From Beale Street to Oblivion

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From Beale Street to Oblivion
Studio album by Clutch
Released March 27, 2007
Recorded September - October 2006 at Sound City in Van Nuys, California
Genre Stoner rock, blues rock, hard rock
Length 48:18
Label DRT Entertainment
Producer Joe Barresi
Clutch chronology
Pitchfork & Lost Needles
(2005)
From Beale Street to Oblivion
(2007)
Full Fathom Five
(2008)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Metal Hammer 9/10 stars
TheEndlessFeed 8/10 stars link
Glidemagazine [1]

From Beale Street to Oblivion is the eighth full-length studio album by rock band Clutch. It was produced by Joe Barresi (whose credits include The Melvins, Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age and Coheed and Cambria), and released on the DRT Entertainment label. The album was released on March 27, 2007 and was the second of two Clutch albums to feature keyboardist Mick Schauer.

The album title comes from a line in the song "The Devil & Me", and is named after the real Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee. The song "One Eye Dollar" is a remake of the same track from Jam Room. The track "Electric Worry" is a partial cover of the Mississippi Fred McDowell song "Fred's Worried Life Blues" and features Eric Oblander of Five Horse Johnson on harmonica. It also shares a striking similarity to "Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker, even including the "Bang Bang Bang Bang" variation he would do live. A music video has been produced for the track "Electric Worry" and has been presented on Headbangers Ball. "Electric Worry" was also featured in commercials for the TV show Memphis Beat and the video game Left 4 Dead 2. A reissue of the album has been released on 20 July 2010.[2] Electric Worry is also used in the goal song for National Hockey League team the Vancouver Canucks as well as the goal song for the Calgary Roughnecks of the National Lacrosse League.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Clutch, except where noted.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "You Can't Stop Progress"     2:40
2. "Power Player"     3:06
3. "The Devil & Me"     3:57
4. "White's Ferry"     5:24
5. "Child of the City"     3:53
6. "Electric Worry"   Partially written by Mississippi Fred McDowell 5:14
7. "One Eye Dollar"     1:23
8. "Rapture of Riddley Walker"     4:09
9. "When Vegans Attack"     4:56
10. "Opossum Minister"     4:28
11. "Black Umbrella"     4:05
12. "Mr. Shiny Cadillackness"     5:11
Total length:
48:18

2010 Bonus Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Clutch, except where noted. Tracks 1-5 recorded live at the BBC 11-11-06. Tracks 6-9 recorded 12-13-07 in Melbourne,Australia.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Politician"   Ronald Peter Brown 4:25
2. "Electric Worry"   Partially written by Mississippi Fred McDowell 5:16
3. "One Eye Dollar"     1:22
4. "Mr. Shiny Cadillackness"     5:05
5. "Cypress Grove"     4:27
6. "The Devil & Me"     3:47
7. "Child of the City"     3:32
8. "You Gonna Wreck my Life"   Chester Burnett 5:20
9. "White's Ferry"     5:42
Total length:
38:57

Song meanings[edit]

You Can't Stop Progress

Though it's the opening track, You Can't Stop Progress is one of the last songs we wrote for Beale Street. It is sort of a preface to the next track, Power Player. We happened to perform it one night before Power Player, and it became apparent that the two were joined at the hip. We first heard Bad Brains 20 years ago and in this tune it's obvious that they're still influencing us.

—Fallon

Power Player

This is the first song we wrote for the record. The idea for these lyrics came about while we were doing a lot of international flying. We even had the rare luxury of flying first class once [once being the operative word]. It's a whole different scene up there, hot towels and cheese trays. The rock band definitely came across as a booze soaked horde of barbarians. That, coupled with some late night notes taken in the lobby of the Hotel Ukraine in Moscow brought about this tune.

—Fallon

The Devil & Me

These lyrics are imagined from two viewpoints. The first is God as he sits on his front porch giving his old buddy Lucifer a hard time for double-crossing him. The other is from the dark lord himself. He realizes that he fucked up, and he's got to hit the road. Oscar Hernandez and Lee Brintnall provided clap track. Killer claps... the best.

—Fallon

White's Ferry

Every once in a while I go out on a drive through some old country roads in Maryland and Virginia. One of these routes goes over the Potomac via White's Ferry. This song is about some of the sights and experiences of one particular drive in September 2006. Bryan Hinkley from Never Got Caught does the duel lead with Tim on this one, as well as wee tasty bits throughout.

—Fallon

Child of the City

Some say Johannes Trithemius was a magician. Others believe he disguised his science and steganography inside a magical guise as an example of its practical application. Whatever the case, it's good material for rock and roll lyrics.

—Fallon

Electric Worry

This song is one part cover song, one part original. Half of each verse is taken from Mississippi Fred McDowell's "Fred's Worried Life Blues." The rest is our own concoction. When we wrote the upbeat part of the song, I couldn't hear the typical blues sentiment. Instead, it kind of became a motivational speaker slapping himself out of a stupor. The chorus "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Vamanos! Vamanos!" has nothing to do with guns. It got its start long ago when Tim, and I can't recall why, said, "Vamanos! Bang! Bang!" Add a bit of John Lee Hooker and there you go. The ripping harp solo is none other than Five Horse Johnson's Eric Oblander.

—Fallon

One Eye Dollar

When we were touring we got in the habit of jamming Electric Worry straight into One Eye Dollar. We tried to write a new tune that would do the same trick, but nothing was as good. So we said screw it, let's just track it again. I was never happy with the lyrics on the original version, so this was a good opportunity to do some editing.

—Fallon

Rapture of Riddley Walker

Read Russel Hoban's Riddley Walker. It'll explain everything.

—Fallon

When Vegans Attack

I got no problems with vegans. Let's be clear on that. But have you ever met someone who has concocted his or her own convenient first-world philosophy? Cherry picked all those bits of radicalism that appealed to them and threw out the ugly bits? Someone who thinks they're enlightened but are really just a victim of the own peer driven self-congratulatory bullshit? I have. There's lots of those types in Washington D.C.

—Fallon

Opossum Minister

In the early 1980s' my family lived in a typically terrible pre-planned suburban development called Montgomery Village. Our house bordered a historical town called Prathertown. Prathertown was a freetown and I went to school with some Prathers. In the back end of Prathertown there was a lady who lived in a dilapidated home. She had cut outs of wild boars with bloody tusks on her roof, two impossibly colossal rocking chairs, and a collection of saints in her front yard. It was the house we all walked by a bit quicker.

—Fallon

Black Umbrella

In Sauget, Illinois there is a club called Pop's. It's on a lawless piece of land with 24 hour strip bars and an O.T.B. I once went into the O.T.B. facility and saw the strangest collection of people one could imagine. It was Mos Eisley spaceport. A woman dressed like she had come straight from a jazz funeral walked in and no one seemed to notice her but myself. I guess anomaly is typical in Sauget. Eric plays on this track as well.

—Fallon

Mr. Shiny Cadillackness

Some people don't like politics in their songs. I don't either. But some characters loom so large in our lives that they are fair game to be used as fodder for creating fictions. Both Bryan and Eric strong-armed themselves onto tape yet again.

—Fallon

Personnel[edit]

Clutch[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Bryan Hinkley – Guitars on tracks 4 and 12
  • Eric Oblander – Harmonica on tracks 6, 11 and 12

Production[edit]

Charting positions[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
2007 The Billboard 200 #52
2007 Top Independent Albums #4

Singles

Year Song Chart Position
2007 "Electric Worry" Mainstream Rock Tracks #38

References[edit]

External links[edit]