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The Wishing Chair

10,000 Maniacs

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

With post-punk energy and oddly antique charm, 10,000 Maniacs cut through the synthesized haze of the mid-‘80s on The Wishing Chair. The band drew upon such disparate influences as African juju music, British folk and American garage rock to fashion their sound here; guitarist Robert Buck juxtaposed chiming lead lines with hellacious feedback washes, while organist Dennis Drew’s stately organ harkened back to the Band’s Garth Hudson. But what gives the album its special brilliance are the strikingly lucid lyrics and enraptured singing of Natalie Merchant. Her persona — at once innocent and visionary — brings focus to these sinister small-town scenes, eerie childhood reveries and poignant family vignettes, illuminating songs like “Can’t Ignore the Train,” “Cotton Alley” and “Tension Makes a Tangle.” Merchant leads her bandmates through serene cemeteries (“Lilydale”), across blasted vistas (“Grey Victory”) and into the thick of raw combat (“My Mother the War”) with equal aplomb. Crisply produced by Joe Boyd (of Fairport Convention renown), The Wishing Chair is a mesmerizing work of American Gothic musical art.

Customer Reviews

Best One

I've owned all the 10K Maniacs albums and this is my standout favorite. Good songwriting. Great music. Energy! Not brooding and melancholy and beat-you-over-the-head-with-message like it got later on (especially on Blind Man's Zoo). They recovered somewhat with Eden but then Natalie left and that was pretty much that. Back O' The Moon is my favorite song. This one also has a unique sound not found on the others... organs and small stringed instruments that make it bright and strong, much like Natalie's voice.

One of their best

No 'In My Tribe' but very good and definitely their most underrated album. 4 of the best songs on the album- Grey Victory, Daktari. My Mother the War, and Tension Makes a Triangle -are updated versions of early recordings that were later released on the rarities comp album 'Hope Chest.' Lilydale and Among the Americans are 2 other favorites on this album.

I can't believe...

that noone has reviewed this album. Am I missing something? This my favorite 10,000 Maniacs record. It's just beautiful everywhere and I don't think they ever surpassed it's beauty & charm.

The Wishing Chair, 10,000 Maniacs
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Customer Ratings