Review Revue: Daniel Johnston – 1990

Daniel Johnston - 1990

In the years I’ve been doing this series we’ve talked about Daniel Johnston a couple times, and we’ve talked about Shimmy Disc many (many, many) times – so isn’t it about time we hit both in one post? 1990 was the massively prolific singer-songwriter’s first album not to appear under the Stress label (which I think was what he just called the cassettes he made himself for the first several years of his career), and the first of two albums with the legendarily quirky Shimmy Disc. Some at KCMU seem to have mourned the increase in fidelity with this new, Kramer-produced effort, but it’s clear that the soul of Daniel Johnston still shone through.

“The big problem w/this LP is that it wasn’t recorded on a $2.00 cassette recorder – an essential part of a Daniel Johnston recording. The highlight of this LP is the cover of the Beatles’ ‘Got to Get You Into My Life.’ Possibly the best trashing of a Beatles song ever.”

“So it wasn’t recorded on a cassette recorder – the feeling is what counts and it’s all on here. P.S. Sound quality is still horrible.”

“Live + studio cuts… Daniel sings about God, love, death + Satan in his quirky but heartfelt style. Not great music, but a great deal of feeling makes this worth a spin.”

“I think the Butthole Surfers must have heard the end of ‘Don’t Play Cards w/ Satan.'” [Considering a Butthole Surfer produced his 1994 album Fun, I bet whoever wrote this was right.]

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