Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions

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Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
A black-and-white photo of a man building a sand castle on a beach with several children standing around him, one of whom is pointing toward the body of water. Superimposed text reads "BILLY / BRAGG / & WILCO" in orange, "MERMAID AVENUE" in blue, and "the complete sessions" in black script.
Box set by Billy Bragg and Wilco
Released April 21, 2012 (2012-04-21)
Recorded Boston, Chicago, and Dublin
Genre Folk revival, folk rock
Language English
Label Nonesuch
Producer Billy Bragg, Grant Showbiz, Wilco
Billy Bragg chronology
Fight Songs
(2011)
Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
(2012)
Tooth & Nail
(2013)
Wilco chronology
The Whole Love
(2011)
Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
(2012)
Billy Bragg & Wilco chronology
Mermaid Avenue Vol. II
(2000)
Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
(2012)

Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions is a 2012 box set album featuring the lyrics of American folk musician Woody Guthrie set to music by English folk rock guitarist Billy Bragg and American alternative rock band Wilco. The set contains all the tracks from the previously released Mermaid Avenue (1998) and Mermaid Avenue Vol. II (2000) as well as a third disc of outtakes from the original album sessions.

Nonesuch Records released the album for Record Store Day to commemorate Guthrie's 100th birthday. In addition to the three albums, the box set includes the documentary Man in the Sand about the making of the Mermaid Avenue project.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
American Songwriter 4.5/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club A−[3]
Consequence of Sound 4/5 stars[4]
Drowned in Sound (9/10)[5]
The Phoenix 3/4 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media (8.1/10)[7]
PopMatters 9/10 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[9]
Uncut (7/10)[10]

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 85, based on 12 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim".[11]

The A.V. Club gave the box set an A−.[3]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Woody Guthrie. Music by Billy Bragg and Wilco.

Volume 1
  1. "Walt Whitman's Niece" (Bragg) – 3:53
  2. "California Stars" (Tweedy / Bennett) – 4:57
  3. "Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" (Bragg) – 4:06
  4. "Birds and Ships" ft Natalie Merchant (Tweedy) – 2:13
  5. "Hoodoo Voodoo" (Tweedy / Bennett / Bragg / John Stirratt / Ken Coomer / Harris) – 3:12
  6. "She Came Along to Me" (Bragg / Tweedy / Bennett) – 3:26
  7. "At My Window Sad and Lonely" (Tweedy) – 3:27
  8. "Ingrid Bergman" (Bragg) – 1:50
  9. "Christ for President" (Bragg) – 2:39
  10. "I Guess I Planted" (Bragg) – 3:32
  11. "One by One" (Tweedy) – 3:22
  12. "Eisler on the Go" (Bragg) – 2:56
  13. "Hesitating Beauty" (Tweedy) – 3:04
  14. "Another Man's Done Gone" (Tweedy) – 1:34
  15. "The Unwelcome Guest" (Bragg) – 5:09
Volume 2
  1. "Airline to Heaven" – 4:50
  2. "My Flying Saucer" – 1:45
    • Words: Guthrie 1950. Music: Billy Bragg 1995.
  3. "Feed of Man" – 4:08
    • Words: Guthrie. Music: Tweedy 1998
  4. "Hot Rod Hotel" – 3:17
    • Words: Guthrie 1949. Music: Bragg 1996.
  5. "I Was Born" – 1:50
    • Words: Guthrie 1950. Music: Bragg 1996.
  6. "Secret of the Sea" – 2:42
    • Words: Guthrie 1939. Music: Bennett/Tweedy 1999.
  7. "Stetson Kennedy" – 2:39
    • Words: Guthrie 1950. Music: Bragg 1997.
  8. "Remember the Mountain Bed" – 6:26
    • Words: Guthrie 1944. Music: Tweedy/Bennett 1999.
  9. "Blood of the Lamb" – 4:16
    • Words: Guthrie 1955. Music: Tweedy/Bennett 1999.
  10. "Aginst th' Law" – 3:03
    • Words: Guthrie 1947. Music: Bragg 1995.
  11. "All You Fascists" – 2:43
    • Words: Guthrie 1942. Music: Bragg 1997.
  12. "Joe DiMaggio Done It Again" – 2:31
    • Words: Guthrie 1949. Music: Bragg 1995.
  13. "Meanest Man" – 3:46
    • Words: Guthrie 1945. Music: Bragg 1997.
  14. "Black Wind Blowing" – 3:00
    • Words: Guthrie. Music: Bragg 1997.
  15. "Someday Some Morning Sometime" – 2:53
    • Words: Guthrie 1948. Music: Tweedy 2000.
Volume 3
  1. "Bugeye Jim" – 3:18
  2. "When the Roses Bloom Again" – 4:11
  3. "Gotta Work" – 2:16
  4. "My Thirty Thousand" – 2:40
  5. "Ought to Be Satisfied Now" – 3:34
  6. "Listening to the Wind That Blows" – 5:07
  7. "Go Down to the Water" – 4:36
  8. "Chain of Broken Hearts" – 3:31
  9. "Jailcell Blues" – 2:28
  10. "Don't You Marry" – 3:18
  11. "Give Me a Nail" – 1:42
  12. "The Jolly Banker" – 3:31
  13. "Union Prayer" – 4:12
  14. "Be Kind to the Boy on the Road" – 3:46
  15. "Ain'ta Gonna Grieve" – 4:52
  16. "Tea Bag Blues" – 4:03
  17. "I'm Out to Get" – 3:58
Volume 4

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic link
  2. ^ Beviglia, Jim (2012-04-19). "Billy Bragg & Wilco: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". American Songwriter. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  3. ^ a b Hyden, Steven (2012-04-17). "Billy Bragg and Wilco: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions | Music | Music Review | The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2012-04-17. 
  4. ^ Gerber, Justin (2012-04-27). "Album Review: Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  5. ^ Lucas, Dan (2013-04-23). "Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  6. ^ Lundy, Zeth (2012-05-01). "Billy Bragg + Wilco: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". The Phoenix. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  7. ^ Deusner, Stephen M. (2012-04-27). "Billy Bragg / Wilco: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  8. ^ Franco, Michael (2012-04-27). "Billy Bragg and Wilco: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  9. ^ Hermes, Will (2012-04-24). "Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  10. ^ McKay, Alistair (2012). "Billy Bragg & Wilco – Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Uncut. Retrieved 2013-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Critic Reviews for Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions". Metacritic. Retrieved on 2012-09-20.

External links[edit]