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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A Few Favorite Albums: Blind Man's Zoo - 10,000 Maniacs (1989)

Blind Man's Zoo - 10,000 Maniacs
Produced by Peter Asher
Released 16th May 1989
US Chart #13
UK Chart #18

Watch and Listen to
Blind Man's Zoo Here:

Track listing
The links here are for Live or TV Performances of songs from the album.

Side One
1 "Eat for Two" (Natalie Merchant) – 3:26
2 "Please Forgive Us" (Robert Buck, Merchant) – 3:22
3 "The Big Parade" (Jerome Augustyniak, Merchant) – 4:00
4 "Trouble Me" (Dennis Drew, Merchant) – 3:08
5 "You Happy Puppet" (Buck, Merchant) – 3:35
6 "Headstrong" (Natalie Merchant) – 4:13

Side Two
1"Poison in the Well" (Drew, Merchant) – 3:05
2 "Dust Bowl" (Buck, Merchant) – 4:11
3 "The Lion's Share" (Drew, Merchant) – 3:00
4 "Hateful Hate" (Natalie Merchant) – 4:28
5 "Jubilee" (Natalie Merchant) – 6:07

Singles from Blind Man's Zoo
UK 7"
Trouble Me 
The Lion's Share

UK 12"
1. Trouble Me
1. The Lion's Share
Released in USA April 1989 
US Hot 100 #44
Released in UK June 1989
UK Chart #77

 7" UK EP
1. Eat For Two


Limited Edition UK 10" EP
1. Eat For Two
2. What's The Matter Here (Acoustic)

1. Eat For Two (Acoustic)
2. From The Time You Said Goodbye

Limited Edition UK 12"
1. Eat For Two

1. Wildwood Flower

Released in UK November 1989
UK Chart #93
European and US 7"
Eat For Two
The Big Parade
 Released in USA July 1989
US Alternative Chart #12

US CD Release
1. You Happy Puppet
2. Gun Shy (Acoustic)
3. Wildwood Flower
4. Hello In There
Released in USA October 1989
Did Not Chart

10,000 Maniacs

    Jerome Augustyniak – drums
    Robert Buck – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
    Dennis Drew – organ, piano
    Steve Gustafson – bass guitar
    Natalie Merchant – vocals, piano, pipe organ

Additional musicians
    Jevetta Steele – backing vocals
    Jason Osborn – arrangement, orchestral direction
    Krista Bennion Feeney – first violin
    Mitsuru Tsubota – second violin
    Louise Schulman – viola
    Myron Lutzke – cello
    Dennis Godburn – bassoon
    Robert Wolinsky – harpsichord
    Scott Kuney – classical guitar
    Frank Luther – double bass

Two years after their breakthrough album In My Tribe, 10,000 Maniacs released their fourth LP which further cemented their place on the musical map.

Natalie Merchant said about most of the album:

    'The theme that I keep returning to with every song is betrayal. "Eat for Two" is self-betrayal. "The Big Parade" is a nation betraying its citizens. "Please Forgive Us" is a nation betraying another nation. "Hateful Hate" is a race betraying another race. "Jubilee" is, first, a man who's betrayed by nature or God..."Poison in the Well" is the question of corporate culpability when there's a toxic-waste dump that suddenly is seeping into the main water supply of a neighborhood. That corporation has betrayed those people.'

Some of those same themes are still around today in various guises and shows that all these years on it still speaks into the current situation in the USA and in other places also.

My personal view on the album is that it was a real step forward (though some of those dreaded critics saw differently) musically and lyrically. I thought it would be hard to top In My Tribe but I think they did with Blind Man's Zoo.

I saw them in Glasgow when they toured the album and thought they were outstanding. It's still an album that I have a lot of affection for 29 years on from its release. It's also a reminder to me that the particular show at The Pavillion was one of the first for me since moving to the City of Glasgow from London that same year.

This is the first of series that I hope to do at various times called A Few Favourite Albums. They will be my choices and maybe not necessarily huge hit albums, or ones loved by the critics. They will be albums that still hold some meaning for me years on after their initial release.

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