LOS ANGELES, Calif. – As 10,000 Maniacs prepare to celebrate their 35th anniversary this year, they’re still doing what they do best, Playing Favorites. On June 3, 2016, Omnivore Recordings will release a live recording of their best-known songs, drawn from all eras of their multi-platinum career. While the album will be available physically and digitally worldwide, the band is offering pre-orders, as well as rare and exclusive items via a PledgeMusic campaign at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/10kmaniacslivealbum.
Formed in 1981 in Jamestown, N.Y., 10,000 Maniacs struggled until their first full-length album release was spun on BBC Radio 1 by legendary DJ John Peel, giving the band their first minor U.K. hit, “My Mother the War” and enabling them to tour overseas behind it. Their major label debut, The Wishing Chair, was produced by another legend, Joe Boyd, and released to much critical acclaim. However, it was the Peter Asher-produced follow-up, In My Tribe, that went double-platinum in the U.S. and yielded the first of a string of radio hits with “Like the Weather.” Subsequent releases Blind Man’s Zoo, Our Time in Eden, MTV Unplugged and Love Among the Ruins sent more songs up the charts, most notably “These Are Days” and the Bruce Springsteen/Patti Smith-penned “Because the Night.”
The mid-’90s through much of the next decade was marked by line-up changes and breaks for other projects, but the core members remained intact. Now with renewed purpose, 10,000 Maniacs return full force, reminding us of their storied past while they chart a new course and celebrate their 35th anniversary. Recorded before an adoring crowd in Jamestown, Playing Favorites features 14 tracks, including hits and fan favorites from the group’s storied and influential career. The six-piece core (Jerome Augustyniak, Dennis Drew, Jeff Erickson, Steven Gustafson, John Lombardo, and Mary Ramsey) is augmented by strings, horns, and backing vocalists, making their lush sound even fuller and more engaging. A full-color digipak and booklet only adds to the magic.
The album spans from 1983’s independent Secrets of the I Ching to 1987’s In My Tribe to 1993’s triple platinum MTV Unplugged (which featured the Billboard #11 single “Because the Night”) and beyond.
The band’s studio releases have featured revered producers including Paul Fox (XTC, Robyn Hitchcock), Fred Maher (Lou Reed), Joe Boyd (Nick Drake, Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention), and Peter Asher (JD Souther, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor).
According to Maniac Dennis Drew, “We are thrilled to release a recording that represents 10,000 Maniacs’ true live sound. The MTV Unplugged (1993) record was an acoustic record. This is really what we sound like. A rock band. The energy in that room was electric. We killed it. Enjoy!”
As the Maniacs continue their Greatest Hits Live tour this summer, devotees in cities across the country will be able to experience them in concert. Those who can’t be there don’t have to miss the show: Every 10,000 Maniacs fan can be Playing Favorites — at home.
1. What’s the Matter Here?
2. Like the Weather
3. Love Among the Ruins 4. Trouble Me
5. More Than This 6. Can’t Ignore the Train
7. Stockton Gala Days 8. Because the Night
9. Rainy Day
10. Candy Everybody Wants
11. My Sister Rose
12. Hey Jack Kerouac 13. These Are Days
14. My Mother the War