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Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes
Studio album by John Fahey
Released 1964
Recorded 1963 in Berkeley, California
Genre Folk
Label Takoma
Professional reviews
John Fahey chronology
Blind Joe Death
(1959)
Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes
(1964)
The Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites
(1964)
Alternate Cover
Cover of the second 1967 release of the LP

Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes is a 1964 album by American fingerstyle guitarist and composer John Fahey. Various sources show either a 1963 or 1964 original release.

The original cover of Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes was simply a white cover with black lettering of the title. Subsequent reissues included Vol. 2 in the title. In 1967 Fahey re-recorded ten of the twelve songs for reissue. Takoma has reissued both the original recordings and the later re-recordings on a single CD.[1]

The liner notes are attributed to Chester C. Petranick (actually written by Fahey—Petranick was a music teacher from Fahey's youth)[2] and carry on the myth of Blind Joe Death:

"Blind Joe never sang. He had no voice. He had been struck blind and dumb at the age of three by a local member of the NAACP, for not complying with the organization's demand to learn bar chords and diminished augmented sevenths, so that he might disassociate himself from the myth of the Negro past. Here, thanks to the intensely personal stubborness [sic] of an old man who refused to bow to the dictates of crass commercialism and political interfuge, sat John Fahey at the feet of this old man, listening and waiting for his hands to be big enough to play the surrogate kithera as did his mentor. For in Blind Joe's music, the young white boy could discern a way in which he could express the intensely personal, bitter-sweet, biting, soul-stirring volk poetry of the harsh, elemental, but above all human life of the downtrodden Takoma Park people (volk)."[3]

Contents

Track listing

  • All times are from the 1964 version.
  • All songs written or arranged by John Fahey.
  1. "Sunflower River Blues" – 2:33
  2. "When the Springtime Comes Again" – 3:50
  3. "Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania/Alabama Border" – 6:58
  4. "Some Summer Day" – 3:20
  5. "On the Beach at Waikiki" – 2:55
  6. "Spanish Dance" – 1:53
  7. "The Downfall of the Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill" – 3:35
  8. "John Henry Variations" – 5:40
  9. "Take a Look at That Baby" – 1:25
  10. "Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Phillip XIV" – 2:28
  11. "America" – 7:52
  12. "Episcopal Hymn" (based on "At the name of Jesus" by Ralph Vaughan Williams) – 1:10
Death Chants, Breakdowns & Military Waltzes
Compilation album by John Fahey
Released February 2, 1999
Recorded 1964, 1967
Genre Folk
Length 78:35
Label Takoma
Professional reviews

Reissue track listing (1999)

  1. "Sunflower River Blues" – 2:33
  2. "When the Springtime Comes Again" – 3:50
  3. "Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania-Alabama Border" – 6:58
  4. "Some Summer Day" – 3:20
  5. "On the Beach at Waikiki" – 2:55
  6. "Spanish Dance Fahey" – 1:53
  7. "John Henry Variations" – 5:40
  8. "The Downfall of the Adelphi Rolling Grist Mill" – 3:35
  9. "Take a Look at That Baby" – 1:25
  10. "Dance of the Inhabitants of the Palace of King Philip XIV" – 2:28
  11. "America" – 7:52
  12. "Episcopal Hymn" – 1:10
  13. "Sunflower River Blues" – 3:19
  14. "When the Springtime Comes Again" – 4:53
  15. "Stomping Tonight on the Pennsylvania-Alabama Border" – 5:36
  16. "Some Summer Day" – 3:25
  17. "On the Beach at Waikiki" – 2:40
  18. "Spanish Dance" – 2:05
  19. "John Henry Variations" – 5:11
  20. "Take a Look at That Baby" – 1:25
  21. "America" – 5:00
  22. "Episcopal Hymn" – 1:22

Personnel

  • John Fahey – guitar
  • Nancy McLean – flute

References

External links

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