Daniel Johnston - 3 Original Homemade Cassettes - RARE
Three homemade Daniel Johnston cassettes recorded in 1982 and 1984 on "Stress Records" and "Stress Worldwide Communications" and distributed by K records in the late 80s. Don't Be Scared is from July of 1982. The What of Whom is from August of 1982 - both of these are by "Dan Johnston," so I guess he was feeling less formal in those days. Retired Boxer is from December, 1984. All of the cassettes have plastic cases with paste-on front and back covers. The paper has yellowed over time to some degree. The cassettes themselves are in great shape, having been played a few times each all those years ago and stored since. Back covers have track listings, cassettes themselves have handwritten labels.
From Trouser Press: "Between institutional stays for manic depression, pop savant Daniel Johnston has recorded a vast and remarkable body of inimitably ingenuous songs, using whatever resources were at hand: a dinky cassette machine or a 48- track studio, playing piano or guitar and singing in a boyishly vulnerable tremble. Equally disturbing in its weirdness and beautiful in its Beatlesque melodicism and loopy invention, Johnston's music is an extraordinary mixture of art and madness. But the fringe-weird product of a pitiable genius carries with it an uneasy air of freakshow exploitation. As difficult as it is to resist his innocent charms, it's no easier to view Johnston's cult- figure prominence (and short-lived major-label contract) without some concern.Born in California and raised in West Virginia, Johnston wound up in Austin, Texas, where he began recording and giving away homemade tapes at the beginning of the '80s; the local Stress label later distributed them as inexpensive cassettes with photocopied covers of his cartoons. The collections are wildly uneven: Songs of Pain is lucid, incisive and invigorating. On the other hand, Don't Be Scared is disjointed, a muddy transliteration of some fine songs. As musically accomplished and clear as Songs of Pain, the quietly harrowing and confessional The What of Whom rivetingly sets plaintive cries for help to tender melodies.
Retired Boxer is of generally high quality, with exemplary piano playing, a reminiscence about Daniel by an unidentified acquaintance, a Christmas greeting and the moving "I'll Do Anything but Break Dance for Ya, Darling.""
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