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Nils Lofgren: Face the Music [Box]

Track List

>See What a Love Can Do
>Everybody's Missin' the Sun
>Like Rain
>If I Were a Song
>We All Sung Together
>Take You to the Movies Tonight
>White Lies
>Slippery Fingers
>Moon Tears
>Lost a Number
>Soft Fun
>Hi, Hello Home
>Love or Else
>Sad Letter
>Ain't Love Nice
>She Ain't Right
>All Out
>Rusty Gun
>Beggar's Day (Eulogy to Danny Whitten)
>One More Time
>One More Saturday Night
>If I Say It, It's So
>Can't Buy a Break
>Back It Up
>I Don't Want to Know [Live Bootleg Version]
>Sun Hasn't Set on This Boy Yet, The
>Rock and Roll Crook
>Two By Two
>Cry Tough
>It's Not a Crime
>Share a Little
>Can't Get Closer (WCGC)
>Mud in Your Eye
>Came to Dance
>Home Is Where the Hurt Is
>Rock Me at Home
>You're the Weight [Live/1977]
>Goin' South [Live/1977]
>Incidentally... It's Over [Live/1977]
>No Mercy
>Shine Silently
>Steal Away
>I Found Her
>You're So Easy
>Fool Like Me, A
>Night Fades Away
>Ancient History
>Sailor Boy
>Empty Heart
>Don't Touch Me
>I Go to Pieces
>Across the Tracks
>Daddy Dream
>Room Without Love
>Confident Girl
>Into the Night
>Everybody Wants
>Secrets in the Street
>Big Tears Fall
>Dreams Die Hard
>Girl in Motion
>Walkin' Nerve
>Trouble's Back
>Bein' Angry
>Child Could Tell, A
>Shot at You
>Crooked Line
>New Kind of Freedom
>Drunken Driver
>No Return
>Tender Love
>Dreams Come True
>Out of the Grave
>Lion's Wake
>Damaged Goods
>Only Five Minutes
>Setting Sun
>Nothin's Fallin'
>Little on Up
>Blue Skies
>Black Books
>Man in the Moon
>Delivery Night
>Code of the Road
>New Holes in Old Shoes
>Puttin' Out Fires
>I Found You
>Love a Child
>Driftin' Man
>Without You
>Heaven's Answer to Blue
>Seize Love
>Open Roads
>Speed Kills
>I'm Buyin'
>Wind, The
>We Got Guys
>Hard Lines
>Tears on Ice
>Like Rain
>Star-Spangled Banner, The
>In Your Hands
>Mr. Hardcore
>Tried and True
>Frankie Hang On
>Fat Girls Dance
>I Am a Child
>Mr. Soul
>World on a String
>Old School
>60 Is the New 18
>Miss You Ray
>Amy Joan Blues
>Dream Big
>Irish Angel
>Ain't Too Many of Us Left
>When You Were Mine
>Why Me
>Wreck on the Highway
>Keith Don't Go - (previously unreleased)
>Try - (previously unreleased)
>Sing for Happiness - (previously unreleased)
>Duty - (previously unreleased)
>Sweet Four Wings - (previously unreleased)
>Just to Have You - (previously unreleased)
>I'll Arise - (previously unreleased)
>Some Must Dream - (previously unreleased)
>Stay Hungry - (previously unreleased)
>Heaven's Rain - (previously unreleased)
>Whatever Happened to Muscatel - (previously unreleased)
>You in My Arms - (previously unreleased)
>Here for You - (previously unreleased)
>Hide My Heart - (previously unreleased)
>Love Is... - (previously unreleased)
>Awesome Girl - (previously unreleased)
>When You Are Loved - (previously unreleased)
>Bullets Fever - (previously unreleased)
>Message - (previously unreleased)
>Beauty and the Beast - (previously unreleased)
>You Are the Melody - (previously unreleased)
>Tears Inside - (previously unreleased)
>Face the Music - (previously unreleased)
>I Can't Stand a Chance - (previously unreleased)
>What Is Enuf?!! - (previously unreleased)
>London - (previously unreleased)
>Go Away - (previously unreleased)
>Heart Like a Hammer - (previously unreleased)
>True Love Conquers Legends - (previously unreleased)
>Yankee Stadium - (previously unreleased)
>Sad Walk - (previously unreleased)
>Dalmation - (previously unreleased)
>I'm Coming Back - (previously unreleased)
>Mad, Mad World - (previously unreleased)
>Jhoon Rhee Ad - (previously unreleased)
>It's Better to Know You - (previously unreleased)
>Last Time I Saw You - (previously unreleased)
>Mist and Morning Rain - (previously unreleased)
>Miss You "C" - (previously unreleased)
>Oh Holy Night - (previously unreleased)
>Windy (Flip Combo)
>Dream Big
>Too Many Miles
>Keith Don't Go
>Bein' Angry
>Shine Silently
>Big Tears Fall
>I Found You
>No Mercy
>Gun and Run
>See What a Love Can Do
>If I Were a Song
>Slippery Fingers
>Like Rain
>Moon Tears
>I Came to Dance
>Everybody's Missin' the Sun
>Ain't Love Nice
>I'll Arise
>Nil's Lofgren: The Art of Adapting

