Friday, August 24, 2007

Classic Pick:-->Jim Carroll Band - "Catholic Boy" (1980)

"So I think it's time...
because it's too easy
to rely on worshiping devils and strangers in bed,
Though they do get good drugs, and they do give good head."
Jim Carroll
An album that continually brings me pleasure when I spin it...and yet has been unjustly the "in your face" confessional..."Catholic Boy" by former junkie/author/street poet...Jim Carroll.

"Catholic Boy" is filled with ten scorching poem/songs...that are as powerful when released in 1980. The seedy honesty presented by Jim Carroll in each song swirls out of the speakers with an urgency and intensity seldom heard.

JC delivers his personal eruption in a speak/singing manner ala Lou Reed with perhaps a more in-tune pitch and a slightly higher vocal range. But never has Reed had a backing band like this one.

Playing like every note is life or glimmer with city flash and ride the gorgeous bass work to an uncommon level. And the descriptive imagery and wordplay dancing over these sounds is icing on the cake.

Be assured...this record is meant to be played loud and I find myself reaching for this disc whenever I'm buzzing the highway...late at night. Always at night.

"When they cut me loose, the time had served me well. I made allies in heaven, I made comrades in Hell." (Catholic Boy) is an admission to being born bad. A tasty, if short, guitar bridge will please the ears.

"I want the angel whose eyes are raving...Who takes what I'm giving and not what I'm saving." ( I Want The Angel)...easily remains in your memory long after the song is over. Street wishes smothered in religious imagery.

"City Drops Into The Night" is perfect for making your wheels go a little faster. It has a hot sax darting in and a surreal sound to this ode to the undercarriage of city life.

Dig these words..."It's when the sneak thieves are checkin'...They're checkin the alleys for unlocked doors. And Billy's sister's gettin' frantic 'cause...Billy's sister's little brother can't score. It's when the woman from the dream is . . .Oh my God! That's the woman on the floor. Each promise was just one promise more." Nice!

"Some destinies, they should not be delivered . . .But in her eyes I saw a thousand reasons." (Day And Night) is a gorgeous ode too lost virginity.

Pounding bass and stinging guitar fill the air as Jim Carroll spouts his infamous lines..."It's too fall in love with Sharon Tate." (It's Too Late).
A bitter declaration of the battle between temptation and time. Dead-on!

Of course his anthem song..."People Who Died" is Jim Carroll's 'Smoke On Water'.
A tribute to friends/acquaintances who left this world ...much too soon. Check it out...

"Teddy sniffing glue he was 12 years old. Fell from the roof on East Two-nine.
Cathy was 11 when she pulled the plug on 26 reds and a bottle of wine.
Bobby got leukemia, 14 years old. He looked like 65 when he died.
He was a friend of mine."

This song always gives me goosebumps...and I can't help thinking of friends/family I've lost when this song plays. And that's a good thing...because it is like..."Hey you guys...I haven't forgot you". You dig what I mean. A salute, indeed.

The words, vocals and instruments are perfectly laid down throughout "Catholic Boy". That rarest of musical puzzles was put together in the studio nearly 30 years ago...and is a neglected gem.


Jim Carroll Band:-->"It's Too Late" (Catholic Boy) (1980) (Must Own)


Casey said...
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TuneLovinJacket said...

this is one of my favorite albums of all time. your review is spot on. i have the album but just had to thank you for helping keep this out there.