REVIEW
VARIOUS ARTISTS
"Closed On Account Of Rabies"
(Poems and Tales by Edgar Allan Poe)
2xCD/Cass
[1997 Mouth Almighty Records]


Woah!, what a line up of performers.. such a long and wonderful spoken journey they take us on..ah.. MARIANNE FAITHFULL starts with dark twisting into "Alone", setting the mood.. later she also reads and verbally dances through "Annabel Lee". Next the classic, the epic, "The Raven" told to us by the sarcasticly dry voice of CHRISTOPHER WALKEN..causeing a well spring of images, dark and believible... next, my favorite, IGGY POP, living the horror of "The Tell-Tale Heart"... the jumpy, street toned sarcasm that Iggy's voice holds, was awsome for this piece... then, soothing, from the dark corner of the room, the creeping, captivating master story teller KEN NORDINE takes us thru the tale of "The Conqueror Worm" as such ONLY he can. Like darkness itself, the coaking to life of the demonic vocal chords of DIAMANDA GALAS, sends chills across the body and down the spine..her rendition of "The Black Cat" is exquisitely delivered and seductive like, as i said, darkness itself. But beware this piece is epic. After a spoken century, next came GAVIN FRIDAY, former vox for UK gothic band, VIRGIN PRUNES, reading "For Annie" and unfortunatly coming off like he should be reading over the Moody Blues...but it works as a great lead into the strange psyschedelic rock versions of "To Helen" and "The Haunted Palace" done by ex-FUG, professional 60's throwback, ED SANDERS, which are boring and hard to listen to.. then stepping back into the fold of things, JEFF BUCKLEY gives a great minstral's reading of "Ulallume", his voice swaying in the rythym of the Dark One's ballad. Crawling up from the depths of someplace came the voice of DR. JOHN, the night tripper.. reading a version of "Berenice" that could put Tom Waits out of work. Ex-Blondie, DEBORAH HARRY is joined by the JAZZ PASSENGERS for a performance of "The City & The Sea"...in a showtune sort of style.. it very much reminded me of Webber/Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar quite alot with the way it was done. Then more Marianne Faithfull.. as a guy i know from L.A. says.. "ooohhh MARIANNE..", just sweet she is. GABRIEL BYRNE reads "Masque of Red Death" as it was a 40's radio show.. blended with more of the English gothic spookyness that Mr. Friday showed earlier, but with much more acting in the voice, causing a huge difference. the tapes i got come to an end with an excerpt of ABEL FERRARA reciting, once again, "The Raven", but this time as a Stand-Up Act.. it really didnt make me laugh, i guess you had to be there. BUT though all and all, each of these performances, the outstanding and the not so outstanding, are graced with the glory of the one thing that gives them beauty and life.. the words of the master, the one true knower of all that is dark.. he who went and left tales of the blackest of paths.. EDGAR ALLEN POE.. if you are a fan of ANY of these artists.. this is a treat to hear them do something a little different for a change, i truly reccomend it, if you are a fan of the Old Dark One's words and stories, this is for YOU.

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