Like many people I know approximately two things about Edie Brickell. She’s married to Paul Simon (the little one out of that famous boy band) and she’s just released an album with Steve Martin (the one with the hat in ‘The man with two brains’).
The other thing I know about Edie is that her album with New Bohemians ‘Ghost of a dog’, released in 1990 is so good that it’s what I like to refer it as a ‘two-formater’. In other words I own it on two formats, in this case vinyl and cassette tape. It lives in my collection with many other ‘two-formaters’, such as our recent experiment subject, Danny Wilson’s ‘Be Bop Moptop’, Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’, Jonathan’ Richman’s ‘Back in your life’ and The Human League’s ‘Dare’ to name just a few. I’ve got some ‘three-formaters’ too, Prince’s fantastic ‘Sign ‘o’ the times’ being the first that springs to mind.
There are some brilliantly written ‘story songs’ on ‘Ghost of a dog’, such as ‘Carmelito’ where Edie tells us all about Carmelito and Vandito and how the latter slept with the former’s wife. I don’t think I’m spoiling anything if I tell you that one of theses two doesn’t make it through tom the end of the song.
Side 2 opens with the title track, where Edie recounts being puzzled after seeing and hearing an old dog that she ran over and buried years ago. Touching.
‘Strings of love’ apparently features a Mr John Lydon on background vocal. If you can hear him then you have better ears than I have. I sincerely hope that you do have better ears than I have, because one of mine sticks out a lot further than the other one.
The album’s two top tunes though, tucked part-way through the second side are the wonderful ‘Oak Cliff bra’ and the dark but beautiful ‘This eye’. On the former, Edie regales us with the tale of sitting on the front porch, in Oak Cliff, with her bra (which I think we can all relate to) and on the latter she explains how one eye looks with love and the other with judgement, and how she would like the sight to be taken out of one of them (but she doesn’t specify which, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions).
Incidentally, this album is credited to Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, rather than the New Bohemians. Presumably this allows Edie to work with any New Bohemians who turn up off the street, rather than with specific New Bohemians.
Label – Geffen
Year – 1990By the way, if you'd like to you can now purchase 'The great cassette experiment - The first 40 days' from Amazon for your Kindle (other e-readers are available but you can't get 'The great cassette experiment - The first 40 days' for them)