The Walkabouts

Nighttown (deluxe edition)

Release Date: 06/27/2014 · Format: CD/2-LP(+CD)/DIGITAL · Catalog-No: GRCD/LP 811

Deluxe Reissue of their 1997 classic with re-worked and extended artwork plus a bonus CD containing five unreleased tracks of that period. Comes in a multifold digipak with 16 page booklet and as a two-LP set (180 gram heavyweight vinyl, gatefold sleeve) plus two CDs!

For 30 years The Walkabouts have written and sung about one of their main topics: America – the origin and home of Rock’n’Roll. The Walkabouts scrutinize America as a mythic place spotlighted by desires and hopes, but also contradictions and inconsistences.

Singer-Songwriter Chris Eckman and Carla Torgerson founded The Walkabouts in 1984 in Seattle. 1989 saw the release of their Sub Pop debut, finding themselves the only non-Grunge band next to the likes of Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Mudhoney. Ironically enough the sound of The Walkabouts, the mixing of Folk, Americana and Country with the knowledge and energy of Punk, survived the Grunge hype of the 90's and became one of the most important and enduring musical genres of the following decades. In 1992 The Walkabouts and Sub Pop split but the band joined forces with Sub Pop Europe represented by Glitterhouse Records in Beverungen, Germany. After releasing two albums -- „Devil’s Road“ (1996) and „Nighttown“ (1997) -- with Virgin Records, The Walkabouts returned again to their home Glitterhouse and have remained their from1999 until today.

Nighttown“ was a kind of concept album about cities at night. The darkened city serves as a metaphor, as a surreal place filled with possibilities, hopes and desires. And if we speak of hopes one must mention that Virgin Records had high expectations for this second album release of The Walkabouts, even trying to take control of, at least aspects of the band's artistic decisions. „Devil’s Road“, which was released one year before, did reasonably well, but wasn't a real hit by Major-Label definitions. However, it did well enough to focus Virgin Records‘ interest on the further commercial development of the band’s career. Chris Eckman recalls: „We were under great pressure. Virgin said: We've got the chance to make you famous, let's do this NOW! It was the summer of 1996 and I had not written one single song. The label wanted us to record in January. This was insane. I was really stressed and I took a timeout for one month and we had to cancel some shows. Then I wrote all the songs of „Nighttown“ in about four weeks. We rehearsed every day, five days a week for three months. It was pretty intense.“

Once again The Walkabouts joined forces with conductor/arranger Mark Nichols. Inspired by their experience from the „Devil’s Road“ recording sessions, the band and their arranger had enough self-confidence to try out things they never would have tried before, sound-wise. Now the string arrangements that had first appeared on „Devil’s Road“ created an even more elaborate and nocturnal atmosphere. „We did not want the strings to be cheesy in any way. We were instead thinking of Scott Walker and songs like, Kathleen’ by Townes Van Zandt or John Cale’s album „Paris 1919’.“ We did not want to have any sort of mediocre middle-of-the-road-songwriter tropes at all.“ (Chris Eckman). By listening to „Nighttown“ one can easily comprehend that The Walkabouts fully succeeded: the string sections and the filigree arrangements melt the songs into effecting and compact aural sculptures. Ironically enough, this „strangest of all Walkabouts albums“ (Chris Eckman) turned out to be even more focused and artful than its predecessor, despite all the adverse conditions and pressures during its making.

„The Walkabouts are unpretentious romantics, self-confident outsiders, melancholic hedonists who know: Life is a long, quiet river that leads directly into the heart of darkness“
– this quote from Peter Felkel’s review for Musikexpress back in 1997 pretty much sums up what this album, this band is all about. - Albert Koch

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Tracklist

CD1
01 Follow Me An Angel
02 These Proud Streets
03 Tremble (Goes The Night)
04 Unwind
05 Lift Your Burdens Up
06 Prayer For You
07 Immaculate
08 Nocturno
09 Heartless
10 Slow Red Dawn
11 Harbour Lights
12 Forever Gone
13 Nightbirds

CD2 (bonus tracks)
01 Forever Gone (demo)
02 Harbour Lights (demo)
03 Slow Red Dawn (demo)
04 Sanitorium Blues (instrumental)
05 Nightbirds (demo)

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