The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth

by Loudon Wainwright III


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It’s been a very sad time of late for the acclaimed singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, as an initial hearing of Last Man on Earth attests to. Yet first listenings can be deceiving. For as you return to the album, the subtle humor that is Wainwright’s trademark comes bubbling up to the surface in the most unexpected places, leavening sorrow with hard-won wisdom tweaked with comedy. "Missing You" sets the tone as Wainwright moves into another important phase of his life, inhabiting the role of orphan. Endings are squarely on his mind, be it the death of a parent or of a relationship, and though the situations are commonplace, his songcraft transforms each observation into profound poetry. Wainwright is the epitome of the clever wordsmith -- as he says in the title song, "I always was post-modern, but that's ancient history." Yet throughout Last Man on Earth he lets emotions have the front seat, finding the perfect balance between his always acute eye and his ever-deepening heart. Wainwright makes us cry and then laugh, drawing us ever closer so that we ultimately feel happiness at his honest expressions of sorrow and remorse. After his last album, Social Studies, a group of mostly political songs written for National Public Radio, this new project is a welcome and successful return to the personal journey within which began back in 1970 with the release of Wainwright’s self-titled first album. Beautifully produced by Stewart Lerman, the album features arrangements by Dick Connett and support from such stalwarts as multi-instrumentalist David Mansfield and vocalist Suzy Roche. For those of us who have followed this modern bard from the early days and for the newly initiated as well, Last Man on Earth is a revelation and a reward, to be visited again and again. --Nick Michael

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2001
Label: Red House
UPC: 0033651015826
catalogNumber: 158
Rank: 72678

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Loudon Wainwright   Primary Artist,Banjo,Guitar,Vocals
Marshall P. Coid   Violin
Stewart Lerman   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Wurlitzer
David Mansfield   Dulcimer,Fiddle,Guitar,Mandolin,Percussion,Viola
Sammy Merendino   Percussion,Drums
Suzzy Roche   Vocals
Steuart Smith   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Piano,Accordion,Electric Guitar,Wurlitzer
Brian Stanley   Bass
Dorothy Lawson   Cello
Johnny Gale   Vocals
Dick Connette   Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Harmonium,Spinet
Mary L. Rowell   Violin,Viola

Technical Credits

Scott Lehrer   Engineer
Stewart Lerman   Producer,Engineer
David Mansfield   String Arrangements
Johnny Gale   Vocal Arrangements
Dick Connette   Arranger

Customer Reviews

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The Last Man on Earth 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you are 45+ and are staring into mortality for the first time or are suffering either the loss of parents or love this recording is for you. swimming in grief? then these songs are the buoy you need. especially great are: the title tune, i go to the graveyard, and i'm not gonna cry. by the way, i have cried to this one. i haven't found very many gems as good as this one. i gave a copy to a friend after i got my own. this is survivor music!