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Arthur Russell|Love Is Overtaking Me

Love Is Overtaking Me

Arthur Russell

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Since 2005, New York City's Audika imprint has dedicated itself to releasing the recordings of the late composer, cellist, and singer/songwriter Arthur Russell, a musical polymath who was as comfortable in the discos of Manhattan as he was in a cowboy hat in the fields as he appears here, on the cover of Love Is Overtaking Me. Audika has issued four albums -- three different compilations centering on different aspects of his musical adventurousness, an EP, and his seminal World of Echo album. Love Is Overtaking Me contains 21 tracks recorded between 1974 and 1990. It reveals another dimension of this seemingly limitless musician: his pop and country-ish recordings, done solo as demos, in session with the brilliant John Hammond at Columbia, and with musicians from the East Village and downtown scenes including Peter Gordon Ernie Brooks, Andy Paley, Jerry Harrison, Steven Hall, Larry Saltzman, Jon Gibson, Jimmy Chamberlain, David Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Some of these are rehearsal versions of tunes he performed and recorded with his bands the Flying Hearts and the Sailboats project with Hall. Russell's companion Tom Lee wrote the liner notes to this set and discusses the sheer possibility for mass appeal in these songs; he's not exaggerating. Take a listen to the demo of the title track recorded with Hall on guitar, drummer Rob Shepperson, and conguero Mustafa Khaliq Ahmed. Its verse/chorus structure is woven straight from classic organic pop/rock melody -- think a less twisted Jonathan Richman -- and is utterly infectious. Elsewhere, in "I Couldn't Say It to Your Face," one can hear traces of John Lennon, James Taylor, and Randy Newman. Recorded by Hammond, this cut featured a full band with Gibson, Brooks, Gordon, Paley, trombonist Garrett List, and bassist Jon Sholle. The melody shimmers underneath a lyric that contains warmth, love, anger, and irony. The very next track, "This Time Dad You're Wrong," with a standard rock quartet, features a shuffling country rhythm under a melody that combines the sophistication of Big Star and the poetic directness of Willie Nelson. The latter is exaggerated a bit on the spoken/sung "What It's Like," but it's a story song and it works. The opening number, "Close My Eyes," is a pure country waltz, with Russell accompanying himself on a guitar -- he was almost as deft on it as he was on cello. These tunes reflect Russell's California origins. But there's the other side too; the New York side in the rockin' "Big Moon" and "Janine," which, though utterly friendly and even beautiful, is a kind of fractured future pop that transcends its form. On "Love Comes Back," Russell accompanies himself with a cheap drum machine and keyboards; he closes the entire argument as to what he was about artistically no matter how wide-ranging his recordings were: he was a composer and songwriter who wished -- and succeeded -- to express tenderness, empathy, and gentleness in everything he did. Russell's music connected with so many of his peers -- no matter what scene they were in -- and with his posthumous listeners for that reason alone. Russell was 100-percent genuine, and as Ted Berrigan once wrote, "on the level, everyday." This is one of the finest chapters yet in Audika's continuing retrospective. Let's hope there is still more where this came from.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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Love Is Overtaking Me

Arthur Russell

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1
Close My Eyes
00:02:35

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

2
Goodbye Old Paint
00:03:41

PUBLIC DOMAIN, ComposerLyricist - Sid Page, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Adams, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, Producer, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - John Bergamo, AssociatedPerformer - David Laflamme, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Maize, AssociatedPerformer - Cecil Milligan, AssociatedPerformer - David AR Stone, AssociatedPerformer - Huzur Nawaz, AssociatedPerformer - Johnie Bartel, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

3
Maybe She
00:02:53

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

4
Oh Fernanda Why
00:02:42

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

5
Time Away
00:02:14

Jonathan Paley, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

6
Nobody Wants A Lonely Heart
00:02:28

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Sholle, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

7
I Couldn't Say It To Your Face
00:02:38

Peter Gordon, AssociatedPerformer - Andy Paley, AssociatedPerformer - Garrett List, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Gibson, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Sholle, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

8
This Time Dad You're Wrong
00:02:29

David Van Tieghem, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

9
What It's Like
00:05:45

Peter Gordon, AssociatedPerformer - David Van Tieghem, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Saltzman, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Zummo, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

10
Eli
00:01:56

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

11
Hey! How Does Everybody Know
00:04:10

Andy Paley, AssociatedPerformer - Jonathan Paley, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Steve Warren, AssociatedPerformer - Darrius Thabit, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

