La Peste [Bonus Track]

La Peste [Bonus Track]

by Alabama 3Alabama 3

CD(Bonus Tracks / Special Edition)

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Most Americans' introduction to A3 came via the use of the group's "Woke Up This Morning" at the start of episodes of the television series The Sopranos. The odd combination of gutbucket rhythms, gospel harmonies, electronic bleeps, and Robb Spragg's gravely voice intoning, "Woke up this morning with a blue moon in your eye," as the camera records a passenger-seat view of a car emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel and making its way through the industrial wasteland of northern New Jersey is now an indelible TV experience. But Sopranos fans might be surprised to know that the song is the work of an odd musical collective from the Brixton district of London who sport such pseudonyms as the Empiricist (guitarist Mark Sams) and The Spirit (keyboard player Orlando Harrison). It's no wonder that placing them is difficult. They seem to have spent most of their time absorbing media depictions of America, minus any cultural context, and then mixing these undigested references up with dance music. Though the beats rarely flag on the group's second album, La Peste, elements of folk, country, blues, and gospel come and go in incongruous profusion. Similarly, the lyrics, sung largely by Spragg (sorry, he also calls himself Larry Love), name-drop endlessly and even borrow phrases and titles from other songs -- "Mansion on the Hill" is also the title of a Hank Williams song, for example, and "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife" recycles Bob Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." The result is at best gimmicky and at worst pretentious. And speaking of pretentious, Charles Harrison's liner notes acknowledge the band's music to be "flagrantly inauthentic," then speculate whether "their American audience" realizes this and, if so, what they make of it. The answer, so far, is that A3's American audience is confined to Sopranos fans who don't have a clue who they are, anyway. Those fans are likely to enjoy La Peste, if they find out about it, since much of it sounds like "Woke Up This Morning," though they may well wonder what the band is on about. That's a good question. [The import release includes a bonus track, "Woke Up This Morning."]

Product Details

Release Date: 01/08/2002
Label: One Little Indian
UPC: 5023469005305
catalogNumber: 53
Rank: 149462

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alabama 3   Primary Artist
Bernie Clarke   Hammond Organ
Valerie Harrison   Vocals,Background Vocals
Steve Roberts   Background Vocals
Bobby Valentino   Mandolin,Violin
Anthony Hamilton   Sampling
Simon Limbrick   Steel Drums
Ray Mascarenas   Background Vocals
L.B. Dope   Drums
Rev. D. Wayne Love   Vocals
Ben Chapman   DJ
Eileen Rose   Vocals
Empiricist   Guitar
Paddy Hill   Vocals
Lushlife Horns   Brass
Larry Love   Vocals
"Real" Love   Percussion
Ned Morant   Triangle
Mountain of Love   Synthesizer,Harmonica
Segs   Synthesizer,Bass,Guitar,Background Vocals
Jenna Spencer   Background Vocals
Delrig   Background Vocals
S.P.I.R.I.T.   Keyboards

Technical Credits

Bernie Clarke   Arranger
Stone   Producer
Matthew Vaughan   Producer
Steve Dub   Producer,Engineer
John Collyer   Engineer
Larry Love   Producer
Mountain of Love   Programming
Segs   Programming,Producer,Dub Mixing
Charles Harrison   Liner Notes

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