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Affordable Art

Steve Goodman

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Album Review

Steve Goodman launched his own record label, Red Pajamas Records, with the release of Artistic Hair, a live album, in March 1983. Of course, a record label needs more than one record, and Goodman followed ten months later with the second Red Pajamas release, Affordable Art. Unlike its predecessor, which consisted largely of vintage material, Affordable Art introduced new Goodman songs, although it also mixed in older tunes. "Talk Backwards" was a novelty repeated from Goodman's final major label outing, 1980s Hot Spot. "Souvenirs" found Goodman in duet with his pal John Prine on one of Prine's old songs. And "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was, of course, the ageless sports anthem, which served as a set-up for "The Dying Cub Fan's Last Request," Goodman's humorous rewrite of "St. James Infirmary" as the funeral plans of an adherent of one of the most hapless teams in baseball history. Complicating the comedy of the song, one of four on the disc recorded live, was Goodman's own status, not only as a Cubs fan, but also as a cancer patient whose recent career had been complicated by medical treatments; indeed, Affordable Art would be his last album released during his lifetime. It was typical of the singer/songwriter, however, that he would offer such gallows humor, which could also describe "Watchin' Joey Glow," a post-apocalypse tale. "Vegematic," the nightmare story of a man who falls asleep in front of the TV one night and wakes up to find he has ordered every one of those special offers that turn up on late-night commercials with 800 numbers, wasn't quite so morbid, but it was no less funny for that. And typically, Goodman also found time for a tasty instrumental ("If Jethro Was Here") and for a sentimental ballad concerning family, in this case, his grandparents ("Old Smoothies"). His last album, therefore, was a characteristic one, amusing and moving by turns.

Customer Reviews

Go Cubs

I love this song..just listen to the lyrics and you will know what I mean..also listen to "Go cubs go" by Steve goodman

My request...

Is that he were still alive! His songs on his album are great! To bad there aren't more reviews. A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request is definately my favorite song on this album!

Chicago shorty was the best!

Souvenirs with John Prine is one the best duets never known. The lack of air time for Goodman and Prine is a crime. Do yourself a favor and listen to the little known 'b - side ' songs and you will discover a treasure. It will make 'modern ' music sound over produced, and you will miss Steve as much as I do.

Biography

Born: July 25, 1948 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

Growing up in what he called "a Midwestern middle-class Jewish family," Steve Goodman began playing the guitar as a teenager. He was influenced by the folk revival of the early '60s and by country performers such as Jimmie Rodgers and Hank Williams. After attending college in the mid-'60s, he turned to playing in Chicago clubs by night and writing commercial jingles by day. In 1971, he opened for Kris Kristofferson and was seen by Paul Anka, who financed demo recordings that led to a contract with...
Full Bio
Affordable Art, Steve Goodman
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