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where to start? any good compilations?
i would do a search but it's broken.
the World of Arthur Russell. Has a lot of his disco productions, the song that gets most people in to him ('A Little Lost') and some of his cello stuff.
I see that Soul Jazz have done a compilation called The World Of Arthur Russell. I haven't listened to it but they usually put out great compilations, so it's probably worth a try.
it's great but if you've more a fan of the Little Lost-type tracks go for Calling Out of Context, then Another Thought (which isn't quite as good, imo but still pretty ace), then/or World of Echo which is one of my favourite albums ever and is just wonderful, wonderful music. Can't really go wrong, man's a genius. bit of a shame this wasn't included on the Souljazz comp tho: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1dws_D10fg amazing track. Love is Overtaking Me and 24-24 Music are also great, the former being lovely acoustic sad songs, and the latter wonderful odd disco under the name Dinosaur L.
which are both great compilations. As has been suggested, 'World' is a bit more disco and 'Calling' a bit more avant garde, but Russell's disco music is pretty avant garde and his avant garde music is pretty dancefloor friendly, so these are fine distinctions. 'Calling out of Context' is probably the best introduction for a newcomer.
For single albums, his towering achievements are the truly amazing 'World of Echo' - a sort of weird, ethereal ambient disco epic - or the Dinosaur L album '24-24 Music', which is similar if (slightly) more conventional.
I would leave 'Love is Overtaking Me' for now. It's a collection of mostly acoustic singer-songwriter type stuff. Some of it is really good (there's a song called 'Habit of You' that I really love) but its completely uncharacteristic of Russell's music.
I'm going to put it on now.
because for some reason it replied to grouch. genuine gratitude on my part to those who posted here.