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Gretchen Goes to Nebraska

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Album Review

It seemed inconceivable that Houston's King's X would ever top the brilliance and originality of their debut, but 1989's Gretchen Goes to Nebraska did just that, taking their unique sound to unprecedented heights of invention and inspiration. With its interweaving vocals, ominous bass riff, and sitar flourishes, the dark "Out of the Silent Planet" truly sounds not of this earth. Even more stunning is the band's immediate about-face into the joyous gospel fervor of their signature song, "Over My Head," a celebration of music fit for any Sunday congregation. Anyone finding fault with the band's Christian beliefs will certainly be silenced by the televangelist-bashing "Mission" and the Galileo homage "Pleiades." And although the dreamy "Summerland" and the guitar-driven "Send a Message" are somewhat reminiscent of the first album's "Goldilox" and "King," respectively, each still stands on its own merits. The band's fantastic vocal harmonies lead the way on "Fall on Me" and "Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something," and "The Burning Down" provides a perfect, mysterious parting shot.

Customer Reviews

A Masterpiece

Like a lot of people I was introduced to King's X via MTV's Headbanger's Ball in 1989. While Seattle was churning out grungemasters who would later spawn the spin-off of numerous "angry white boy bands", King's X emerged as something toatally unique and creative. Somehow I had missed thier first release "Out of the Silent Planet", but Gretchen Goes To Nebraska would simply not be ignored. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It had been quite some time since I actually got excited about a band. It is rare that a band produces such a masterpiece on just thier second release. Gretchen Goes to Nebraska is great from start to finish. I think the "christian rock" tag alienated a lot of listeners. I also think it was unfair to the band to put them in that category. The band members are of Christian faith (or at least they were at the time of this recording), this was never meant to be an album for the Christian rock market. While some of the songs definately are connected with images and opinions of faith, this is not something you would find on the shelf at a bible book store. No, this is far from the style or target audience of bands like Petra and Stryper. This album was just as kick-a*s as anything the "metal gods" of the 80's were producing at the time, and just as deep an meaningful as any of the best prog rock legends.This album is at the top of my "desert island disc" list.

A Band's Band - A Brilliant Tape-CD-MP3 (I've had it a long time)

In an interview with Pearl Jam, bassist Jeff Ament credited King's X as the originators of grunge. During Collective Soul's heyday two of the bandmembers said that the highlight of their career to that point was getting to sign autographs in the same tent as King's X. That they've been ignored by the larger public is a travesty. And this, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, is their best album out of a catalog of great music.

A grungy, progressive (complex) combination, the album starts off with "Out of the Silent Planet," a funky track with harmonies and guitars that produces a brilliant, layered, smooth sound. Next comes "Over My Head," a song you just jam to. The best song is #3, "Summerland." The guitar is about as good as it gets - no chords through the verses or chorus - just straight jam. Let's skip a little: "I'll Never Be the Same" which hits about a 2.5 minute instrumental at the end. If you're not playing air guitar by the end of the song, you, my friend, do not appreciate music. You'll get bored if I describe everything.

If you like complex musicianship, lots of harmonies, without the polished sound of hair metal, you'll love this album. I don't know if I buy King's X created the grunge sound; I've always considered them progressive rock. But you can hear the influence they had on the other bands.

So, if you're looking for that quintessential album that led us from era to another - from hair metal to grunge, here's your album.


no long words .... simply the best album of my lifetime.


Formed: 1985 in Houston, TX

Genre: Rock

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

Few hard rock bands are as widely respected yet criminally overlooked as King's X. The trio (bassist/vocalist Doug Pinnick, guitarist/vocalist Ty Tabor, and drummer/vocalist Jerry Gaskill) seemed destined for the big time with their irresistible blend of melodic Beatlesque harmonies, metallic riffing, and prog rock detours, yet for reasons unknown, never truly broke through to a mainstream audience. Pinnick (b. September 3, 1950) first met Gaskill (b. December 27, 1957) when the duo was touring with...
Full Bio
Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, King's X
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Metal, Prog-Rock/Art Rock, Hard Rock
  • Released: Jun 19, 1989

Customer Ratings


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