Outside Looking In is the BoDeans second studio album, and was released in 1987. It was produced by Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads. This text has been derived from Outside Looking In (album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0
The BoDeans are a rock band formed in Waukesha, Wisconsin in 1983 by Kurt Neumann (vocals & electric guitar) and Sam Llanas (vocals & acoustic guitar). In 1985, after adding a drummer and a bassist, the band signed a contract with Slash Records and recorded their first album. Early on, the BoDeans' sound was largely influenced by roots rock and heartland rock, but they soon moved more into the genre of alternative rock. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band had several singles in the top 40 "mainstream rock" charts. In the mid-1990s, the band had two top 10 songs in the "Adult contemporary" charts. The band is best known for their 1993 song "Closer to Free" which was featured as the theme song of the TV series Party of Five.
The original duo of Kurt Neumann (vocals & electric guitar) and Sam Llanas (vocals & acoustic guitar) started writing songs together after Llanas left college shortly after graduating from high school in 1979. added Guy Hoffman (drums) in 1984. The original name of the band was Da BoDeans. After the trio became a popular band on Milwaukee's East Side music scene, they decided to add Bob Griffin (bass), whom Neumann and Llanas had met while roadies for his band "The Agents" in high school. In 1985 the quartet signed a contract with Slash/Warner Records and shortened their name to simply BoDeans. Under the guidance of producer T-Bone Burnett, they entered Hollywood's Sunset Sound Factory in October to record their first album. The critically acclaimed debut Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams was released in 1986. Later that year, drummer Guy Hoffman left the band. Since his departure, the band has not retained a permanent drummer for any longer than 5 years.
Rise in popularity
In January 1987, a Rolling Stone reader poll voted them Best New American Band. Their second album, Outside Looking In, was released later that year. Produced by Jerry Harrison of The Talking Heads, the album featured a more 80's-rock sound unlike its roots-influenced predecessor. The album's lead single, "Only Love", made #16 on the US Mainstream Rock charts. In support of the album, the band toured extensively with U2 on their Joshua Tree tour, increasing their fanbase. Drummer Bo Conlon and keyboardist Susan Julian toured with the band throughout the rest of 1987.
In 1989, the band released their third album, titled "Home". Produced by Jim Scott, the album was more reminiscent of their rootsy debut, but showed a diverse range of influences including motown, U2-inspired arena rock, and heartland rock. This album was also the first with keyboard player Michael Ramos. Drummer Kenny Aronoff (best known for his work with John Mellencamp) also played on the album.
In 1991, the band began recording with David Z. (producer of Prince), and released their 4th studio album "Black And White" that year. The album's sound was a sharp turn from most of their previous efforts, with more emphasis on synthesizers, drum machines, and processed guitar sounds. Though not a single, the album's first track "Good Things" received decent radio airplay. The rebellious and political "Black, White, and Blood Red" was the only single released from the album, though did not perform well in comparison to their previous songs on the charts.
"Closer to Free"
For their 5th album "Go Slow Down" in 1993, the band reunited with T-Bone Burnett and took a more homemade approach with Kurt and Sam playing most of the instruments themselves. Unlike their previous album, "Go Slow Down" was based more on alternative and acoustic rock. The first song from the album, "Closer to Free", brought them to a much larger audience after it was selected as the theme song to the TV series Party of Five. The band would return in 1999 to perform a cover of The Beatles's "I've Just Seen a Face" as the theme song for the show's short-lived spinoff Time of Your Life. Due to the newfound exposure, "Closer to Free" became the group's biggest pop hit, peaking at #16 on the U.S. Hot 100, three years after its release. "Closer to Free" was also the opening song used in the movie Heavyweights.
Hiatus and solo efforts
In 1995, Joe Dirt Car, a 2 CD live set, was released. The album included live tracks recorded between 1989 and 1995, some of which were acoustic. In 1996, the band released "Blend". This album expanded upon Go Slow Down's alternative rock guitar-driven sound, though it has sometimes been regarded by fans as their weakest album. The song "Hey Pretty Girl" was used in an episode of Dawson's Creek. The band took some time off in the late 1990s so Neumann and Llanas could record solo albums. Sammy created the band Absinthe and their album A Good Day To Die. Kurt released his solo album called Shy Dog on which he plays all the instruments. Neumann said that they decided to stick with the BoDeans because they "realized that the sound we made together was bigger than the sound we made apart." In 2001, the 17-song compilation The Best Of BoDeans - Slash and Burn was released on London/Slash/Rhino.
In 2004, the band returned with their long-awaited 7th album Resolution, released on Rounder/Zoe. Being their first album in 8 years, it was well received by fans. A live album recorded during the Resolution tour was released in 2005, entitled Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst. The group released the DVD for Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst at the end of 2005. In January 2006, Bob Griffin left the band for personal reasons. During this time, the band was involved in a lawsuit for nearly 5 years against their former manager Mark McCraw over copyright and contract disputes. The case was settled in 2007.
The BoDeans released their new album, entitled "Still", on March 4, 2008. Produced again by T-Bone Burnett, the album moved away from the modern rock sound of their previous albums and was more reminiscent of their heartland-esque sound of the late 80's. The song "Pretty Ghost" from the new album "Still," became a single as of February 12, 2008. It was stated that the first 15,000 copies of "Still" had some errors in the lyrics booklet. The record company recently re-released the album with the corrections in the booklet. Recently, a live, acoustic CD became available on The BoDeans Official Website. It was recorded in Schaumburg and Arlington Heights, Illinois, the 16, 17, and 18 of November 2006. It features only Sammy, Kurt, and Bukka, and has 13 rare live, acoustic songs.
The BoDeans' 9th studio album, Mr. Sad Clown, was released on April 6, 2010. As in their 1993 release, the duo produced and played all instruments on the album themselves in Kurt's home studio. Their song "Headed for the End of the World" was used in the antiwar documentary film "Countdown to Zero".
bodeans1986.jpgthumb250pxrightBoDeans in 1986 (left to right: Bob Griffin, Guy Hoffman, Sam Llanas, Kurt Neumann)
*Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (1986) US #115
*Outside Looking In (1987) US #86
*Home (1989) US #94
*Black and White (1991) US #105
*Go Slow Down (1993) US #127
*Blend (1996) US #132
*Resolution (2004) US #196
* Mr. Sad Clown (2010) U.S. #172
*Joe Dirt Car (1995) (2 CD live set) US #161
*Slash and Burn (2001) (Best of)
*The Leftovers (2003) (Rarities collection)
*Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst (2005) (2 CD live set)
* Homebrewed: Live from the Pabst (2005) (DVD)
* She's a Runaway (1986)
* Fadeaway (1986)
* Only Love (1987)
* Dreams (1988)
* Good Work (1989)
* You Don't Get Much (1989)
* Good Things (1991)
* Black White & Blood Red (1991)
* Closer to Free (1993)
*A Good Day To Die (1998) (Absinthe/Sam Llanas solo project)
*Shy Dog (1999) (Kurt Neumann solo project)
ReferencesThis text has been derived from BoDeans on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0