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Operators Are Standing By - The Essential Gary Lucas 1988 - 1996

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Album Review

Operators Are Standing By: The Essential Gary Lucas is a second collection of songs originally released on the Enemy label (the first was Level the Playing Field). Fortunately, despite being on two different labels, there is no overlap between these collections, and each is augmented by a couple previously unreleased tracks. As with any Gary Lucas release, there is a wide range of music presented, the common denominator being his virtuosic guitar playing. From the beautiful acoustic fingerpicking of "Fool's Cap" and Percy Grainger's "Children's March to the fried psychedelia of "Astronomy Domine" (a killer version), Lucas' guitar talents are undeniable and impressive. This would be a good place to start for anyone interested in Gary Lucas' music specifically, or for someone who's way into guitar in general.


Born: 1952 in Syracuse, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Gary Lucas was nine, his dad suggested he take up playing the guitar. Although he followed his dad's suggestion, Lucas focused more on the French horn that he played for his elementary-school band, and continued to play that instrument until getting kicked out of his high-school band. Lucas then focused wholly on the guitar, and played in various groups throughout the '60s. As a campus station music director during his second year at Yale, Lucas saw Captain Beefheart in concert and immediately...
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Operators Are Standing By - The Essential Gary Lucas 1988 - 1996, Gary Lucas
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