“T Shirt” by Loudon Wainwright III - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1976Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

By and large a full-blown band supports Loudon on his sixth offering – I’m extremely wary. To be fair, he doesn’t let me down and emerges with his rebel-cred intact. America’s gonna be 200 on the album’s opener, “Bicentennial”, which finishes off in a blaze of bombs from the sound-effects library; wey-hey, you can’t beat a bit of sarcastic patriotism. Half of America is alienated already, you’ve gotta admire Loudon’s balls. Stripped down to just he and guitar, “Reciprocity” finds our man in his natural habitat, with a cutting set of lyrics reflecting upon the age-old theme of the couple in a love-hate relationship, with colourful lines such as “he threw a tantrum and she threw an ashtray” and “he's into bondage and she's into revenge”. I can only hope no-one was hurt in the making of this song. Side 1 closes with the country drinking song “Wine With Dinner”, which is loose-caboose and punch-drunk, as if set in the very heart of the Christmas gathering and sung by your alcoholic Uncle; “Rudolph The Red Nosed Wino” gets me every time – it’s a must for any Christmas mixtape. Wainwright follows Guthrie and Dylan with an acoustic-talking-blues piece on “Talking Big Apple ‘75” – murder, rape, robbery, dog doo-doo, it’s all in there, warts and all. Talk about natural territory. He should do a full album like this. My man does take a miss-step next though with “Prince Hal’s Dirge”. In my imaginary fan letter of 1976 I wrote… “Dear Loudon, we’ve already got a Freddie Mercury. And he’s shite.” Thankfully, the recovery is immediate with the great 1-2 of “Just Like President Thieu”, an earnest acoustic-folk number in which Loudon equates the fallen Vietnamese dictator with his own status as an estranged husband, and “Wine With Dinner (Night Cap)” which seems to conclude, oh to hell with it, might as well get leathered again, and does so in a manner which leaves this listener with a smile on his face. That’s the LWIII effect for you…

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:58] 6.5.png Loudon Wainwright III - Bicentennial (Loudon Wainwright III) Songwriter
A2 [03:29] 6.3.png Loudon Wainwright III - Summer’s Almost Over (Loudon Wainwright III) Songwriter
A3 [02:34] 5.8.png Loudon Wainwright III - Hollywood Hopeful (Loudon Wainwright III) Folk
A4 [02:54] 6.9.png Loudon Wainwright III - Reciprocity (Loudon Wainwright III) Folk
A5 [03:53] 5.1.png Loudon Wainwright III - At Both Ends (Loudon Wainwright III) Cerebral Pop
A6 [04:09] 8.0.png Loudon Wainwright III - Wine With Dinner (Loudon Wainwright III) Country
B1 [03:47] 5.9.png Loudon Wainwright III - Hey Packy (George Gerdes) Country
B2 [02:37] 4.9.png Loudon Wainwright III - California Prison Blues (Loudon Wainwright III) Blues / Rhythm n Blues
B3 [03:33] 8.5.png Loudon Wainwright III - Talking Big Apple ‘75 (Loudon Wainwright III) Folk
B4 [04:13] 4.7.png Loudon Wainwright III - Prince Hal’s Dirge (Loudon Wainwright III) Soft Rock / A.O.R.
B5 [04:05] 7.5.png Loudon Wainwright III - Just Like President Thieu (Loudon Wainwright III) Folk
B6 [02:00] 7.8.png Loudon Wainwright III - Wine With Dinner (Night Cap) (Loudon Wainwright III) Country

© The Jukebox Rebel 2005-2020 All Rights Reserved