Songs from Liquid Days

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Songs from Liquid Days
Liquid Days cover.jpg
Studio album by
RecordedThe Living Room, New York; The Complex, Los Angeles
GenreMinimal music
ProducerKurt Munkacsi
Philip Glass chronology
Songs from Liquid Days
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link

Songs from Liquid Days is a collection of songs composed by composer Philip Glass with lyrics by Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson. Glass began the project scoring lyrics by Byrne and then thought to collaborate with additional songwriters.

On the project, Glass said:

The words come first. From these I fashioned a set of six songs which, together, form a cycle of themes ranging from reflections on nature to classic romantic settings. After the music was written, I — along with producer Kurt Munkacsi and conductor Michael Riesman — began the long and difficult process of 'casting' singers for the individual songs. We felt that the interpretation a singer brings to a song is an immense contribution to its character — contributing their own personality to the work perhaps more than any other performer.[2]

The recording features performances by Bernard Fowler, the Kronos Quartet, Janice Pendarvis, Douglas Perry, The Roches, Linda Ronstadt, and the Philip Glass Ensemble, directed by Michael Riesman. The recording was released in 1986 by CBS Records. The song "Lightning" was performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble on Saturday Night Live, March 22, 1986.


Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote in 1986,

The album's six songs are short, oracular reflections on time and love, with imagery that explicitly evokes mystical connections between people and objects ...
The cycle begins with Paul Simon's Changing Opinion, a mock-solemn meditation on the possible sources of an electrical hum in a room ...
Mr. Byrne's Open the Kingdom resolves the distance between the commonplace and the mystical in a Zen-like lyric whose abbreviated phrases imagine death as a rush into eternity in which sounds become words – a distant roar, turning to speak, turning to hear.

Holden concludes, "But with all its charms, Songs From Liquid Days is still minor Glass."[3]

AllMusic wrote that "Songs From Liquid Days became Philip Glass' most popular and successful recording," and concluded that "Songs From Liquid Days may be their [the minimalist composers'] single greatest achievement." [4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Changing Opinion" (Glass, Paul Simon; Bernard Fowler, vocals) – 9:57
  2. "Lightning" (Glass, Suzanne Vega; Janice Pendarvis, vocals) – 6:42
  3. "Freezing" (Glass, Suzanne Vega; The Kronos Quartet; Linda Ronstadt, vocals) – 3:16
  4. "Liquid Days" (Glass, David Byrne; The Roches, vocals) – 4:45
  5. "Open the Kingdom (Liquid Days, Part Two)" (Glass, David Byrne; Douglas Perry, vocals) – 6:59
  6. "Forgetting" (Glass, Laurie Anderson; The Kronos Quartet; Linda Ronstadt, vocals; The Roches, backing vocals) – 8:10

All songs feature the Philip Glass Ensemble under direction of Michael Riesman.


Cover photo of Philip Glass is by Robert Mapplethorpe.


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[5] Gold 50,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Walls, Seth Colter. "The Complete Sony Recordings – Review". Pitchfork Media. Condé Nast. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  2. ^ "Philip Glass: Music: Songs from Liquid Days". Philip Glass's website. Archived from the original on July 31, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
  3. ^ Holden, Stephen (April 20, 1986). "Philip Glass Turns to the Song". The New York Times. New York, NY. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Review at AllMusic
  5. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Philip Glass – Songs from Liquid Days" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 6 August 2018. Enter Songs from Liquid Days in the "Artiest of titel" box.

External links[edit]