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Edgar Allen Poe Closed On Account Of Rabies Compilation

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 151.93
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 10 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Compilation
  • Label: Mercury
  • ASIN: B000003ZVR
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #333,563 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Disc: 1
1. Alone - Marianne Faithfull
2. The Raven - Christopher Walken
3. The Tell-Tale Heart - Iggy Pop
4. The Conqueror Worm - Ken Nordine
5. The Black Cat - Diamanda Galas
6. For Annie - Gavin Friday
7. To Helen - Ed Sanders
Disc: 2
1. The Haunted Palace - Ed Sanders
2. Ulalume - Jeff Buckley
3. Berenice - Dr. John
4. The City And The Sea - Deborah Harry and the Jazz Passengers
5. Annabel Lee - Marianne Faithfull
6. The Masque Of The Red Death - Gabriel Byrne
7. The Raven (excerpt) - Abel Ferrara

Product Description

One of the true marks of a horror artist is to create something that is at once completely terrifying and utterly fascinating. It's not about blood, guts, and gore, as anyone who's ever seen Psycho could tell you, but about suspense, story, and the characters themselves. Edgar Allan Poe's stories rank as some of the greatest horror ever written--and that's before the likes of Iggy Pop, Diamanda Galás, Abel Ferrara, and Christopher Walken (chilling, as he reads from "The Raven") got their hands--er, voices--on Poe's words. This two-disc compilation is a success if only for treating Poe's texts in the right manner, with subtle backing music and sounds and restrained, ominous performances from the readers (other fine readings come from Ken Nordine, Dr. John, and Jeff Buckley). One reason for the album's quality may be producer Hal Willner; if you enjoy this, you might also want to check out his work on Weird Nightmare: Meditations on Mingus, The Carl Stalling Project, Vol. 1, and Spare Ass Annie. --Randy Silver

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
These kinds of tribute albums are always tricky, even when they are just dealing with a musician's body of work. What Hal Willner has done on this two-CD set is amazing, though. To try to collect the pieces from Edgar Allan Poe's eclectic catalog of stories and poetry, find the write artists to read, sing, and/or interpret those works, and then to package it all appropriately was a major feat. Every track is not a five-star work, but the collection earns the five stars for sheer effort and uniqueness. From the cover art by Ralph Steadman, appropriately weird and spooky-looking, to the fabulous liner notes by Charles Baudelaire and Willner, himself, this CD set has been an indispensable part of my Grade 11 English (American Literature) curriculum since its release.
Everyone is going to have his or her favorite tracks/stories/poems, but here are mine:
1. Gabriel Byrne reading "The Masque of the Red Death" -- great accent, cool music and background noises; nicely understated, Byrne lets the story tell itself.
2. Diamanda Galas reading "The Black Cat" -- smoking five packs a day does pay off for some people. . . . I almost wet my pants when I first heard her read the opening line of the story.
3. Dr. John reading "Berenice" -- not the typical Poe selection, very cool New Orleans accent and grovely voice.
4. Iggy Pop reading "The Tell-Tale Heart" -- classic story, great voice and interpretation.
5. Marianne Faithfull reading "Alone" -- again, great voice and creepy effects.
I'm leaving out Ken Nordine, Jeff Buckley, and Christopher Walken, all of whom turn in outstanding performances.
Weak points aside, this CD earns five stars for the total package.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are a Poe fan, this is a must for your collection. The title, taken from a recent theory that Poe died of rabies contracted after a dog bite, is just the beginning of the creativity behind these CDs. Christopher Walken's reading of "The Raven" is second only to Vincent Price. Iggy Pop's rendition of "A Tell-Tale Heart" is chilling, to say the least, and is definitely worth getting the CDs for. I love listening to the stories and poems on a regular basis, and have a great time setting up the fog machine and blasting these CDs from my stereo on Halloween.
I also use this in my classroom every year. Poe, in general, is great for helping resistant students discover a love of literature and this CD is specifically responsible for creating readers out of some of my most unwilling students. While I am not too fond of the musical tracks on these CDs, my students enjoy them very much and they have inspired some of them to set Poe's work to their own music. All in all, I truly feel as if I've gotten my money's worth from these CD's and find them to be both enjoyable and useful.
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Format: Audio CD
Poe, in spite of the fame and adulation directed at him these days, has seldom been interpreted with any degree of success on either vinyl or CD. Basil Rathbone did a workman-like job with "The Masque of Red Death" decades ago, but even he fell short of the hysteria and ecstasy Poe should invoke. The CD under consideration, "Closed on Account of Rabies" (a silly title taken from a Sept. 15, 1996 NY Times story about a crackpot hypothesis regarding Poe's death), is mostly more of the same. Christopher Walken gives "The Raven" a rendition that sounds like an Umberto's Clamhouse wise guy on valium. Gabriel Byrne makes the aforementioned "Masque of Red Death" as much of a chore to hear as it must have been for him to record, and so it goes through much of the Poe repertoire covered here. So why does this disk have an honored placed in my collection? Due to the presence of one lone track, Diamanda Gal‡s' performance of "The Black Cat." Before you think me far too improvident with the coin of the realm, consider that the Gal‡s reading is over a half-hour in length (almost 37 minutes to be exact). In that time, one is transported on a greased chute straight into the 13th floor of Poe's darkness, dementia and obsession. Gal‡s' rendition of "The Black Cat" is as intense an excursion into the ambiance of homicidal insanity as one is likely to encounter this side of a jail cell. Even more gratifying to Poe scholars is the fact that Gal‡s groks Poe's bizarre but highly disciplined mentality. G.K. Chesterton said that madhouses were not stocked so much with empty-headed people as with people who think too much.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
This is a mixed bag all right, the most egregious negatives being perpetual freak-fringe figure Ed Sanders' ostenisble "songs", and Abel Ferrara's too-jokey "Raven". But -oh- Dr. John's reading of "Berenice" is sheer magic. This underrated tale in the Poe canon, of incestuous necrophile dental obsession is totally buoyed by the swampy southern stylings of music and voice. It's perhaps the best recording of a Poe story ever, and I'm a huge fan of the Vincent Price/Basil Rathbone recordings of the 1960s. Ken Nordine could read a cereal box and make it sound good; I wish he had a longer selection on this CD-set. Marrianne Faithfull croaks out "Alone" with that special vocal quality that only years of smoke, whiskey and drug abuse can engender. It's all peaks and valleys - but what peaks!
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