Album Notes

Liner Note Authors: Dave Marsh ; Nils Lofgren.

Recording information: Bias Studios, VA (1977); BurntHill, Clarksburg, MD (1977); Chaton Studios, Phoenix, AZ (1977); Power Station, NYC (1977); Wally Heider Studios, Hollywood, CA (1977); Wembley Stadium (1977).

Introduction by: Dave Marsh .

Photographers: Ed Caraeff; Linda Bangham; Lisa Johnson ; Neal Preston; Henry Diltz; Dick Bangham; Paul Natkin; Omar Ojeda; Mark Hendrickson; Gijsberg Hankeroot; Jo Lopez; Alex Higgins; Amy Lofgren; Danny Clinch; Pegi Young; Joel Bernstein.

Nils Lofgren has a story unlike any other in rock & roll. Something of a teenage rock & roll prodigy, he first made waves when he played on Neil Young's After the Gold Rush at the tender age of 17, just around the time his D.C.-based band Grin relocated to Los Angeles in hopes of hitting the big time. Grin never became stars, but Lofgren did. His association with Young provided a launch pad for a solo career that was acclaimed and fitfully commercially successful, with the late-'70s albums Cry Tough, I Came to Dance, and Night After Night all making waves in album rock. This run at solo stardom lasted roughly a decade, beginning with his eponymous 1975 debut and ending with 1985's Flip, the record he released after joining Bruce Springsteen's E-Street Band as Steven Van Zandt's replacement in 1984. Springsteen kept Nils around once Little Steven returned to the fold and Lofgren's membership in the E-Street Band allowed him the luxury of pursuing all of his musical whims on indie labels, developing an idiosyncratic catalog known only to hardcore fans, of which there were many.

Face the Music, a massive nine-CD/single-DVD box set released in 2014, doesn't strive to convert the skeptics but its very heft suggests that Lofgren is worth consideration outside of the confines of his cult. That said, due to its very size, listening to Face the Music does require dedication. Combined, the ten discs do indeed provide a biography of Lofgren, with each disc telling a different chapter. The Grin years of 1971-1973 are on the first disc; the beginning flourishes of his solo career on the second (1975-1977), and the third disc chronicles 1979-1983, when he was collaborating with Lou Reed and Bob Ezrin while wrapping up his time on the album rock circuit. Disc four picks up the story in 1985, then ends after 1991's Silver Lining and 1992's Crooked Line, the pair of records he made for Rykodisc. The next three discs, which are a considerable chunk of the box, round up independent and self-released recordings made between 1993 and 2011; largely home-made, these recordings still sound expensive, which is one of the perks of having a day job as Springsteen's right-hand man. The final two CDs offer a clearinghouse of rarities from throughout the years, ranging from a decidedly quirky "Whatever Happened to Muscatel" co-written by author Clive Cussler to a wonderful early take on Lofgren's signature "Keith Don't Go," here performed by Grin featuring Neil Young on piano and vocals. One of the great pleasures of Face the Music is that it allows for a gem like this to be excavated, but one of the mild frustrations is that this is a decidedly personal telling of Lofgren's story, as indicated by how, apart from the live take on the DVD, this is the only version of "Keith Don't Go" here. A definitive, career-spanning box of this size should find room for such an important original recording, but the fact that Face the Music doesn't just underscores how eccentric a rocker Nils is: he follows his own path, one that sometimes touches upon familiar territory but often goes far afield, sometimes finding detours and sometimes stumbling upon dead ends, but always enjoying the journey. Perhaps it'd be better to sample this ten-disc travelog in pieces -- perhaps that's the only way to listen to a box as large as this -- but each individual installment provides its own peculiar, satisfying pleasures and, when combined, all the discs paint a deep, detailed portrait of a rocker unlike any other. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine


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