Talk:Illinois (Sufjan Stevens album)

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Thematic Elements[edit]

I just spent about an hour or so researching as many allusions to Illinois I could find in the lyrics to this album and posted them in a list in the thematic elements section. I hope everyone finds that okay (hopefully it's not too much original research), and if not let me know or just edit it away. Also, I don't know how to change the format to make it look like the rest of the page. If anyone could fix that for me, that'd be awesome :-) --TheWindshield 09:30, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm a little scared to add this, and it's totally original research, but I'm actually rather proud of it. I couldn't figure out what in Illinois "In This Temple..." referred to, so I figured it was a random, nonspecific reference. However, I recently was touring an architecture museum in which a video happened to flash the words "In This Temple as in the Hearts of People for Whom He Has Saved the Union," then scrolling down to reveal the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. Illinois = Land of Lincoln. Sufjan, why are you so brilliant?

template[edit]

Could we make a template for Sufjan Stevens 50 states albums JohnRussell 04:07, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I have made this some time ago. What do you think? --Gika 17:28, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

I like it a lot. Nice work. --TheWindshield 09:28, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Name of album[edit]

Has anyone else noticed that the name of the album is not Illinois but "Illinoise"? This needs to be changed, if for no other reason than to get it off the Illinois disambiguation. Ikefox

Check Talk:Sufjan Stevens. --Gika 20:50, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes. In fact it seems so obviously Illinoise that I'm a little scared to change it if you know what I mean. Check the label's website - Asthmatic Kitty Records

Um.. would someone please change the name of the article to "Illinoise?" (I don't know how to.) That's the name of the album. -Laikalynx 00:11, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Again, see Talk:Sufjan Stevens, specifically Talk:Sufjan Stevens/Archive1#Illinois or Come On! Feel The Illinoise!. --PEJL 05:58, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

track list[edit]

My copy of the album (a first pressing, I believe; Superman soars above the cityscape) has slightly different tracklist than the one presented here. Here it is:

  • Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois
  • THE BLACK HAWK WAR, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, "I have fought the Big Knives and will continue to fight them until they are off our lands!"
  • COME ON! FEEL THE ILLINOISE!
  • Part I: The World's Columbian Exposition
  • Part II: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream
  • JOHN WAYNE GACY, JR.
  • JACKSONVILLE
  • A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons
  • DECATUR, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!
  • One Last "Whoo-hoo!" For The Pullman
  • CHICAGO
  • CASIMIR PULASKI DAY
  • To The Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament
  • The Man Of METROPOLIS Steals Our Hearts
  • PRAIRIE FIRE THAT WANDERS ABOUT
  • A Conjunction Of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the GREAT GODFREY MAZE
  • The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!
  • They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!
  • Let's hear that string part again, because I don't think they heard it all the way out in Bushnell
  • In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth
  • THE SEER'S TOWER
  • THE TALLEST MAN, THE BROADEST SHOULDERS
  • Part I: The Great Frontier
  • Part II: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now
  • Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few
  • Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I shake the dirt from my sandals as I run

As you can see, whoever put this tracklist of the back of the CD case had an unusual sense of capitalization. Might we not use this formatting, as it's as close to official as we're going to get?

Additionally, the title of track #11 "To The Workers..." listed in the article is longer than the one listed on the album itself. Where did this title come from? -- (a purist) Omphaloscope 02:57, 22 November 2005 (UTC)

