Tuesday, January 8, 2013


YEAR:  1993
LABEL:  Matador Records
TRACK LISTING:  6'1",  Help Me Mary,  Glory,  Dance of the Seven Veils,  Never Said,  Soap Star Joe,  Explain It To Me,  Canary,  Mesmerizing,  Fuck and Run,  Girls!  Girls!  Girls!,  Divorce Song,  Shatter,  Flower,  Johnny Sunshine,  Gunshy,  Stratford-On-Guy,  Strange Loop
IMPRESSIONS:  One of the most famous landmark albums in the so-called "alternative" music genre.  Liz Phair had written and recorded these songs and circulated them on cassette tapes DIY-style under the name "Girly Sound" in the summer of 1991 around Chicago.  The 4-track demo cassette began to get serious buzz in the underground music scene and independent music press bringing Phair to the attention of the head of indie label "Feel Good All Over" John Henderson who brought in producer Brad Wood to help develop the songs.  Artistic differences led to the dismissal of Henderson while Wood and Phair worked on what would become the album "EXILE IN GUYVILLE" after the cassette eventually made its way to the head of Matador Records.  The songwriting and performing here are particularly strong with the drum patterns and bass lines structuring around Phair's vocals as opposed to recording the musicians first; this gives the album a really sympathetic and intimate feel.  Like a comet flashing across the sky, Liz Phair would never create anything so groundbreaking or memorable again.     
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS:  6'1",  Help Me Mary,  Glory,  Dance of the Seven Veils,  Never Said,  Mesmerizing,  Fuck and Run,  Girls!  Girls!  Girls!,  Divorce Song,  Flower,  Johnny Sunshine,  Gunshy,  Stratford-On-Guy
FACT SHEET:  EXILE IN GUYVILLE is Liz Phair's first album.  The cover photo was taken by Nash Kato of the band Urge Overkill and the album title was partially inspired by the Urge Overkill song "Guyville".  The original cover concept by Liz Phair was a collage involving "a fat lady in a pool" which was rejected by Matador Records as uncommercial.  The interior cd booklet layout was inspired by the 1952 album "THE JOYS AND SORROWS OF ANDALUSIA" by Lopez Tejera.  The concept of the album was famously described by Phair as a song-by-song response to the Rolling Stones' 1972 album "EXILE ON MAIN STREET"; while to connection between the two albums may be tenuous at times, Phair deliberately sequenced her songs in such a way as to match the song order and pacing of the Stones album. By 1994, EXILE IN GUYVILLE had become Matador's biggest selling album to date and it was also named "Album of the Year" by Spin magazine as well as making many year-end "best of" lists.   

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