Get this crazy baby off my head!


Janis Ian

Janis Ian - God And The FBI - 2000 - Windham Hill

Janis realized that if album sales didn't pick up, this would be her last recording for a major label. "Nobody gets a fourth career, and I've gone through three." Since she had nothing to lose, she felt that "if I'm going down, I'm going down in flames". So she decided to act as though this were her last album, and stop worrying about what people would think. The first decision was to record the entire album in a house rather than a studio "so we could experiment without watching the clock". They lived there through the recording process. "The goal was to create a bunker mentality - us and them - we almost made it. Not quite, but almost." The second decision was to have the core group play everything. "What we couldn't play, we created". When Janis wanted a tuba part on "Boots Like Emmy Lou's", no one was willing to learn the instrument - so it's actually co-producer Jim Cregan singing a tuba part, which is then electronically dropped an octave lower. When she wanted a full choir for the Requiem at the end of "On the Other Side", everyone learned the parts in Latin and sang in various octaves, doubling and tripling until the effect was achieved. And when she wanted electric guitar solos, she was forced to take them herself! The only song to have outside musicians is "Memphis", which features the same band used on Revenge plus Marc and Philip. It's also, by the way, a duet with Willie Nelson, and features a guitar solo by the great Chet Atkins. "I lucked in and met Chet when I first came to Nashville; he's been a staunch friend ever since. And Willie… well, I didn't think he'd do it, not in a million years. I figured he wouldn't have heard of me. But he told me he loved the song, and he loved my work, so I jumped at the chance. He was everything I'd hoped he'd be; outside of Swami Satchitananda (her neighbor in New York during the '60's), Willie's the most there person I've ever met. A real gentleman, and an honest-to-goodness legend." The album's title is taken from the song "god & the fbi", about Janis' early life with her parents and the FBI's effect on her. "My dad was a chicken farmer who made the mistake of going to a meeting about the price of eggs; they picked him up for questioning the next day. We were on the watch list from then on. It took me nine years to get our FBI files. Mine was disappointingly thin - I'd hoped I was more of a threat than that! But it's scary to look at that period in our country's history, and discover that you were being watched by informers through binoculars while you played at summer camp. I hope that whole organization is more like The X-files portrays it than our experiences with them." Asked if she'll get into trouble for referring to "J. Edgar Hoover in a pink tutu, investigating anyone who thinks like you", she laughs and says "Trouble seems to find me, but it never gets a good grip." © Janis Ian http://store.janisianstore.com/godfbi.html

It's been many years since she learned the truth "At Seventeen," but the singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist -- who tackles guitars, keyboards, upright bass, and even banjo here -- is still a sharp lyricist who makes her points amid a stylistically diverse playground. Thank God her lyrics don't run as ridiculously stream of consciousness as her liner notes, because part of the fun here is imagining her tongue firmly planted in her cheek as she expounds on various themes. She tackles social paranoia on the bluesy title track; gentle spirituality on "On the Other Side," a tribute to Memphis featuring Mark Twain imagery and Willie Nelson's harmony voca; the powerful pain of love on "When You Love Someone"; and even women's lib on "Plays Like a Girl." That last tune sounds like something you'd hear at the Lilith Fair, a proclamation that girls may be denied membership in certain boys' activities, but the musical boundaries are breaking down. There is a wistful sense of hope on many of the tunes ("The Last Comeback" brims with optimism), but she chooses to close the set with the throbbing, percussive "Murdering Stravinsky," which laments the way people disregard the importance of traditions as they forge ahead. A solid commentary on modern times with a lot of musical joys to be found. © Jonathan Widran © 2012 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/god-the-fbi-mw0000051596
Check this blog for other JI releases and info [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 64.1 Mb]


1 God & the FBI - Janis Ian
2 On The Other Side - Janis Ian
3 Memphis - Janis Ian & Deana Carter
4 Jolene - Janis Ian & Jess Leary
5 When You Love Someone - Janis Ian
6 Play Like a Girl - Janis Ian
7 Days Like These - Janis Ian
8 Boots Like Emmy Lou's - Janis Ian
9 She Must Be Beautiful - Janis Ian & Kye Fleming
10 The Last Comeback - Janis Ian & Philip Clark
11 Murdering Stravinsky - Janis Ian & Philip Clark


Janis Ian - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass, Keyboards, Vocals, Background Vocals
Jim Cregan - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals, Harmony
Marc Moreau - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocals, Spoken Word
Philip Clark - Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Drums, Background Vocals
Chet Atkins - Guitar
Willie Weeks - Bass
Matt Rollings - Piano
Steve Gadd - Drums
Willie Nelson, John Cowan - Vocals


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w is aoofc

The Lone Typist said...

sadly the link for this Janis Ian "FBI" claims it "cannot be found"

Maybe it's just me?

The Lone Typist said...

NOPE - false alarm - the link works fine now.. maybe it was just too early in the morning...