Analog Planet Rated 10/11 Music, 10/11 Sonics!
After the release of Are You Serious?, Van Duren immediately returned to the studio - recording 14 tracks (one being a medley of two songs) that rivaled his tremendous debut. But, the album was shelved and didn't see the light of day for two decades, when inexplicably, it was released in Japan without any input from the artist.
The story is chronicled in the acclaimed documentary Waiting: The Van Duren Story. Now, at long last - Idiot Optimism returns as Van originally intended it to look and sound. Plus, it makes its first-ever appearance on (double) LP.
With full creative control from Duren, this reissue of Idiot Optimism is packaged with new art, liners from Van outlining the story of the album, and many previously unseen photos. Featuring 14 originals and a cover of Chris Bell's (Big Star) "Make A Scene", this new edition is remastered from the original analog tapes. Idiot Optimism has never looked nor sounded better.
Van Duren, like Big Star, had to wait patiently before his first two albums were given the deluxe reissue and remastering treatment that Omnivore has recently provided in their reissue of 1978's Are You Serious? and 1980's Idiot Optimism. Those with an original pressing of Are You Serious? know that it is expensive to track down in great shape. There are a few versions of the original which collectors can vie for: 2 U.S. releases, one of which was mastered by Robert Ludwig with the famed 'rl' deadwax notation, 2 UK variants and an Australian pressing (at least, according to what's currently in Discogs). In the case of Idiot Optimism, this is truly the first time that the vision Van had for the album was allowed to come to fruition. While I haven't heard a copy of the original Ludwig mastering, it's hard to imagine it gets much better than what Omnivore currently offers. Michael Graves' mastering and Jeff Powell's vinyl mastering of both albums have plenty of punch, midrange appeal and power; vinyl and CD of both albums sound excellent and maintain the sonic feel of the late 70s.
- Double LP
- First time on vinyl
- Full creative control from Van Duren
- Remastered from the original analog tapes
- Vinyl mastered by Jeff Powell at Take Out Vinyl/Phillips Recording Service, Memphis, TN
- New art
- Liner notes from Van Duren outlining the story of the album
- Previously unseen photos
- Reissue produced for release by Van Duren & Cheryl Pawelski
- Bear With Me All The Way
- Make A Scene
- Tennessee, I'm Trying
- Convincing Convictions
- Life In Layers
- What's Keeping You?
- Torn In Half
- Hand Over Hand
- Andy, Please
- Woman Needs Man Needs Woman
- Mabel (I'm Amazed)
- Reminds Me Of Me
- Medley: Love At The Heart Of It / Mad At The Moon