GHS 24216 Mosquitos
Produced by Joe Chiccarelli and Stan Ridgway
Released on 1989
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
GHS 24216 cover
[high resolution scan]

I Ďve got the itch for more Stan Ridgway after hearing this one. Mosquitos isnít much different than what I expected after hearing Call of the West, only better than I expected. The opening overture, ďHeat Takes A Walk,Ē warns you that big ideas are afoot. From there, itís a series of vignettes from Lonely Town, filled with character sketches of drunks, pessimists, adulterers and thieves. The same sort of born losers youíd encounter along Interstate 15, only painted lovingly with lush and atmospheric arrangements. Thatís the surprise I didnít expect: that the dry Ridgway could make such a musical album. Thereís even a soft side exposed on slightly optimistic tracks like ďA Mission In LifeĒ and ďNewspapers.Ē Where to pigeonhole Stan (and we must, we must) is tricky: noirish narrator, social satirist, adult artist would all describe the man behind the mosquito netting. This is what I would expect if Stan Ridgway and Joe Jackson made an album together, so is Stan grown up or just taking himself more seriously? Probably both. Now Iíve read some of the buzz on Mosquitos and, while I understand their enthusiasm, youíd have to live in a pretty small world to think this is a masterpiece. Itís intelligent, professional, high-minded as popular music goes and perhaps as elevated a musical discussion as an idiosyncratic artist like Ridgway will have with his audience. Useless conjecture on my part, since I havenít heard the other Ridgway albums (yet). However, I suspect after listening to Seven Days In Sammystown that Iíll redirect my attention to Ridgway. He seems to have taken all the marbles with him, and I know that Mosquitos wonít fade on the figurative windowsill like other ancillary adventures (Jerry Harrison, Ric Ocasek). If you enjoy the solo music of Donald Fagen or JJís later adventures (Big World and beyond), this is definitely worth a flyer.

GHS 24216 back cover GHS 24216 lyric sleeve
GHS 24216 back cover GHS 24216 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. HEAT TAKES A WALK    2:43
  2. LONELY TOWN    4:09
  3. GOIN' SOUTHBOUND    4:42
  4. DOGS    4:05
  5. CAN'T COMPLAIN    3:49
  6. PEG AND PETE AND ME    4:41
  7. NEWSPAPERS    2:41
  8. CALLING OUT TO CAROL    4:04
  9. THE LAST HONEST MAN    4:01
  10. A MISSION IN LIFE    5:53

    All songs by Stanard Ridgway

CREDITS

STAN RIDGWAY -- vocal, acoustic piano, harmonica, lead guitar, insects, "twang" guitar, keyboards, piano accident, ectoplasm, tin cup
JOSEPH BERARDI -- drums, percussion, wildlife, marimba, congas, ratchet, accordion
TIM LANDERS -- acoustic bass, fretless bass
JIM LANG -- keyboards, Hammond organ, synth bass, drum programming, keyboard and computer programming, vibraharp
STEVE REID -- percussion, congas, wildlife, conch shell, bongos
PIETRA WEXSTUN -- keyboards, cloudbursts, backing vocals
ERIC WILLIAMS -- mandolin, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar, ukulele, poi, bouzouki, electric sitar, hammer dulcimer
Tori Amos -- backing vocals
Gregg Arreuin -- electric guitar (6)
Steve Berlin -- saxophones (4)
Joe Chemay -- backing vocals
Denny Fongheiser -- drums (9)
Bruce Fowler -- trombone
Walt Fowler -- horns (9)
Steve Fowler -- horns (9)
Richard Greene -- electric violin
Larry Grennan -- backing vocals, weights and pulleys
Jim Haas -- backing vocals
Bernard Hall -- clavinet, keyboards, cloudbursts, time tunnel piano
Ken Jones -- additional tracking (5)
Jon Joyce -- backing vocals
Phil Kenzie -- saxophone (6)
Roger Kleier -- electric guitar (9)
Marty Kyrstall, John Kip -- woodwinds
Sid Page -- violin, concertmaster
Van Dyke Parks -- string arrangements
John Porter -- additional tracking (5)
Joe Ramirez -- bass, backing vocals
Marc Ribot -- electric guitar, electric ghost guitar
Paul Shure, Berj Garabedian, Ezra Kliger -- violins
Dan Smith, Roger Lebow -- cellos
Peter White -- accordion (7)
Csaba Petocz -- mixing
Peter Doell -- engineer
Gary Gersh -- executive producer
Scott Lindgren -- photography and cover concept
Gabrielle Raumberger and Sharon Cain -- design

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US 1989 Geffen LP/CS GHS/M5G 24216 lyric sleeve
UK 1989 I.R.S. LP EIRSA-1010 lyric sleeve
GER/NET 1989 I.R.S. LP 2410071  

 

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