12
I Forget And I Can't Tell (Ballad Of The Lights Pt. 1)
00:02:04

Andy Paley, AssociatedPerformer - JERRY HARRISON, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

13
Habit Of You
00:03:13

Unknown, AssociatedPerformer - Larry Saltzman, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Jesse Chamberlain, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Gunn, AssociatedPerformer - Kent Goshorn, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

14
Janine
00:02:11

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Jesse Chamberlain, AssociatedPerformer - Kent Goshorn, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

15
Big Moon
00:02:16

Unknown, AssociatedPerformer - Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Jesse Chamberlain, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Gunn, AssociatedPerformer - Kent Goshorn, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

16
Your Motion Says
00:02:42

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Jesse Chamberlain, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Gunn, AssociatedPerformer - Kent Goshorn, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

17
The Letter
00:04:15

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Joyce Bowden, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - John Scherman, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

18
Don't Forget About Me
00:03:29

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Jason Klagstad, AssociatedPerformer - Joyce Bowden, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Rick Jaegar, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

19
Love Is Overtaking Me
00:03:41

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mustafa Ahmed, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Rob Shepperson, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

20
Planted A Thought
00:03:30

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Ernie Brooks, AssociatedPerformer - Steven Hall, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist - Rob Shepperson, AssociatedPerformer

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

21
Love Comes Back
00:03:38

Arthur Russell, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Arthur Russell Jr., ComposerLyricist

2008 Rough Trade Records Ltd 2008 The estate of Arthur Russell under exclusive license to Audika Records

Album Description

Since 2005, New York City's Audika imprint has dedicated itself to releasing the recordings of the late composer, cellist, and singer/songwriter Arthur Russell, a musical polymath who was as comfortable in the discos of Manhattan as he was in a cowboy hat in the fields as he appears here, on the cover of Love Is Overtaking Me. Audika has issued four albums -- three different compilations centering on different aspects of his musical adventurousness, an EP, and his seminal World of Echo album. Love Is Overtaking Me contains 21 tracks recorded between 1974 and 1990. It reveals another dimension of this seemingly limitless musician: his pop and country-ish recordings, done solo as demos, in session with the brilliant John Hammond at Columbia, and with musicians from the East Village and downtown scenes including Peter Gordon Ernie Brooks, Andy Paley, Jerry Harrison, Steven Hall, Larry Saltzman, Jon Gibson, Jimmy Chamberlain, David Van Tieghem, and Peter Zummo. Some of these are rehearsal versions of tunes he performed and recorded with his bands the Flying Hearts and the Sailboats project with Hall. Russell's companion Tom Lee wrote the liner notes to this set and discusses the sheer possibility for mass appeal in these songs; he's not exaggerating. Take a listen to the demo of the title track recorded with Hall on guitar, drummer Rob Shepperson, and conguero Mustafa Khaliq Ahmed. Its verse/chorus structure is woven straight from classic organic pop/rock melody -- think a less twisted Jonathan Richman -- and is utterly infectious. Elsewhere, in "I Couldn't Say It to Your Face," one can hear traces of John Lennon, James Taylor, and Randy Newman. Recorded by Hammond, this cut featured a full band with Gibson, Brooks, Gordon, Paley, trombonist Garrett List, and bassist Jon Sholle. The melody shimmers underneath a lyric that contains warmth, love, anger, and irony. The very next track, "This Time Dad You're Wrong," with a standard rock quartet, features a shuffling country rhythm under a melody that combines the sophistication of Big Star and the poetic directness of Willie Nelson. The latter is exaggerated a bit on the spoken/sung "What It's Like," but it's a story song and it works. The opening number, "Close My Eyes," is a pure country waltz, with Russell accompanying himself on a guitar -- he was almost as deft on it as he was on cello. These tunes reflect Russell's California origins. But there's the other side too; the New York side in the rockin' "Big Moon" and "Janine," which, though utterly friendly and even beautiful, is a kind of fractured future pop that transcends its form. On "Love Comes Back," Russell accompanies himself with a cheap drum machine and keyboards; he closes the entire argument as to what he was about artistically no matter how wide-ranging his recordings were: he was a composer and songwriter who wished -- and succeeded -- to express tenderness, empathy, and gentleness in everything he did. Russell's music connected with so many of his peers -- no matter what scene they were in -- and with his posthumous listeners for that reason alone. Russell was 100-percent genuine, and as Ted Berrigan once wrote, "on the level, everyday." This is one of the finest chapters yet in Audika's continuing retrospective. Let's hope there is still more where this came from.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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