Wonderful Life 1196


rovi.MR0001908052 11/27/92 Used

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Review Text Chris Stamey's Wonderful Life is a rejigged combination of the singer/guitarist's first two solo releases, recorded as he was leaving the dB's in 1982 and 1983. Released in 1992 alongside similarly reworked versions of the output of his early band Sneakers and mid-'80s holiday tribute Christmas Time, the CD rather drastically remixes two key tracks, "Never Enters My Mind" and the scathing "Face of the Crowd." The new versions aren't necessarily worse, but they'll be a shock to those familiar with the original It's a Wonderful Life release on DB Records. The combination of that album and the four-song Instant Excitement EP on this disc shows how remarkably prolific Stamey was during this 18 months (during which, don't forget, he also wrote and recorded most of the classic second dB's album, Repercussion). Coming directly after the avant pop experimentation and dark, brooding lyrics of It's a Wonderful Life, the comparatively sunny songs on Instant Excitement, especially the Mike Nesmith-like "Excitement" and the winsome "When We're Alone," sound that much cheerier. The disc ends with a previously unreleased demo, "Something Came Over Me," and two outstanding re-recordings of songs from It's a Wonderful Life, a ghostly extended version of "Winter of Love" and a divine acoustic guitar and violin reading of the title track, which were previously available only on an Albion Records 12" single released in 1984. The new album cover uses the photo from this single as well. ~ Stewart Mason

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Winter of Love - 4:29
  2. 2. Never Enters My Mind - 4:35
  3. 3. Get a Job - 4:02
  4. 4. Oh Yeah - 3:14
  5. 5. Brushfire in Hoboken - 3:11
  6. 6. It's a Wonderful Life - 6:00
  7. 7. Still Life No. 3 - 2:18
  8. 8. Depth of Field - 6:53
  9. 9. Face of the Crowd - 4:16
  10. 10. Excitement - 5:31
  11. 11. Instant Karma! - 4:36
  12. 12. When We're Alone - 4:56
  13. 13. Ghost Story - 7:32
  14. 14. Something Came Over Me - 7:47
  15. 15. Winter of Love - 7:47
  16. 16. It's a Wonderful Life - 6:59

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