History (Loudon Wainwright III album)

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Studio album by Loudon Wainwright III
Released September 21, 1992
Studio The Hit Factory, New York City
Genre Folk Rock, Folk, Country blues
Length 46:06
Label Charisma
Producer Loudon Wainwright III,
Jeffrey Lesser
Loudon Wainwright III chronology
Career Moves
(1993)Career Moves1993
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention) link
Rolling Stone(favorable) link

History is the twelfth studio album by American singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, released on September 21, 1992 on Charisma Records. The album was recorded following the death of Wainwright's father, Loudon Wainwright Jr.. Regarding his father's death and its influence on History, Wainwright stated that:[1]

The album featured deeply personal compositions, with a musical style that ranges from talking blues ("Talking New Bob Dylan") to almost pure country rock ("So Many Songs") and modern folk ("The Picture", "Men").

History is often regarded as a breakthrough in Wainwright's career. Allmusic call the album "his masterpiece", and both Bruce Springsteen and Bob Geldof cited it as their favourite album of the year.[citation needed]

Song information[edit]

The final track, "A Handful of Dust" is an adaptation of a song written by his father.

"Hitting You" is the fourth song of Wainwright's career dedicated to his daughter Martha Wainwright, and "A Father and a Son" is directed to his son Rufus Wainwright.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Loudon Wainwright III

  1. "People in Love" – 2:57
  2. "Men" – 3:35
  3. "The Picture" – 2:32
  4. "When I'm at Your House" – 2:31
  5. "The Doctor" – 4:00
  6. "Hitting You" – 3:03
  7. "I'd Rather Be Lonely" – 2:50
  8. "Between" – 1:27
  9. "Talking New Bob Dylan" – 3:34
  10. "So Many Songs" – 3:52
  11. "4 X 10" – 3:07
  12. "A Father and a Son" – 3:21
  13. "Sometimes I Forget" – 5:53
  14. "A Handful of Dust" – 3:24


  • Loudon Wainwright III - guitar, vocals
  • The Roches - vocals
  • Syd Straw - vocals
  • Jeffrey Lesser - vocals
  • David Mansfield - pedal steel & electric guitar, violin
  • Anna McGarrigle - vocals
  • David Nichtern - acoustic guitar
  • Paul Ossola - acoustic bass
  • Chris Parker - drums, percussion
  • Chaim Tannenbaum - banjo, harmonica, vocals
  • Steve Tubin - organ, accordion
  • Kate McGarrigle - vocals
  • Robin Gould - drums

Release history[edit]

  • CD: Virgin/Charisma V2-86416 (U.S.)
  • CD: Virgin CDV2703 (UK and Europe)


  1. ^ [1]