I have taken the tracklist from here. Maybe the final version is different, I don't know.
Also, some artists write titles in strange capitalization. I'd rather follow the English rules for that, though. --Gika 12:47, 24 November 2005 (UTC)
No no no I think we should use this list as it reflects Stevens' capitalisation.
Why? Radiohead, on The Bends, write song titles ALL UPPERCASE. Some artist write them liKe THiS. And on Wikipedia they're listed normally, following the English standards. Oh, and, please, sign your edits. --Gika 16:26, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to have to disagree with you. It would be one thing is Mr. Stevens had put his song titles in all caps, all lower case or something consistent like that. As it stands, the capitalization used on the back of the album is very idiosyncratic and the Wikipedia entry should reflect this. Or do you think entries like nimrod. and k.d. lang should be changed too because they don't reflect proper English?--Lairor 20:55, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
Now that I think of it, there are HUNDREDS of R&B and hip-hop songs that have very grammatically incorrect titles and some use words that don't even exist! Oh my god! How can we let this happen! I'll go right now and change Prince's "I Would Die 4 U" to "I would die for you" and the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems" to "More money and more problems". I have so much work do, if only there were some way to get around this...--Lairor 02:58, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Hehehehe. Well, although that's a good point, it's not the point. We're not even sure if Sufjan cares about the capitalization. Omphaloscope » talk 14:29, 26 June 2006 (UTC)
Of course I meant English capitalization standards. Which can be overrided by artist intent sometimes, but frankly I think this is not the case. --Gika 06:54, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the all-caps on the album are to separate whole songs (and make short titles) from the shorter instrumentals. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:26, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I didn't look at the CD booklet. The song titles as printed there are capitalized differently. This suggests to me that the unusual orthography contains no special meaning. It therefore need not be preserved here.
Note also, badlydrawnjeff, that some of the longer tracks on the album are not capitalized.
We could also put both lists up. Omphaloscope » talk 05:36, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

I changed the track #11 to "To The Workers Of The Rockford River Valley Region, I Have An Idea Concerning Your Predicament, And It Involves Shoe String, A Lavender Garland, And Twelve Strong Women." This is not the title not shown on the back of the CD, but it is shown in the liner notes, and is the id3 tag for this track when i rip the CD to my computer. 71.116.5.229 18:34, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

What is shown on the back of the CD? If it is different, then it would behoove us to note such in the article, perhaps with a footnote. This would explain some differences in how it is reported. --Dhartung | Talk 20:00, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
The back of the CD doesn't say anything past "Predicament," and the liner notes don't mention the song at all. --badlydrawnjeff talk 20:26, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Yeah, the "and it involves" was used before the album actually came out. --Gika 11:32, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

the "and it involves..." stuff is the title that the track gets when i rip the original cd to winamp... but any physical media lists is without. Maybe we add it like (and it involves...)? 71.121.96.248 05:33, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I don't know how it works exactly, but Winamp before ripping a cd searches some database (probably CDDB) for information about it. But, since those database are made by users, they can be wrong. In this case, some user has submitted that CD with the wrong tracklist, the one that appeared on Pitchfork and other sites before the release - but, since now we have the final tracklist (from the CD), we should use this one. Maybe we can put a "notes" section where to explain all this... stuff. --Gika 19:06, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
As sold on iTunes (link: [1]) the title is: To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament, and It Involves an Inner Tube, Bath Mats, and 21 Able-bodied Men TK421 16:00, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Album Picture[edit]

It seems to me that the album Picture being used should be changed. The one with Superman is not the one actually being sold anymore. We should update with the new cover.Dlime16 10:19, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

The Superman cover is how the artist had conceived it. I feel like we should keep it as it is. --Gika 10:50, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
It would be nice to show each of the different versions to better tell the story of what happened. Dkordik 09:17, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Uses/References in Pop Culture[edit]

I added the note about the use of "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois" on NBC's Conviction just now. Ep was "The Wall", air date Fri 28 Apr 2006. 65.4.23.230 01:12, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Crap. The above is me, forgetting that I wasn't signed in on my Mac. GeofFMorris 23:15, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

Rockford/Rock River[edit]

Would someone who has the physical record confirm a track title? Conflicting sources including Amazon and Musicbrainz do not agree. Is it "To the workers of the Rock River Valley Region ..." or "...of the Rockford River Valley Region..." ? Although there is no "Rockford River", Stevens seems to use city names a lot, so both are plausible. --Dhartung | Talk 07:19, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

CD liner notes say "Rock River". I'm changing that. --Gika 11:30, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Vinyl worth mentioning?[edit]

Is it perhaps worth mentioning that either the label or SS seem keen to release his albums on Vinyl? Illinois is available in rather lovely double gatefold format. It's perhaps not clear from this article what formats are available.
I'm not sure where this info could be included though - in the info box? --born against 12:57, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Minimalism[edit]

Not sure where I should put this really, but the last track on Illinois, Out of Egypt... sounds remarkably like Steve Reich's Music for Eighteen Musicians, amongst others. Minimalism's influence on Sufjan has been well documented, but this seems like the most direct reference i can find in his music. Thoughts? -- Adamdurkacz

Wow, Stevens' music truly has many layers to it. I think some discussion of the previously documented minimalist influence of Illinois should be in the article, without question. If you can find a legitimate outside source discussing the connection between "Out of Egypt" and Reich's "Music for Eighteen Musicians", then the article should make reference to it. Omphaloscope » talk 19:55, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

the keys in the title track sound a lot like the keys in The Cure's 'Close To Me'. Call it a nod to or whatever, but it's pretty darn similar.

