Friday, January 27, 2006

Willie Nile

Today in Music History:

In 1998, James Brown was charged with possession of marijuana and unlawful use of a firearm after police were called to his South Carolina home. Brown later clamed the drugs were used to help his 'eyesight.'
willie nileI was thinking that today I would talk about some new music headed our way. More than a quarter century has passed since the release of Willie Nile’s first album, accompanied by press notices comparing him to Dylan and Springsteen. Although Nile never attained the fame of these two kindred spirits, the persevering writer/artist has never stopped making stirring, heartfelt music, which he continues to do on his own uncompromising terms.

His new album Streets of New York is set to be released later next month. This is some of what I've heard about the album.
Some who have heard the album describe it as Nile’s London Calling, a characterization prompted not only by his rousing cover of “Police on My Back,” the Eddy Grant-written classic that appeared on Sandinista!, but also by his own hot-rod reggae tune “When One Stands”; both reveal Nile’s deep spiritual kinship with the Clash, as does the outspokenness that spews out from songs like “Game of Fools” and “Best Friends Money Can Buy.”
Mind you it's not being compared to London Calling, it's just that this is supposed to be his great album.

He made his recording debut in 1980 with his acclaimed self-titled LP on Arista Records, following it a year later with Golden Down. He also opened the Who’s North American tour at the personal request of the band. In 1982, he signed to Geffen Records but got caught in record-biz limbo and didn’t manage to release another record until 1991, when Columbia issued Places I Have Never Been. With the EP Hard Times in America in 1992, which became a cult favorite throughout Europe, Nile finally managed to jump off the major-label hamster wheel. Gathering together his resources over time, he managed to put out his first self-released album, Beautiful Wreck of the World, just before the end of the century.

I've heard some hype about the album and I'm interested to hear it, to see if it's all true. Especially after reading this blurb.
Praise for Nile’s new effort comes from a number of legendary artists. Lou Reed, for instance, calls Streets of New York “a great album.” Graham Parker opines: “Willie Nile’s Streets of New York is a real gem – stirring melodies, passionate vocals, intriguing lyrics . . . every track a winner.” Lucinda Williams comments: “Willie Nile is a great artist. If there was any justice in this world, I’d be opening up for him instead of him for me.” Ian Hunter says: “Willie’s from the big-hearted downtown alleyways of NYC (New York commitment). Well done!” And Little Steven adds: “Willie Nile is so good I can’t believe he’s not from New Jersey!”
So I've got a track here off the album for you guys, and after only a couple listens it has really grown on me. I think I'm gonna get this one.

Asking Annie Out by Willie Nile

Get his debut album

Funny Toon