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The Collected Works of the Roches (2006 Remastered)

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Album Review

The Collected Works of the Roches includes samples from a handful of the Roches' albums, not every single song in their oeuvre. But perhaps Collected Works sounded better than "Greatest Hits" — since there weren't any — or "Best of the Roches." No matter. The Collected Works of the Roches is jammed full of the kind of fun, quirky, and pretty songs one expects from Suzzy, Terre, and Maggie Roche. Early songs like "Hammond Song," "Mr. Sellack," and "The Married Men" show off the sisters' lovely harmony while retaining room for individual idiosyncrasies. And while this mixture of the ethereal and the peculiar only caused a small splash in the big pond in 1979, it did ripple out to other vocal folk groups in the '80s. As the Roches moved into the '80s, they continued to grow, first electrifying their arrangements on Nurds in 1980, and then by tackling demanding pieces like "The Hallelujah Chorus." The bigger arrangements, however, begin to seem like a detriment by 1985's Another World. One gets the impression that the gals were trying to compete with the Manhattan Transfer, and one longs for the simpler folk sound of their earlier material. The Collected Works nonetheless offers an engaging portrait of three sisters from their roots at Folk City in the '70s to their artistic maturity in the '90s. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Formed: 1978 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Noted for their lush harmonies, quirky songs, and impressive stylistic range, the three Roche sisters -- Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy -- were among contemporary folk music's most endearing artists. The Roches began singing together while growing up in New York during the late '50s and early '60s, taking to the streets of the city each holiday season to regale passersby with Christmas carols. At the end of the decade both Maggie (the oldest) and Terre (the middle daughter) quit school to begin touring...
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The Collected Works of the Roches (2006 Remastered), The Roches
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