10,000 Maniacs – Hope Chest

ARTIST: 10,000 Maniacs 220px-10,000_Maniacs_-_Hope_Chest
TITLE: Hope Chest
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
SINGLES: My Mother the War
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I doubt it unless you’re a maniacal fan.
LINEUP: Robert Buck, Dennis Drew, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo, Natalie Merchant, Jerome Augustyniak, Jim Foti
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A compilation of the first EP (Human Conflict Number Five) and LP (Secrets of the I Ching) of 10,000 Maniacs, self-produced and released. 10000maniacs_conflict

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The first rumblings from this band from rural upstate NY (Jamestown and Fredonia area, to be specific) are rather scattered. They hadn’t quite found a style that suits them, and many of the songs were exercises in genre or mood.

They did have Natalie Merchant, though. Her voice was distinctive then. Yet the songs were half-baked and only a few shine through. Most of those songs were then re-recorded for their first major label release, which happened after “My Mother the War” got some buzz in the 220px-10000maniacs_secretsUK.

I’d say, though, that this is kind of a disappointment in hearing what 10,000 Maniacs could do later on, but you gotta start somewhere.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Merchant was only 17 when she joined the group.


GRADE: C: Just a few cuts survive being exiled.


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