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1990 – Daniel Johnston

1990 - Daniel Johnston Artist: Daniel Johnston
Album: 1990
Release Date: 1990
Duration: 44:53
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Lo-Fi
Recording Date: 1988
Recording Location: Cbgb’s; Noise New York; Pier Platters

Daniel Johnston’s only Shimmy Disc release provides a nice showcase of the kind of spare and blunt material he excels at and contains plenty of his own brand of preaching.

With his minimal guitar/piano accompaniment and childlike vocals, Johnston sounds at once bleak and innocent on nouveau church hymns like “Held the Hand” and “Lord Give Me Hope.” He switches gears for some fire and brimstone, though, on the impassioned and painfully comic “Don’t Play Cards With Satan” (one of three live numbers recorded at CBGB’s). Johnston gets some help from Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley and Lee Ranaldo on the rousing, minor-key number “Spirit World Rising” and teams up with Jad Fair for the touching lament “Some Things Last a Long Time.” The mood lightens a bit with a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life,” but with Johnston’s gothic and chunky piano chords threatening to derail the song, the respite is brief. Johnston’s battle with manic depression is well known and is made painfully explicit here when successive live cuts find him in tears at one moment (“Careless Love”) and leading a singalong in the next (“Funeral Home”). In spite of the rough going, this Daniel Johnston release is still worth getting. It’s certainly a must for his fans and not a bad purchase for the newcomer either.

Title/Composer Performer Time
Devil Town / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 1:05
Spirit World Rising / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 6:14
Held the Hand / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 1:42
Lord Give Me Hope / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 6:25
Some Things Last a Long Time / Jad Fair / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 4:54
Tears Stupid Tears / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 3:27
Don’t Play Cards With Satan / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 4:23
True Love Will Find You in the End / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 1:51
Got to Get You into My Life / John Lennon / Paul McCartney Daniel Johnston 4:26
Careless Soul Daniel Johnston 2:23
Funeral Home / Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston 3:13
Softly and Tenderly / Will L. Thompson Daniel Johnston 4:50
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