Social Studies (Loudon Wainwright III album)

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Social Studies
Studio album by Loudon Wainwright III
Released 1999
Genre Folk, satire
Length 52:08
Label Hannibal
Producer Joe Boyd, John Wood
Loudon Wainwright III chronology
BBC Sessions
(1998)BBC Sessions1998
Social Studies
Last Man on Earth
(2001)Last Man on Earth2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link
Robert Christgau(1-star Honorable Mention) link
Rolling Stone3/5 stars link

Social Studies is a studio album by Loudon Wainwright III, released in 1999. The album comprises various topical and satirical songs, originally produced for National Public Radio and based upon then-current issues and events, such as the Tonya Harding scandal, the O. J. Simpson murder trial, the lead-up to Y2K, and controversies surrounding comments made by former Republican U.S. Senator Jesse Helms.

Regarding the album's topical nature, Wainwright notes: "It's something that no-one does anymore; write songs about current events. When I was young there were a lot of topical songwriters around; maybe folk music had more impact on culture back then. I see these songs as a kind of musical journalism. My father was a journalist, for Life magazine, and I've definitely inherited something of that approach."[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Loudon Wainwright III

  1. "What Gives" – 3:29
  2. "Tonya's Twirls" – 3:37
  3. "New Street People" – 2:50
  4. "Carmine Street" – 2:57
  5. "O.J." – 3:13
  6. "Leap Of Faith" – 2:53
  7. "Conspiracies" – 2:17
  8. "Christmas Morning" – 3:36
  9. "Y2K" – 6:13
  10. "Number One" – 3:39
  11. "Bad Man" – 3:21
  12. "Inaugural Blues" – 3:19
  13. "Our Boy Bill" – 3:11
  14. "Jesse Don't Like It" – 4:06
  15. "Pretty Good Day" – 4:19


Release history[edit]

  • CD: Hannibal HNCD 1442


  1. ^ "Loudon Wainwright III". 1999-06-20. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2012-01-12.