Last Man on Earth (album)

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Last Man on Earth
Studio album by Loudon Wainwright III
Released September 24, 2001
Recorded Shinebox Studios
Genre Folk rock
Length 37:45
Label Red House
Producer Stewart Lerman
Loudon Wainwright III chronology
Social Studies
(1999)
Last Man on Earth
(2001)
So Damn Happy
(2003)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (3-star Honorable Mention) link
PopMatters favorable link

Last Man on Earth is the sixteenth studio album by American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, released on September 24, 2001 on Red House Records. Recorded in the wake of Wainwright's mother's death and the collapse of a romantic relationship, the album thematically addresses feelings of grief and loneliness. In 2012, Wainwright noted, "Last Man on Earth was written right after my mother died, so a lot of the material on that record has to do with that momentous event. The life circle was present on a lot of those songs."[1]

Portions of the album also reflect upon Wainwright's troubled relationship with his father, Loudon Wainwright, Jr., a subject that has populated many of his earlier recordings. Last Man on Earth can be seen as a companion piece to his 1992 album, History, written after the death of his father.

Background[edit]

In 1997, following his mother's funeral, Wainwright stayed in her home in Katonah, Westchester County for eighteen months. During this time Wainwright wrote much of the album's material.[2]

Last Man on Earth was released four years after Wainwright's mother's death. The working title for the album was Missing You, named after the album's opening track.[3] However, the album's title ultimately became Last Man on Earth, a song written in Suffolk County following Wainwright's eventual move from his mother's old home.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Missing You" – 3:29
  2. "Living Alone" – 2:37
  3. "White Winos" – 2:59
  4. "Fresh Fossils" – 1:50
  5. "I'm Not Gonna Cry" – 2:06
  6. "Out of Reach" – 2:57
  7. "Bridge" – 1:43
  8. "Surviving Twin" – 3:41
  9. "Donations" – 2:02
  10. "Graveyard" – 2:13
  11. "Bed" – 2:53
  12. "Last Man on Earth" – 5:01
  13. "Homeless" – 4:14

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to Last Man on Earth:[5]

Musicians[edit]

  • Loudon Wainwright III – vocals, guitar, five-string banjo
  • Stewart Lerman – guitars, bass, organ, Wurlitzer, percussion
  • Dick Connette – piano, spinet, celeste, harmonium, percussion, arrangements
  • Steuart Smith – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, organ, Wurlitzer, accordion, bass, harmonica
  • David Mansfield – fiddle, viola, mandolin, dulcimer, guitar, percussion, string arrangements on "White Winos"
  • Sammy Merendino – drums, percussion
  • Mary Rowell – violin, viola
  • Marshall Coid – violin
  • Dorothy Lawson – cello
  • Brian Stanley – bass ("Living Alone")
  • Johnny Gale – vocals and vocal arrangements ("Bridge")
  • Little Isidore – vocals ("Bridge")
  • Suzzy Roche – vocals ("Bed" and "Last Man on Earth")

Recording personnel[edit]

  • Stewart Lerman – producer, recording, mixing
  • Scott Lehrer – additional engineering ("Bed" and "Missing You")
  • Dominick Maita – mastering

Artwork[edit]

  • Deborah Feingold – inlay photograph
  • Patti Perret – beach photos
  • Don Stettner – back cover painting
  • Hugh Brown – layout and design

Release history[edit]

  • CD: Red House 158
  • CD: Evangeline 4025
  • CD: Evangeline 4076

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rabin, Nathan. "Set List: Loudon Wainwright III | The A.V. Club". theavclub.com. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Last Man On Earth liner notes
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ Last Man On Earth liner notes
  5. ^ Last Man On Earth liner notes

External links[edit]