What I Did After My Band Broke Up: The Best of Steve Wynn/Visitation Rights

What I Did After My Band Broke Up: The Best of Steve Wynn/Visitation Rights

by Steve Wynn

CD(Jewel Case)

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Following the breakup of the Dream Syndicate in 1989, Steve Wynn carved out a pretty impressive career as a singer/songwriter. What I Did After My Band Broke Up is a 17-track document of just what the title promises: songs from the eight albums Wynn made between 1990-2004 for a variety of labels and with mostly positive results. When he began recording solo it seemed like he was trying very hard to distance himself from his noisy past. The songs taken from the first couple of albums -- "Tears Won't Help," "Carolyn," and "Conspiracy of the Heart" from 1990's Kerosene Man; "Drag" from 1991's Dazzling Display; and "Carelessly" and "Collision Course" from 1994's Fluorescent -- are by no means weak (indeed, "Carolyn" is one of the great lost singles of the early '90s), but they seem to be lacking something. What they were lacking comes into focus on the songs ("Shelley's Blues, Vol. 2," "Why") from 1996's Melting in the Dark -- and the missing ingredients are loud, ugly guitars and a sense of danger. Indie rockers Come provide the backing, and they inspire Wynn to reclaim his fiery past; his vocals have the good old sneer that had been put on the shelf when the DS split. His albums since then haven't been as nasty, but the experience boosted Wynn to a new level of passion and excitement in his writing, and his musicians have responded in kind. Songs from 1999's My Midnight ("Nothing But the Shell," "Cats and Dogs," and the transcendent "500 Girl Mornings"), 2001's Here Come the Miracles ("Death Valley Rain," "There Will Come a Day"), and 2003's Static Transmission ("Amphetamine," "What Comes After") are as full of fire as anything from the prime of the Dream Syndicate, but are also the work of a more mature and developed writer. More importantly, they kick some serious backside. The collection is far from perfect; as with any collection like this, you can argue over songs included and songs left off -- and more importantly, the disc would have been better served by a chronological approach. That way you could trace the changes in Wynn's style and experience that jolt when the guitars kicked back in. It is also somewhat jarring to hear his raw later-period work next to his glossy early songs. Still, What I Did After My Band Broke Up is packed with great songs and performances; Wynn has nothing to be ashamed of as a solo artist. Even if he had never been in the Dream Syndicate, he would still be an important artist, one who anyone who likes their guitar rock literate, loud, and dangerous needs to know. The album also comes with a bonus disc of Wynn performing some of his favorite songs with just piano (courtesy of Chris Cacavas) for backing. It is an interesting exercise, but doesn't make for a truly compelling listen. Cacavas is a fine player and Wynn is in good voice, but you definitely miss the guitars. Longtime Wynn fans shouldn't pass up the chance to hear it at least once, though.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2005
Label: Dbk Works
UPC: 0646315011227
catalogNumber: 112
Rank: 65630

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Wynn   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
John Wesley Harding   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Russ Tolman   Background Vocals
Chris Brokaw   Guitar,Background Vocals
Chris Cacavas   Keyboards,Background Vocals
Susan Cowsill   Background Vocals
Gary Eaton   Bass
Denny Fongheiser   Drums
Melissa "Missy" Hasin   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Connie Hill   Background Vocals
Tim Landers   Bass
Jim Lang   Keyboards
Robert Lloyd   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Keyboards,Sitar,Background Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Robert Mache   Guitar
Tony Maimone   Bass
Joe McGinty   Keyboards
Johnette Napolitano   Guitar,Background Vocals
Vicki Peterson   Background Vocals
Linda Pitmon   Drums,Background Vocals
Greg "Frosty" Smith   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Mark Walton   Bass
Armistead Wellford   Bass
Eric Williams   Guitar,Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Lee Thronburg   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
John Wesley   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Howe Gelb   Guitar
Arthur Johnston   Drums
Thalia Zedek   Guitar,Background Vocals
Deanna Varagona   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Sean O'Brien   Bass
Dave DeCastro   Bass,Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Background Vocals,Lap Steel Guitar
Richard Greene & Beryl Marriott   Harmonica,Mandolin,Strings,Horn,Sitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Kevin Jarvis   Drums
Jason Victor   Guitar,Background Vocals
Louis Luttierez   Guitar
Jimi Lang   Keyboards
Stephen McCarthy   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Steve Wynn   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Audio Production
John Agnello   Producer
Chris Cacavas   Producer
Michael Dumas   Producer
Stewart Lerman   Engineer
Johnette Napolitano   Composer
Linda Pitmon   Composer
Johnny Hott   Composer
Craig Schumacher   Producer
Stefanie Moloth   Cover Photo
Stephen McCarthy   Composer

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