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Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
|1. Somethin' Hot|
|3. Uptown Again|
|4. Sweet Son Of A Bitch|
|6. Cito Soleil|
|7. John the Baptist|
|8. The Slide Song|
|11. The Vampire Lanois|
For close to a decade, Cincinnati-based alt-rock combo Afghan Whigs created music that hurt so good. Rooted in an emotive hybrid of self-loathing punk and exhibitionistic soul, the band's tunes writhed and roiled, cutting to the core of dysfunctional relationships. But after their bleak, bitter 1995 release, Black Love, was met with general disinterest, the discouraged band took four years off to reevaluate its art. 1965 indicates that if the Whigs were suffering identity crisis, they've certainly found themselves. Instead of wallowing or brooding, as they did on past efforts, the band struts and staggers lustfully, coming across with the drive and vibe of the Rolling Stones' hormone-fest Some Girls. Many songs on 1965 are augmented with braying horns, gliding strings, and jaunty piano, and the hedonistic mood clearly reflects the downtown New Orleans environment the record was created in. High points include the swarthy surge of "Something Hot," the torch-lighted drama of "Crazy," and the sleazy pulse of "66," which begins with a 23-second recording of one of frontman Greg Dulli's intimate encounters. --Jon Wiederhorn
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Top Customer Reviews
"1965" (11 tracks, 41 min.) finds Greg Dulli writing darker songs than ever, with great result. Recorded in New Orleans, it broods. The sound is opened up, with some horns (quite a change from the grunge sound of "Up in It" and "Congregation"). Somehow it all just mixes beautifully. There's really not a single bad song on the album, but if forced to select some highlights, my fave tracks include "Crazy", "Uptown Again" (a reference to "Uptown Avondale"?), "Neglekted" (no, not a typo), and the instrumental "The Vampire Lanois".
"1965" found zero commercial success, regretfully. It doesn't diminish from the album's greatness. And while we're at it, isn't it time for a Whigs' box-set treatment? The Whigs disbanded in 2001, and Greg Dulli has found new life with the Twilight Singers. Check out their excellent 2003 album "Blackberry Belle", in spirit an excellent follow-up to "1965".
The Stones comparisons are fully justified, as every one of these songs drips with the kind of sex, drugs, and 200-proof ego that Mick and Keith defined in their day. A great mid-party record.
(Sidenote: If I'm reading it right, "John the Baptist" is the most chilling [and, of course, catchy] song ever written about the weird sexual dynamics of a fundamentalist marriage. Dulli's voice drips with guilt and repression, but he still pulls off lines like "I got the devil in me" with irressistible danceability. Worth picking this album up just for this soon-to-be classic.)
but i got over it. this iteration of the whigs is more what-you-see-is-what-you-get. you don't have the complex beauty of "black love", or the intensity of "gentlemen." there's not a lot of subtlety here. this one's all visceral fun.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I love all of these albums, but "1965" is the one that I pop into the CD player most frequently. The lyrics seem a bit trite compared to the brooding "Black Love" and desperate "Gentlemen" - an acquaintance of mine, whom I forced to listen to "1965," called it a "40-minute pick-up line," which probably isn't far from the truth. But frankly, I couldn't care less, because this album has that indescribable groove that compels you to shake your ass and sing along. Many musical elements absent in past Whigs recordings - the sultry female backup singers, screeching horns, all products of the New Orleans backdrop - shine through in "1965" and help Greg Dulli effortlessly channel the soul, funk, and R&B that came so naturally to the "Uptown Avondale" EP but were forcibly and often awkwardly incorporated into the "Black Love" recording sessions.
Words can only describe these intangible feelings so much. Just listen to the album and wait for those moments of transcendence, like the soaring chorus to "Uptown Again," or when the female vocalist coos alongside the mantra "I've got the Devil in me, girl" on "John the Baptist," or Greg Dulli's anguished "yeah, yeah, yeah" as his voice drowns amidst the squealing horns and careening guitars in the final minute of "Omerta." There's nothing like 'em on any of the other Whigs releases, and that's why "1965" is their standout record.
Picture this - it's 1998, and the kind of bleak alt-rock that your band has specialized in for the past decade isn't exactly in fashion anymore. Facing sagging sales and general public distinterest, what do you do? Reinvent your sound in favor of something passionate, soulful, swaggering, confident, unique, intelligent and real.
Ten years later, I was in a record store chatting with some folks I know who work there. One of them puts on some early Afghan Whigs, which reminds me that I used to listen to this band way back when but have since lost touch. So I go home and take a look at their catalogue on amazon, and figure I'll order this one because of some of the reviews it received. Back then, just a few weeks ago, this CD was in-print (looks like for some reason it's not now - an injustice to the music-listening public for sure). A few days later it came in the mail. I put it in the player and was absolutely blown away.
This is unlike anything I have ever heard before - a perfect synthesis of raucus hard-edged alt-rock and pure, classic soul (complete with keys and female backup singers, sometimes even horns). It has a huge, wide sound as deep in breadth and scope as a U2 record. Greg Dulli struts and swaggers across the front, he's overtly lustful while recognizing the complexities of romantic liaisons. It's that duality which gives his performance character - instead of wallowing in self-pity he carries himself with the confidence of the man of the world we all know he was/is. Plus the sax solo on "John The Baptist" just kills me. I can't believe anyone could not appreciate this record - there is just so much going on.
I wish I had discovered this one when it was new, but it really doesn't matter - it's sound is timeless and will always be fresh. It's a pity that this band broke up after the release of this record, but then perhaps this was a one-time-only creation, a moment in time that can't be replicated. Whatever the case this carries my highest recommendation.
After several albums mining such dark subjects chronicling love gone bad, addiction, murder, remorseful sex, and generally living the life of a modern American male Tarintino style, the boys are back with a collection of tracks that are, for a lack of a better term, light hearted. I mean, they're actually having fun here, without all that downer self-torture business (okay, maybe there's a bit of that, but it's way muted). Production values are high. Soulful background vocals, ballsy horns, and winning arrangements; this LP absolutely shines.
I know I'm gonna take a lot of flak for the following closing comment, but honestly, this is the album the Rolling Stones _wish_ they recorded.