The Cure[edit]

I have added under 'in other media' section a line saying how the melody in the song "come on feel" is a nod to The Cure song 'Close To Me'

Cover art and iTunes[edit]

However, because big-box retailers such as Best Buy did not comply with the order, Asthmatic Kitty allowed continued sales of the album. The label distributed new versions of the album, with updated artwork. The version currently on sale lacks the picture of Superman in the artwork, but is otherwise unchanged. Despite, or perhaps because of the issue, the album sold briskly on iTunes in its first week, ranking among the top five albums sold.

I don't understand this last sentence one iota. iTunes doesn't sell hard copies of albums including cover art, does it? Why would an issue related to cover art have anything to do with sales on iTunes? Cheers, PhilipR 05:09, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

I think the theory is that the album was not available at some retailers, so customers without access to a store selling the physical album resorted to buying the digital version. This may be something we could find a citation for. If not, we should just skip the transition Despite...issue phrasing. --Dhartung | Talk 18:51, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense, except that I don't see anywhere in the paragraph where hard-copy distribution was interrupted! You're absolutely right about original research/speculation, and if this can't be substantiated it should be removed. I was going to add the {{fact}} template instance, but given the non sequitur about the distribution I'd have to make it something like:
There may have been interruptions to distribution of the hard copy [citation needed] that may have contributed [citation needed] to the album's brisk sales on iTunes in its first week; it ranked among the top five albums sold. [citation needed]
The iTunes assertion is probably true but should be substantiated and doesn't belong under Artwork on its own; the rest of this sentence is just speculation. So I couldn't do it, but if no one substantiates soon I plan to to delete everything except the iTunes and move that somewhere appropriate. Cheers, PhilipR 15:03, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:They are Night Zombies They are Neighbors They have Comeback from the Dead.ogg[edit]

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BetacommandBot 02:27, 8 July 2007 (UTC)


Where, exactly, in "The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders" is Michael Jordan referenced? I've listened to the song and read the lyrics several times and I can't find it.

Dan 09:25, 28 November 2007

Trivia section removal[edit]

Because trivia sections are discouraged on Wikipedia, and because this particular trivia section was garbage, I removed it all. - tbone (talk) 06:28, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Musical Reference (Cat Stevens)[edit]

The song "Jacksonville" seems to contain a musical phrase from Cat Stevens' "Two Fine People Love Each Other." I'm mentioning this because I noticed the list of lyrical references and was wondering whether all known musical references are also being included. --laura —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.235.18.93 (talk) 03:43, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

"Release History" section[edit]

I've removed the "release history" section, as it had been tagged as unreferenced for a week. If anyone would like to replace it, please include references. Thanks. Jujutacular T · C 16:23, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Illinois (album)/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

I made a couple quick edits to the prose to make it flow a little better and remove some superfluous quotes. Otherwise, all of the content is reasonably covered: conceptualization, song content, chart performance and critical reception. The sources are all reputable; there are no issues with OR, as every fact checks out properly. I also see no issues with source quality. The only sourcing change I had to make was the addition of the catalog number to the liner notes reference

Overall, the article presents a thorough enough scope to pass the criteria of GA. I would recommend one thing to make the article more "complete": include a section on personnel (musicians, producers/mixers/etc.). Ideally, this can be sourced from the liner notes as well. Reviewer: Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Many ottersOne batOne hammer) 21:14, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much the review, and the notes for improvement. My first good article! :) Jujutacular T · C 21:35, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Illinois (Sufjan Stevens album)/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 00:16, 19 September 2015 (UTC). Substituted at 18:46, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Why are the vinyl track names the ones that are listed here?[edit]

The vinyl names shouldn't have any superiority over the others as these are not the names used on the more popular editions - CD & digital - which, with the exception of random grammar choices, are seemingly uniform. I feel the digital names should be used with the vinyl versions of the titles added as footnotes, if at all. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.192.215.210 (talk) 20:29, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

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