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The Roches

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Album Review

Having already made a few records in the early '70s, Roche sisters Maggie and Terre — along with younger sibling Suzzy — resumed recording as the Roches in 1979. The group's mischievous and highly original folk blend of barbershop, doo wop, Celtic, and bluegrass styles found its watermark with this eponymous debut, which features the pithy, tongue-in-cheek lyrics of Maggie and Terre. Aided by bassist Tony Levin and guitarist Robert Fripp — who also produced — the trio ranges from the wry resume-in-song opener "We" to the impressionistically feminist closer "Pretty and High." In between, there's talk of family, work, boyfriends, travel, and married men, all enveloped in a mix of airy acoustic guitars, limber harmonies, and rotating vocal leads. Highlights include "The Train," "Hammond," and "The Troubles."

Customer Reviews

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Clear, pure voices, harmonies and lyrics that amuse, delight and touch in so many (often surprisingly intimate) ways. This is one of those albums that has never been far from hand, originally as a vinyl record, as a cassette in the car and now on the iPod. No music collection should be without this little gem.

Joy through singing

Like a previous reviewer, I have owned this album in vinyl and tape. How I missed it until I downloaded the digits! I sang along all the words and music pretending I was as good as these ladies. The close harmonies delight and the words deliver a frisson of excitement. If hesitating to download, hesitate no longer.

Stunning Vocal Harmony

This is my favourite group of all time and certainly one of their best albums. The Roches always have the ability to surprise, even shock but their vocal harmonies are heavenly and lifting no matter how joyful, irreverent or sad the lyrics or chord structures. Rhythms crisp and tight, the notes hit that spot in the brain that makes them addictive and totally absorbing. I never tire of this album that I also have owned in vinyl and CD format. I love them live too, if ever you get the chance - go before they retire, don't let them retire.

Biography

Formed: 1978 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '10s

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...
Full bio