Face The Music

Nils Lofgren

Face The Music
  • Release Date: 05 Aug 2014
  • Label: FANTASY
  • Genre: OTHER
  • CAT # FAN-34731-00

    DISC ONE  
    1. See What A Love Can Do 5:01
    2. Everybody's Missin' The Sun 2:44
    3. Like Rain 3:40
    4. Outlaw 4:02
    5. If I Were A Song 3:10
    6. We All Sung Together 3:43
    7. Take You To The Movies Tonight 1:45
    8. White Lies 3:28
    9. Slippery Fingers 4:00
    10. Moon Tears 2:18
    11. Lost A Number 3:09
    12. Soft Fun 5:40
    13. Hi, Hello Home 2:29
    14. Love Or Else 3:40
    15. Sad Letter 3:11
    16. Ain't Love Nice 2:09
    17. She Ain't Right 3:27
    18. All Out 3:01
    19. Rusty Gun 2:20
    DISC TWO  
    1. One More Saturday Night 3:06
    2. If I Say It, It's So 3:03
    3. Can't Buy A Break 3:15
    4. Back It Up 2:23
    5. I Don't Want To Know 3:48
    6. The Sun Hasn't Set On This Boy Yet 2:48
    7. Rock And Roll Crook 2:53
    8. Two By Two 3:04
    9. Cry Tough 5:06
    10. It's Not A Crime 4:12
    11. Share A Little 5:13
    12. Can't Get Closer (WCGC) 3:43
    13. Mud In Your Eye 2:40
    14. I Came To Dance 4:30
    15. Home Is Where The Hurt Is 4:12
    16. Rock Me At Home 4:30
    17. You're The Weight 5:09
    18. Goin' South 4:59
    19. Incidentally... It's Over 4:08
    DISC THREE  
    1. No Mercy 4:06
    2. Shine Silently 3:34
    3. Steal Away 4:05
    4. I Found Her 3:33
    5. You're So Easy 6:20
    6. A Fool Like Me 3:09
    7. Night Fades Away 4:23
    8. Ancient History 4:51
    9. Sailor Boy 3:55
    10. Empty Heart 3:03
    11. Don't Touch Me 4:02
    12. I Go To Pieces 2:53
    13. Across The Tracks 2:52
    14. Daddy Dream 4:53
    15. Wonderland 3:32
    16. Room Without Love 3:03
    17. Confident Girl 3:06
    18. Into The Night 3:45
    19. Deadline 4:09
    20. Everybody Wants 3:42
    DISC FOUR  
    1. Secrets In The Street 4:03
    2. Big Tears Fall 6:07
    3. Dreams Die Hard 3:32
    4. Girl In Motion 5:51
    5. Walkin' Nerve 3:53
    6. Trouble's Back 5:20
    7. Bein' Angry 5:54
    8. Valentine 6:13
    9. A Child Could Tell 4:20
    10. You 3:30
    11. Shot At You 5:48
    12. Crooked Line 4:55
    13. Someday 5:32
    14. New Kind Of Freedom 3:41
    15. Drunken Driver 6:28
    DISC FIVE  
    1. Alone 6:09
    2. No Return 3:55
    3. Tender Love 8:40
    4. Dreams Come True 4:25
    5. Out Of The Grave 8:10
    6. Lion's Wake 2:19
    7. Damaged Goods 3:44
    8. Only Five Minutes 5:28
    9. Setting Sun 3:45
    10. Life 3:08
    11. Nothin's Fallin' 5:09
    12. Little On Up 5:02
    13. Blue Skies 4:02
    14. Black Books 5:46
    15. Man In The Moon 3:34
    16. Believe 3:47
    DISC SIX  
    1. Delivery Night 3:54
    2. Code Of The Road 4:52
    3. New Holes In Old Shoes 4:33
    4. Puttin' Out Fires 6:24
    5. I Found You 4:37
    6. Love A Child 2:59
    7. Driftin' Man 3:06
    8. Without You 3:43
    9. Heaven's Answer To Blue 4:17
    10. Seize Love 5:30
    11. Open Road 3:13
    12. Speed Kills 3:10
    13. I'm Buyin' 2:54
    14. The Wind 4:31
    15. We Got Guys 1:08
    16. Hard Lines 1:02
    17. Tears On Ice 4:47
    18. Misery 4:45
    DISC SEVEN  
    1. Like Rain 4:52
    2. The Star Spangled Banner 2:40
    3. In Your Hands 3:21
    4. Mr. Hardcore 5:09
    5. Tried And True 1:59
    6. Frankie Hang On 3:41
    7. Fat Girls Dance 4:39
    8. I Am A Child 3:12
    9. Mr. Soul 4:21
    10. World On A String 3:18
    11. Old School 3:12
    12. 60 Is The New 18 3:03
    13. Miss You Ray 2:39
    14. Amy Joan Blues 2:43
    15. Dream Big 4:30
    16. Irish Angel 5:12
    17. Ain't Too Many Of Us Left 4:42
    18. When You Were Mine 4:33
    19. Why Me 4:24
    20. Wreck On The Highway 4:36
    DISC EIGHT  
    1. Keith Don't Go 3:33
    2. Try 3:40
    3. Sing For Happiness 3:14
    4. Duty 3:30
    5. Sweet Four Wings 3:48
    6. Just To Have You 2:20
    7. I'll Arise 2:50
    8. Some Must Dream 4:47
    9. Stay Hungry 3:41
    10. Heaven's Rain 3:37
    11. Whatever Happened To Muscatel 2:50
    12. You In My Arms 2:50
    13. Here For You 3:38
    14. Hide My Heart 4:23
    15. Love Is….. 4:30
    16. Awesome Girl 3:36
    17. When You Are Loved 2:58
    18. Bullet's Fever 3:07
    19. Message (Big Country) 11:20
    DISC NINE  
    1. Beauty And The Beast 3:43
    2. You Are The Melody 3:25
    3. Tears Inside 3:32
    4. Face The Music 4:51
    5. I Don't Stand A Chance 3:31
    6. What Is Enuf?!! 4:02
    7. London 4:04
    8. Go Away 4:10
    9. Heart Like A Hammer 4:12
    10. True Love Conquers Legends 3:40
    11. Yankee Stadium 3:04
    12. Sad Walk 5:25
    13. Dalmatian 4:07
    14. I'm Coming Back 4:01
    15. Mad, Mad World 3:33
    16. Jhoon Rhee Ad
    17. It's Better To Know You 2:50
    18. Last Time I Saw You 2:04
    19. Mist and Morning Rain 2:52
    20. Miss You "C" 2:40
    21. Oh Holy Night 3:00
    DISC TEN  
    1. Windy (Flip Combo) 2:03
    2. Dream Big 5:20
    3. Too Many Miles 7:35
    4. Keith Don't Go 8:00
    5. Bein' Angry 5:52
    6. Shine Silently 6:58
    7. Big Tears Fall 5:30
    8. I Found You 6:00
    9. No Mercy 4:40
    10. Gun And Run 8:00
    11. See What Love Can Do 8:00
    12. If I Were A Song 3:10
    13. Slippery Fingers 4:20
    14. Like Rain 4:15
    15. Moon Tears 5:25
    16. I Came To Dance (Strathmore Jam) 11:50
    17. Everybody's Missin' The Sun 2:44
    18. Ain't Love Nice 2:30
    19. I'll Arise 2:35
    20. Nils Lofgren: The Art of Adapting 8:17

