Author of such nonpareil songs as “Thirsty Boots,” “Violets of Dawn,”“Close the Door Lightly When You Go,” and “Is It Really Love at All” amongmany others, Eric Andersen is one of the greatest singer-songwriters toemerge from the fabled Greenwich Village folk scene of the ‘60s. But theone thing missing from his catalogue of recordings is a true, careerspanninganthology chronicling every phase of his multi-faceted career.
Now, Real Gone Music, in association with Sony Legacy and the artist himself,presents The Essential Eric Andersen, a 2-CD, 33-track set that spans 45 years,10 different labels, and 18 different albums in offering the definitive look at hisbody of work. The highlights are too numerous to list but here are a few; theretrospective fittingly begins with two solo tracks from his 1965 debut Vanguardalbum Today Is the Highway before touching on such career standouts as hisBlue River album (represented by four tunes including “Is It Really Love at All”and the title track with Joni Mitchell), its follow-up Stages (five songs including“Time Run Like a Freight Train” with Dan Fogelberg on background vocals), thetapes for which were lost for two decades before being found in the Columbiavaults, and even an unreleased track, a cover of Merle Haggard’s “Mama Tried”featuring David Bromberg on dobro.
Disc two leads off with several tracks from Eric’s Arista recordings including livetakes of “Thirsty Boots” and “Violets of Dawn,” and then features collaborationswith fellow legends Lou Reed (“You Can’t Relive the Past”), Richard Thompson(“Hills of Tuscany”), and Rick Danko (“Keep This Love Alive” and “Driftin’ Away,”with the Danko, Fjeld and Andersen band), as well as other recent recordingsmade in Europe. The collection concludes by coming full circle with his earliestrecording, a 1964 duet with Phil Ochs on “Plains of Nebrasky-O” recordedfor Smithsonian-Folkways and released on The Best of Broadside collection,bringing Eric all the way back to his Greenwich Village roots. .
Everything Ain’t Been Said / Dusty Box Car Wall / (We Were) FoolishLike the Flowers (featuring Bruce Langhorne) / Dream to Rimbaud / Secrets/ I Will Wait / Waves of Freedom / Mama Tried (featuring David Brombergpreviously unreleased) / Is It Really Love at All / Florentine / Blue River(featuring Joni Mitchell) / Pearl’s Goodtime Blues / Woman, She Was Gentle(featuring Joan Baez and Leon Russell) / Moonchild River Song (featuring DanFogelberg, Debbie Green Andersen and Pete Drake) / Time Run Like a FreightTrain (featuring Dan Fogelberg) / Wild Crow Blues (featuring Leon Russell andPete Drake)
The Blues Keep Fallin’ Like the Rain (featuring Tom Scott and MariaMuldaur) / Thirsty Boots (Live at the Bitter End) / Close the Door Lightly WhenYou Go / Violets of Dawn (Live at the Bitter End) / Messiah / Belgian Bar /Trouble in Paris / Hills of Tuscany (featuring Richard Thompson and RobertAaron) / You Can’t Relive the Past (featuring Lou Reed) / Rain Falls Down inAmsterdam / Keep This Love Alive / Driftin’ Away (featuring Rick Danko) /Foghorn / Salt on Your Skin (featuring Inge Andersen and Michele Gakich) /Don’t It Make You Wanna Sing the Blues (Live featuring the Spoonful of BluesBand) / Under the Shadows (featurin