Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings Natalie Merchant
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- 1San Andreas Fault04:49
- 2Beloved Wife05:26
- 5The Letter03:56
- 6Where I Go04:02
- 7I May Know the Word07:41
- 8Seven Years05:04
- 9Cowboy Romance06:07
Info for Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings
This collection of all-new recordings revisits Merchant's multi-platinum solo debut, Tigerlily, originally released in 1995 following her departure from 10,000 Maniacs.
Tigerlily was described by the New York Times in 1995 as 'an anomaly in a music scene in which reckless female performers reign supreme.' The album sold more than five million copies worldwide and featured the popular hit singles 'Carnival,' 'Wonder,' and 'Jealousy.' Paradise Is There presents the songs as they have evolved over the past two decades of live performance. Joining Merchant on the album, which she produced herself, are her long-time band members Gabriel Gordon (guitar), Jesse Murphy (bass), Uri Sharlin (piano & accordion), and Allison Miller (drums), as well as a string quartet—Scot Moore (violin), Shawn Moore (violin), Marandi Hostetter (viola), and Stanley Moore (cello)—plus Sharel Cassity (saxophone) and guest vocals by Simi Stone, Gail Ann Dorsey, and Elizabeth Mitchell.
'Tigerlily is the most significant album I've made because it defined me as an independent songwriter after 12 years in 10,000 Maniacs,' Merchant explains, 'It also created a bond between me and an audience that has supported and sustained me for 20 years. I decided to make the Paradise Is There album and film for them, to honor the journey that we, and these songs, have all taken. Songs have new life breathed into them every time they are sung. Time has changed them as much as it has changed me.' She continues, 'I wanted to record these songs again because it seemed unfair to confine them to the way that they were performed in the studio in 1995. They are so versatile, whether I strip them bare or enhance them with strings, and they lend themselves so well to re-arrangement.
'There are several songs from Tigerlily—'Carnival', 'Wonder', 'Beloved Wife', 'River', and 'Cowboy Romance'—that remain at the core of my live shows. They still have relevance to me and, by the response they receive, I can tell that they still resonate with my audience,' Merchant says. 'I've spent a full year preparing this album and film, and the process gave me a chance to take the measure of everything that's happened because of Tigerlily. The distance this music traveled once it left my hands is humbling, and I am moved by how many lives it has touched along the way.'
Natalie Merchant, vocals
Gabriel Gordon, acoustic & electric guitars, backing vocals
Uri Sharlin, piano, accordion
Jesse Murphy, acoustic & electric bass
Allison Miller, drums, percussion
Scot Moore, violin
Shawn Moore, violin
Marandi Hostetter, viola
Stanley Moore, cello
Sharel Cassity, tenor saxophone
Simi Stone, vocals
Gail Ann Dorsey, backing vocals (“Wonder“)
Elizabeth Mitchell, backing vocals (“River“, „Where I Go“)
Bella Blanko, backing vocals (“River“)
After rising to fame at the helm of the popular folk-rock band 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist during the mid-'90s. Her literate, socially conscious songs established her among the preeminent women in pop music, while her solo debut -- 1995's Tigerlily -- helped pave the way for a number of female performers in a pre-Lilith Fair market. She continued releasing albums well into the 2000s, often examining specific genres or subjects, although Tigerlily remained her biggest-selling record.
Born October 26, 1963, in Jamestown, NY, Merchant joined 10,000 Maniacs at the age of 17 and became the band's driving artistic force. After a pair of successful independent releases, they signed to Elektra in 1985 and briefly became one of the most popular acts in alternative rock, shooting into the Top 40 with 1987's In My Tribe and charting even higher with their follow-up effort, Blind Man's Zoo. Merchant's desire to launch a solo career increased alongside the band's growing reputation, however, and by the time the group sat down to record 1992's Our Time in Eden, she gave her bandmates two years' notice. Following the release of MTV Unplugged in 1994, she publicly announced she was leaving the group's ranks.
Merchant made her solo debut with 1995's Tigerlily, a self-produced album that debuted at number 13 and scored a Top Ten single with "Carnival." Two additional singles, "Wonder" and "Jealousy," also cracked the Top 40, prompting Tigerlily to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone. It was followed in 1998 by Ophelia, another platinum-selling effort that was supported by Merchant's inclusion in the second Lilith Fair tour. Live in Concert, recorded at New York's Neil Simon Theatre, appeared a year later. A prominent social activist, Merchant also drew notice by campaigning in the name of such hot-button issues as animal rights, domestic violence, and homelessness.
Merchant launched a folk tour in 2000, with members of progressive folk band the Horse Flies joining her on the road. She then returned to her solo career with Motherland. Two years later, Merchant left Elektra's roster and formed her own independent label, Myth America, in order to issue House Carpenter's Daughter, a collection of traditional and contemporary folk music inspired by the 2000 tour. A long period of silence followed, during which a pair of greatest-hits releases -- the 10,000 Maniacs collection Campfire Songs and Merchant's own Retrospective: 1995-2005 -- kept fans relatively sated. As the decade drew to a close, though, Merchant signed with Nonesuch Records and began making plans for a new album, which eventually arrived in the form of 2010's Leave Your Sleep. (All Music)