The stellar work of singer-songwriter-guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Nils Lofgren receives a comprehensive retrospective in Face the Music, a definitively annotated nine-CD/one-DVD boxed set that takes in Lofgren’s 45-year solo career, from Fantasy Records.

The collection’s music component, selected by Lofgren himself, comprises 169 tracks, stretching back to Lofgren’s early work with his Washington, D.C.-area band Grin, which he founded at the age of 17 in 1968, and surveying both his major-label solo albums and independent self-released music. Two of the CDs contain 40 previously unreleased tracks and rarities. The DVD features 20 video clips selected from a body of performances as diverse as Nils’ career.

A detailed, lavishly illustrated 136-page booklet, with an introduction by noted rock journalist Dave Marsh, contains Lofgren’s track-by-track commentary and personal reflections on his work, as well as his tours of duty as a sideman with such luminaries as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and Ringo Starr. The set also contains homages to Lofgren by such colleagues as Bonnie Raitt, Joe Walsh, Sting, Bono, and Paul Rodgers.

In its entirety, the set gives a full-length, intimately detailed picture of the performer Neil Young — who hired the 18-year-old Lofgren to play piano and guitar on After the Gold Rush in 1969 — calls “an inspiration to me for many years.” A true triple threat, Lofgren has distinguished himself as the writer of melodic, affecting, and hard-rocking songs, a sensitive and seemingly ageless singer, and a guitarist of incomparable power and imagination.

