Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Unearthing Early Mann Quite a Discovery

Let's wrap up this trio of posts on the genius of Jon Brion with his work as producer. I could pull out any number of albums from the shelf, and I was nearly tempted to choose something from Robyn Hitchcock or the Polyphonic Spree, but his influence was probably most felt on the early solo albums of Aimee Mann. Their relationship goes back to the waning days of 'Til Tuesday when Brion joined the band on guitar as a touring member. Brion co-wrote a couple of songs on Mann's 1993 solo debut, 'Whatever', and he also co-produced. It was a well-received album, and you could hear there was a lot more there than she had shown in the 'Til Tuesday days.

Brion was even more involved in 1995 followup 'I'm With Stupid'. He co-wrote four songs, including the two we are going to listen to today. He also played a myriad of instruments on the long player, including bass, harmonica, cello, drums, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, percussion and backing vocals. I have always pictured the making of 'I'm With Stupid' being a blast. Several friends stopped by to help out, such as Juliana Hatfield, Bernard Butler, Neil Innes, future hubby Michael Penn, Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook.

Mann has never been a letdown through her nine solo albums, and she is touring with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit in my neck of the woods this September. I have never seen her perform in person, but this seems like the perfect time to right this wrong.

Choice in the Matter


Charity Chic said...

I've got 3 or 4 of her's on the shelves Brian but not one
That sounds like a great double header of a gig

John Medd said...

I was lucky enough to catch her live a few years back when she played Rock City in Nottingham. It made my Top 50 gigs. Well, why wouldn't it?

Rol said...

Love everything Aimee has done, but those early albums have a special place in my heart.

George said...

I would avoid the Forgotten Arm album, Brian, bit the any of Whatever, Smilers, Charmers, all very good indeed.