Curiosity Abounds: A Feelies Primer

Reading John Pareles’ article in the Times about The Feelies reunion shows this week (which says pretty much everything I would’ve said, but better and with quotes) I was a bit shocked to learn that their entire catalog is out of print. I’m actually not surprised about their 1986 comeback album, The Good Earth, which was on Twin Tone and has never seen much of a CD release (my copy, which I bought at Tower Records sometime in the ’90s, is licensed from some company called Suite Beat Music) but I am surprised about the three others — all of which got released (or reissued, in Crazy Rhythm‘s case) by A&M.

I like all their albums for different reasons: the frenetic energy of the well-named Crazy Rhythms with it’s super-clean guitar sound (the band plugged directly into the board… no miked amps); the folky, laid back Good Earth (produced by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck); Only Life, probably the most overtly Velvets-y album, their A&M debut which was also my real introduction to the band; and Time for a Witness which is frenetic and rocking and maybe the best thing they did.

Wariness over reunion shows kept me from buying a ticket to one of the Maxwell’s shows but I’m very excited about the 4th of July Battery Park show so kindly put on by the River to River Festival folks. If you are too but don’t have any of the Feelies records (or are really going to see Sonic Youth but would like to know more about the awesome opener) here’s a two-song-per-record career overview. I wouldn’t call it a definitive best-of, but it’s eight good ones for sure.

MP3: The Boy with Perpetual Nervousness

MP3: Original Love

MP3: On the Roof

MP3: The High Road

MP3: Too Far Gone

: Away

MP3: Sooner Or Later

MP3: Doin’ It Again

For more on the Feelies, the Trouser Press entry on the band is pretty informative. The best blog review I’ve read of their Maxwell’s shows has been the one by drummer Stanley Demeski’s daughter.


  1. I would've gone with "Slipping (Into Something)" from The Good Earth, (instead of "On The Roof"). Otherwise, an excellent primer. Nice job.

  2. I was slightly amazed to find you absent last night! It was incredible – truly. I think I'd forgotten just how teeny-tiny Maxwell's really is.

  3. You know… I an hesitant about all reunions, even the bands I really like, and I sat on it not buying tickets… and it sold out. (I am also kind of regretting not getting tickets for the Vaselines next week.) But I'm going to the 4th of July show.
    Glad to hear you went, Alexis!

  4. only life just got reissued. they had a whole bunch at easy street here in seattle. really wish someone would reissue the good earth!

  5. Any chance for a re-post on these? The links are all expired. I love the Feelies and obviously it's difficult sourcing their material.

  6. From a part of the curiosity projects this will be more easy to discuss such principles which are nearly believed to be true in all respect, hoping to see more ideas from nervousness to the classy. australian writing service

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