Lofgren says the project was initiated during a 2012 meeting with executives from Concord Music Group. “To my surprise, they said they wanted to do this boxed set, a retrospective of my entire 45 years, of my music,” he says. “That’s how the ball got rolling. The record company had their good ideas, and then they said, ‘It’s your boxed set, so you pick.’ They asked me to make the final choices and decisions, including every song.”

Lofgren selected his own personal favorites from his four albums with Grin (1970-73) and his highly praised solo releases for A&M, MCA/Backstreets, CBS, and Rykodisc (1975-1992), many of which had been allowed to go out of print during the compact disc era. He says, “If it takes 45 minutes of work on the Internet to find one track from 40 years ago, that’s not really available in my eyes.”

Selections include such Grin classics as “Like Rain,” “White Lies,” “Slippery Fingers,” and “Beggar’s Day” (the last of which he also recorded on Crazy Horse’s 1971 debut), plus solo gems like “Back It Up,” “The Sun Hasn’t Set,” “You’re the Weight,” “Incidentally … It’s Over,” and “Dreams Die Hard.” His collaborators include Young, Springsteen, Starr, Graham Nash, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, Buddy Miles, Aynsley Dunbar, and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter.

He also culled material from 10 unjustly overlooked albums issued since 1993 on his own Cattle Track Road Records imprint and sold via his web site, www.nilslofgren.com.

“The writing was on the wall,” Lofgren says, “and in the mid-’90s I realized, look, without some hit records and some power to throw your weight around with the companies, you’re lost. Thanks to technology, I realized, ‘Now is the time for me to walk away from that and put out music I’m proud of on a web site,’ which I’ve done for 20 years. At the end of the day, I’ve continued to make solo records and release them. The downside is that it’s very grass-roots, and a lot of people might not hear about it. The upside is I’ve kept that kind of artistic freedom that I got kind of spoiled with.”

Lofgren’s selection includes gripping tracks from his studio collections of original songs — Damaged Goods(1995), Break Away Angel (2001), Sacred Weapon (2006), and Old School (2011) — plus cuts from four live albums, the soundtrack to the 1993 film Every Breath, his all-instrumental release Tuff Stuff! The Best of the All-Madden Team Band (2001), and his recital of Neil Young songs The Loner (2008). Such stars as Willie Nelson, Graham Nash, David Crosby, Paul Rodgers, Foreigner’s Lou Gramm, and Sam Moore of Sam & Dave appear.

Lofgren says of the glittering group of musicians who lent their talents to his records, “Those were times that I don’t think can happen anymore. I look back and I’m quite amazed that I’ve been that blessed to make that kind of music with that cast of characters. Things like that are just magical. I never could have dreamed that they’d happen.”

Long-time Lofgren fans will find some delightful surprises on the two CDs of unissued material, which reaches back in time to his work with the pre-Grin band Paul Dowell and the Dolphin and includes rarities from the Grin era. He says, “The piece de resistance for me was finding an old master tape of Neil Young singing and playing piano on ‘Keith Don’t Go’ with Grin, and getting his permission to use it after we remixed it.”

As revealing as the music are Lofgren’s personal recollections in the set’s generous booklet, which looks at his life from his days as an accordion-playing youth in Chicago to his tours of duty with Springsteen’s E Street Band. Originally, the musician had planned to write the notes with his friend Dave Marsh. In the end, it became as close to a Nils Lofgren autobiography as we are likely to get. “Early on Dave broke the bad news: ‘This is going to be much better, and potentially a great story, if you write it and I edit it,’” Lofgren says. “I hadn’t planned on doing that kind of writing, but I couldn’t disagree with him. Hand-writing the story, it does have a completely different flavor to it. People have always asked me to write a book, and I’ve always said no. I would have to talk about my very famous friends a lot, which could probably be done with dignity, but my heart’s not in it. Dave kept saying, ‘Go deeper, write more.’ This was kind of a great excuse to share some of these stories through the history of the music. Hopefully it will give people, even fans, a deeper insight into what was going on.”

Face the Music is a much-needed in-depth look at the groundbreaking solo work of one of rock’s most underestimated, creative, and irreplaceable musicians. Summing up his monumental project, the unfailingly modest Lofgren says, “We were just grateful to play our faces off, anywhere and everywhere. To look back 45 years and to hand-pick this music and to hear it all together is pretty stunning. I’m really grateful that Concord gave me the creative license to put it together. It’s something I’ve never done before, and had given up hope of doing, and I’m very excited about it.”

Find out more about Nils Lofgren