
But I would add another dissenting voice against the opinion that 'Get Lonely' is among their best - it simply isn't.
TMG can be (very roughly) split into two periods. Early period is mostly Darnielle's voice, an acoustic guitar and very lo-fi production. The masterpiece for this period is 'The Coroner's Gambit' (although 'All Hail West Texas' deserves an honourable mention).
The later period involves a more full band sound and better production. Best album of this period is 'The Sunset Tree' which is one of the finest albums ever made by any human being.
he's a massive fan
bored of asking adam about everything. Good to get a little variety in.
Has anyone heard the new split vinyl thing with John Vanderslice, 'Moon Colony Bloodbath'? The Darnielle songs on there are pretty great as well.
then The Sunset Tree
then Full Force Galesburg
As an obsessive fan who's bought all the albums I've made a cd compilation taking two tracks from every album. If you want a copy PM me.
"Selling acid was a bad idea, selling it to a cop was a worse one"