River Songs

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River Songs
River Songs album cover. Photo by Janice Radocha.
Studio album by The Badlees
Released February 28, 1995 (Rite-Off), October 1995 (Polydor/Atlas)
Recorded The Green Room
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Length 48:32
Label Rite-Off Records
Producer The Badlees
The Badlees chronology
The Unfortunate Result of Spare Time
River Songs
The Day's Parade

River Songs is the third full length studio album by American band The Badlees. It was released on their independent label, Rite-Off Records, in February 1995 and sold over 10,000 units before being picked up by the national label Polydor/Atlas after the band signed with that label later in 1995. The album was re-released nationally with no further production enhancement in October 1995 and went on the spawn three national hits - "Fear of Falling", "Angeline Is Coming Home", and "Gwendolyn".


After returning home from China in August 1994, where The Badlees played the Qingdao International Beer Festival, the band headed back to the studio to start on another album. They planned on calling this next one simply "The Badlees", as a symbol of their commitment to hit the "reset" button and return to their roots musically, but soon found a more fitting title that would become familiar to music fans nationwide.

The band made daily commutes from their base in Selinsgrove to The Green Room, a studio in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to record their third full-length album. This 50 mile journey in each direction follows the Susquehanna River as it winds through rural central Pennsylvania towards the mini metropolis of the commonwealth’s capital city. The new album would ultimately become River Songs, and would be the catalyst that finally propelled the Badlees into the national spotlight.

Upon its release by Rite-Off Records on February 28, 1995, River Songs was instantly recognized by many as something quite special. Writer Alan Stout of The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader observed "it's somewhat ironic that an album this good is an independent release, and there's almost a feeling of guilt in enjoying it all to ourselves here in the confines of Pennsylvania." No one was more astutely aware of this than manager Terry Selders, who had already identified "Fear of Falling" as the song that would be the band's breakthrough to national fame, but wanted to issue another single first to introduce the new album and build up to the eventual push of "Fear of Falling". He ultimately chose "Angeline Is Coming Home" or "Gwendolyn" and within weeks the song was in regular rotation on radio stations throughout eastern Pennsylvania.

Track listing[edit]

Note - the order listed below is from the original Rite-Off Records release of February, 1995.

No. Title Music Length
1. "Grill the Sucker" The Badlees 1:13
2. "Angeline Is Coming Home" Mike Naydock, The Badlees 4:09
3. "Fear of Falling" Bret Alexander, The Badlees 4:50
4. "Angels of Mercy" Alexander, The Badlees 4:11
5. "Queen of Perfection" Alexander, The Badlees 3:03
6. "Bendin' the Rules" Alexander, Naydock, Paul Smith, The Badlees 6:10
7. "Gwendolyn" Alexander, The Badlees 4:21
8. "Ore Hill" Jeff Feltenberger, The Badlees 4:24
9. "Nothing Much of Anything" Naydock, The Badlees 3:36
10. "Song For a River" Alexander, Naydock, The Badlees 8:17
11. "I Liked You Better When You Hated Yourself" Alexander, Welsh, The Badlees 2:47


Additional musicians
  • Robert Scott Richardson - Hammond B-3 Organ
  • Gary Greyhosky, Bret Alexander, Paul Smith, Jeff Feltenberger - Engineers at The Green Room
  • Joe Alexander & Brad Catlett - Engineers at Kajem Studios
  • Scott Hull - Engineer at Masterdisk
  • Janice Radocha - Photos
  • Donna Glass and Pete Palladino - Layout and design
  • Terry Selders - Personal manager
  • Scott Berger - Road manager
  • Keith Barshinger - Live sound engineer
  • Mike Naydock - Songwriting collaborator